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Bigger DJ's gets Muskego's OK

Nov. 12, 2012

Muskego - DJ's Pub & Grill, which has served its customers on Janesville Road just south of Pioneer Road for some 90 years, will be demolished soon and rise again at twice the size.

Dan Hewitt, who has owned DJ's for about 20 years, won final city approval Nov. 6 for his rebuilding project that features a new restaurant/bar totaling 3,500 square feet.

The old building, which closed Oct. 28, will be razed to make room for the Janesville Road widening project.

Coming down and going up

The building's construction will have to wait for DJ's to be demolished, said architect David Koscielniak.

State officials have said DJ's will be torn down by Christmas, Hewitt said, but he doesn't believe it because the state is behind on other Janesville Road demolition projects.

So, the initial focus will be on building an apartment building, also owned by Hewitt, that is also part of the project.

The four two-bedroom apartments will be built close to the shore of Little Muskego Lake on the north end of DJ's property. The restaurant will go up on the south end.

City requirements

The city has already approved the rezoning - necessary because the land was zoned residential after the bar business opened - to enable DJ's to rebuild. Now the property is zoned for downtown revival district. The city did, however, cap the number of apartments at four.

Plans went through the Plan Commission on Nov. 6 with only minor changes. One was to move the parking lot further east and away from a neighboring home. More landscaping also was ordered up for the other side.

Hewitt had planned to devote 800 square feet on the restaurant's lower level to meeting rooms, but that idea was dropped when the restaurant plan fell 12 parking spaces short of city requirements. Parking now falls comfortably within the requirements.

Despite the restriction, Hewitt said after the meeting, "I'm very happy."

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