DJ's new grill moves off the back burner in Muskego
City approves modified plans for restaurant and bar
Muskego — Nearly a year since getting initial city approval for its new building plans, DJ's Pub & Grill is moving forward.
Owner Dan Hewitt last week received Muskego Plan Commission approval to build a new DJ's, one that would be twice as big as the one which served the community for some 90 years at the same location, W18040 Janesville Road.
The new DJ's will be more of a restaurant than a bar and would be at the same location as the original DJ's. The original bar and restaurant was razed early this year for the Janesville Road widening project.
Change in plans
In November, Hewitt received city approval of a similar plan that included a 3,500-square-foot restaurant, plus a separate four-unit apartment building behind it closer to the shore of Little Muskego Lake.
The current plan has no apartment building, though it does include 1,716 square feet of living space upstairs above the 3,500-square-foot restaurant/bar, which also will have a 400-square-foot deck.
Despite the earlier approval, no construction took place leading up to modified plans presented to the Plan Commission on Sept. 3.
That's not likely to be the case this time around, said Rick Burback, of Muskego-based Burback Builders, the builder on the project.
Burback explained that the main factor delaying the project last year was the Janesville Road project, which started this year in front of DJ's. The road work would have made building a new DJ's extremely difficult at that time, he said.
But now he hopes to start construction this winter when the road work will not be in progress, Burback said.
Now, the main hurdle left is getting cost estimates and financing, Burback said. Plans for landscaping and stormwater management also must still be approved.
Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said she was relieved that DJ's neighbors seemed to leave the Plan Commission last week satisfied that fences with landscaping would provide good screening and that the city had taken enough precautions to protect neighbors from nuisances.
The delay in construction had made some people a little nervous because the DJ's land was part of a controversial bring back the lake park project proposed in 2010. The pub land and three homes were needed for the proposed park, but the controversy caused the developer and one of the home owners to withdraw from the project.
A smaller park was proposed using just two of the homes. That plan was dropped, too, and this year one of those was sold, along with the third involved in the larger park project.
Chiaverotti said a restaurant would be welcomed.
"The community has been longing for more restaurants," she said. "And to have a restaurant come into the community by a longtime business owner is a very positive thing."
Chiaverotti also said city officials are working with restaurants outside the city trying to get them to locate in Muskego.
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