moneypitI've heard so many rumors that Ryan Braun was opening a restaurant in Lake Geneva for so long that I just assumed that it was true. (Kind of like Rod Stewart having his stomach pumped.) I've know about this for awhile, but didn't want to post about it just in case it wasn't true. One day the sign out in front of the restaurant was changed to say "COMING SOON BRETT FAVRE'S STEAKHOUSE" which was funny, but also made me think that there was no way it was Braun's place because no way he'd think of something that funny. Well, it all turned out be true and yesterday news started to trickle out about it, topped off by the great Adam McCalvy doing a full write up. In the write up McCalvy says:

A group of investors led by Madison lawyer Patrick Sweeney finalized a licensing deal with Braun and Major League Baseball this month. The group is spending more than $1 million on upgrades to a former Mexican restaurant at 430 Broad St. in Lake Geneva, a resort community about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee's Miller Park, and the idea is to open for business within 6-8 weeks.

And then:

He got a first-hand look at the progress of the restaurant on Sept. 6, the same day Braun and his teammates executed their now-famous celebration of Prince Fielder's 12th-inning home run that beat the San Francisco Giants.

Now I've worked in and around restaurants for most of my life and if there is one thing that has been said at each and every establishment that I have been fired for drinking from it's this: "The most expensive seat in a restaurant is an empty seat." With the idea being that you can have the best service, best food, stiffest drinks, the sluttiest waitresses and everything else in the world, but if there is nobody there to eat it the restaurant will fail. By their own doing this restaurant has had it's door closed since September and all summer long before that. Why? To spend over $1 million on upgrades to a place that wasn't that messed up to begin with. Of course.

We could get into the logistics of opening a Braun and therefore Brewers themed restaurant in the #1 vacation destination for people from Illinois (ie assholes Cubs fans). We could get into the part where Lake Geneva is a summer town and opening anything after Labor Day is a bad, bad idea. We don't need to do any of that though because Ryan Braun is opening a restaurant that has had it's door closed for at least six months (and I've yet to see a "Now Hiring" sign or ad).

Thus far all these guys have proved to be able to do is spend money. I don't know what they paid for the building, but it couldn't be cheap (afterall, it's Lake Geneva). Let's be nice and say it's $2000/mo. So let's look at this:


Rent (6 months) ($12,000)
Upgrades ($1,000,000)
Sales $ 0.00
Profit ($1,012,000)

I would highly doubt that they paid that million in cash, by the way. Which at 7% interest that would be $9000 a month or rather $300 PER DAY that they are paying in interest alone and that doesn't include taxes, insurance, lights, gas, payroll and everything else to not make any money. I emailed someone who would know this sort of thing and they said that restaurants normally make about 30%-40% food cost. That means that they would need to sell $1000 in food everyday just to break even. (And this is being generous, the true numbers are probably much higher.) That's not even considering the rent, payroll, lights, gas and everything else.

So with food prices set at "$8-20, plus a few higher-priced steaks" and whatever they make in liquor it's going to be about 2015 by the time they turn a profit. Maybe even further down the road. Can the investors wait that long? (Keep in mind all this is assuming that the restaurant is good and that people go there. Not a guarantee, especially in a small town where great chefs and staff don't grow on trees.) Because believe me there is no way Ryan Braun has anything in this that he can't afford to lose. If anyone loses money on this deal, it's not Ryan Braun. It's his genius partners. I mean, even if they had to wait for MLB rights to clear couldn't they have just opened as "Tavern and Grille" and added the Ryan Braun later? Maybe they enjoy only making it a couple years before going out of business like the Brett Favre's Steakhouse in Milwaukee (and Brett Favre was a much, much bigger presence at that time in Wisconsin than Ryan Braun will ever be.)

This isn't meant to be a knock on Ryan Braun. I think it's a pretty good idea. Licensing your name to stuff is almost all profit and if this fails, nobody is going to say "Oh, Ryan Braun's Tavern and Grille didn't make it. Screw that guy, I am gonna burn his jersey." If anything it just gets his name out there more and that's a win-win for him. I really think that Ryan Braun wants to be like Hulk Hogan in that whenever you say something about WWE or pro wrestling people in general, people who don't know what the hell they are talking about say "Hulk Hogan?" and Braun wants that same sort of notoriety when it comes to baseball and the Brewers in general. I don't slam him for that because I want the same sort of notoriety when people mention second rate baseball blogs.

The truth is I want Ryan Braun to succeed in all of his ventures. I want him to sell a million t-shirts (just not to me, any of my friends or anyone who reads this site) and I want this restaurant to be a success because a happy Ryan Braun means a successful Ryan Braun, both on and off the field. When this place opens, I'll be one of the first to give it a shot and have a drink and some dinner there. Hell, maybe I'll see if they need an extra bartender. That being said, it just doesn't look good.

(And since I mentioned it, here's the best scene from The Money Pit.)

Vince Morales is the guy who runs this site. He likes the Milwaukee Brewers, pro wrestling and beer. If he offended you he is very, very sorry.

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26 comments on “Ryan Braun’s Tavern and Money Pit

  1. I have been to Lake Geneva cuz my grandparents live there. Yea … my GRANDparents. During the summer the place will do great, but in the offseason (which is 9 months out of the year) it’s nothing but old fogies out for the early-bird special. Sorry grandma and grandpa.

  2. Anonymous on said:

    your rent is so far off, i am willing to bet it is around 60,000. also his total cost of goods better be around 28 to 30% that includes food and bev. as far as a profit in 5 years? no way I know they will lose money oct. thru march, and they will be lucky to generate 60k in total sales per month during the off season. ex. jan. feb. march. good luck but like the brewers this will fail, nobody in lake geneva even knows what position Brian plays let alone what sport so there is no need for MLB licence due to that fact alone. Chalk it up to another rich knucklehead opening a restaurant, in by far the worst economy in recent years, what the f@#$ is this group thinking I am curious what they think there total sales will be and there profit%. The Industry average is only 10% thats one dime on every dollar, and as far as real estate, with the improvements it makes it almost imposable to resell when they go bust.

  3. Miller Park Drunk on said:

    How come the smart commenters don’t know how to spell and the ones who make fun of me spell perfectly?

  4. Anonymous on said:

    Spelling notwithstanding, the fact that he called him Brian–inadvertently or otherwise–ironically underscores the point of this post so well that MPD should be paying this person to underscore the points of posts. I giggled. Good stuff as always, MPD.
    -Random Drunk Chick in WV

  5. Citizens Bank Park Drunk on said:

    I hope they serve “Brauny’s warm up balls” A moist dumpling lobbed at your table before each course begins. I’d love to catch one of those.

    How ’bout them Phillies!!!

  6. Anonymous on said:

    As a former resident of Lake Geneva & Delavan, I could see there being a big enough market. At least in the summer months to make it a worthwhile venture.
    I am of the belief that they purchased the building, you don’t sink 1 million into a rental/leased property. Also, during the summer months they could do very well. Lake Geneva does have alot of cash go around in the summer from the visiting FIBS.
    Again, like MPD stated, for Braun this will be nothing but a money maker.

  7. lizconsin on said:

    I’m adding the “E” on the end of “Grille” to the List of Unnecessary Shit.
    That said, I’m probably going to be there for the grand opening (and again when the Brewers get back in the spring) with the loudest flaming skull wearing a crown riding a metalic tiger $120 t-shirt I can find.

  8. Anonymous on said:

    I cant believe your not excited about getting an autographed something with a reasonalbe priced meal. I wish them the BEST of luck and if they hurry they will open soon……bahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha….bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhah
    Lake Geneva Person

  9. Anonymous on said:

    Where can I get a jersey? bahahahahah

  10. Anonymous on said:

    The owner of the steakhouse was the previous owner of the cactus club. Lake Geneva is where Ryan Bruan wanted this place to be located, not in Milwaukee.

  11. Anonymous on said:

    haha Yes Tom is 100% running the show with this…He isnt such a guy, little bit of a horn ball but what guy isnt

  12. Anonymous on said:

    “…the idea is to open for business within 6-8 weeks.”

    Optimistic, to say the least. I’m getting hungry.

  13. Anonymous on said:

    I love the Brewers… I love Ryan Braun… I love steak and I love visiting Lake Geneva! What more could I want? (Maybe having Brauny sitting at my table).

    Please hurry up and open the darn place – I’m hungry!!!

  14. Anonymous on said:

    I guess they are running into problem after problem. Doesnt show much professionalism if you ask me. It will open just dont hold your breath for anytime soon. For something that was supposed to be in 2009 we are now looking more towards the spring. Might be better for business.

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  16. Anonymous on said:

    Maybe this is because I am a local, but yes there are baseball fans here in the grand city of Lake Geneva.
    I am too excited to see this place open and cross my fingers for them to succeed through their first winter post tourist season.
    I also agree that he has the Midas touch, so hopefully he will help this place get off the ground running not walking.
    If the do right, they will be full like Champs. Champs always has people and does their promotions right.

  17. Anonymous on said:

    Just saw the place today and there is a job fair May 1st. It’s really opening.

  18. Anonymous on said:

    the general manager of the place has to be the worst manager they could find in Lake Geneva, meaning I am excited to see how bad the food will be and how long before A) the general manager gets the axe, or B) the place closes down!!!

  19. Anonymous on said:

    Funny how my post from December has been deleted! Fathers! Mothers! Lock up your daughters and don’t let them work there or even go there! With the former owner managing the place is a scary thought! He’ll try and wine and dine and then 69’em! This guy is a preditor! Him and his little sidekick will serve’em up some booz followed by coke off the office desk! And before they no what hit them it’s all over! Lol!

  20. Miller Park Drunk on said:

    Here’s why I deleted it and edited this one:

    “SUBJECT: Reguarding a Blog”

    (Yes they actually spelled it like that.)

    “I need to know who I can contact reguarding some slander posted on one of your blogs. The Ryan Braun Tavern and Money Pit blog post back in 2009 has recent slander that was posted April 9th 2010 about (name). A false statement is made about him and we would like this removed IMMEDIATELY! Please let me know how I can contact before further actions have to be taken.”

    So like, stop slandering people in the comments. I hate getting annoying emails from people who can’t spell regard.

  21. Pingback: Miller Park Drunk | The ultimate guide to Ryan Braun

  22. Anonymous on said:

    I agree with comments made about management. I know that one guy that is associated with this restaurant is nothing but a con-artist and shouldn’t be allowed access to the register or the books. If you’re looking for proof, all you have to do is go the the Wisconsin courts website and type in a name. There you can find a whole list of people that would agree!

  23. Anonymous on said:

    I have eaten there 3 times and have had NOTHING but excellent, responsive service and fantastic food. I am thrilled to have this new restaurant in my community and look forward to taking many guests there.

  24. Anonymous on said:

    Closed in 1 year

  25. Anonymous on said:

    come to ryan braun’s tavern and grill to eat.

  26. Anonymous on said:

    I have been to Ryan Braun’s many times and have always had great service and terrific food. Rumor has it that they are putting a martini bar in the basement….

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