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Some new blood at the old place in town PDF Print E-mail
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Written by JOHN MORTON   
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 17:03

John Finch’s initial foray into proprietorship comes at the historic Stony Hill Pub & Grill in Waubeka

He searched 10 years for his dream restaurant, but once John Finch found Waubeka’s Stony Hill Pub & Grill, he wasted little time.
“I met with the former owners on a Tuesday, signed the papers the next morning and opened up for lunch at 11 a.m.,” Finch said. “We didn’t miss a beat.”
The Menomonee Falls resident took control of the longtime establishment  on June 7, buying the business, building and land. It sits in the heart of downtown on Cigrand Drive, along the Milwaukee River.
“I saw so much potential here, with the history, the location, the setting and the size,” he said of the 1,800-square-foot building that was once the Eagle Hotel. “It’s a layout that will let me grow.”
A key to his smooth transition, Finch said, was retaining a staff that included Connie Wach, the restaurant’s main cook for the past five years. She even owned the establishment about 30 years ago, back when it was called Why Not.
“Young guy, young blood, lots of good ideas,” Wach said of Finch’s arrival. “I’m glad it’s in good hands.
“I’ve been in and out of this place for 20-something years and love this building, this atmosphere, this town. It’s such a cool place.”
Finch is making his debut as a business owner, and will lean on his experience of five years as bar manager at the Ozaukee Country Club in Mequon.
“I’ve been in the business since I was 14 years old and my time at the club gave me a lot of insight on how to run a business the correct way,” he said. “I think my ability to network with those people will help get my name out there quickly.
“Last weekend, we had a former NBA player here. Word of mouth will be important for me.”
So has something as simple as a “under new ownership” sign on the building.
“I’ve had 50 to 100 people a week come in and tell me they’ve never been here, or it’s been years, and it’s time to give it a try,” Finch said.
The growth will come in part from making use of the space, he said, by adding an outdoor fire pit, expanding the existing horseshoe league and starting a dart league.
Free food at halftime and “touchdown shots” during Packers games are also on the horizon, he said.
“I think my personality and an upbeat atmosphere can bring in repeat customers,” Finch said.
The menu will also expand, he said, with the arrival of salads, desserts and possibly high-end dinners, such as steaks.
“That’s about a month away,” he said of the additions. “For years it’s been mostly bar food here.”
The business is open Tuesdays through Sundays, serving food from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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