Saturday, November 15, 2008

I could go for a Sobelman's hamburger right now

Patrick McIlheran got a phone call from an owner of another "troubled" location, a pub and grill with a history of problems, to discuss Muhammed Nasir Khan's hot dog stand that is being blocked by Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman.  Art Sobelman believes, "Businessmen can be politicians," he said, "but politicians can't be businessmen."

What frosted Sobelman is that Khan wasn't the restaurateur who ran Judy's badly. He had a good record, yet Bauman wasn't giving the guy a chance, saying that as long as Khan sold hot dogs or even kept the building, the project was a non-starter. "Demolishing the structure and starting from scratch," was what the alderman wanted, and probably a sit-down restaurant, "a place with a little class."

"If my alderman would have had the same bad attitude as Bauman, none of this would have happened," said Sobelman.

"This" being his bar's conversion from one that showed up on the front page into one that makes it onto dining-section lists. Sobelman's hamburgers and atmosphere draw lawyers, newscasters, restaurant critics and the mayor, with children in tow.