Brookfield Mayor Jeff Speaker won’t care

Heinemann’s was in the Town of Brookfield. There’s no doubt Speaker contributed to this:

“We tried our best to continue operating, but increasing competition in an overbuilt restaurant industry and the economic recession adversely affected our business.”

The chain-restaurant favorites of Speaker and his plan commissioner cronies won out over this home-grown Wisconsin family original.



  1. In some ways it is sad, but honestly I was never impressed with their food, other than the potato pancakes on Fridays. I don’t see a ton of other chains in that niche, except maybe Perkins.

    Nonetheless, I have to wonder how many of the chain restaurant that sprouted up will make it through the year.

  2. You practically had to have blue hair to get in the door…. I won’t miss it.

  3. They call that capitalism. I’m glad a man in Mr. Speaker’s position embraces it.

  4. No, it’s not pure capitalism. Can you guess why?

  5. BrkfldDad says:

    I’ll have to agree with Derek and Dan on this, I’ve been less than impressed with Heinemann’s and dropped them from the list of restaurants I frequented. When you think about it, there’s some similar local establishments that don’t seem to have hung up the towel – Panos’, Webb’s, Penelope’s, etc… I think recession combined with quality and service is more at play here. Chains like Pedros, Krispy Kreme, etc… have all closed, so I don’t subscribe to the chain v. local argument. It’s a little suspect too that they blame the Milwaukee sick pay ordinance, yet that doesnt’ go into effect until 2/10!

  6. Hmm. If I were to guess I’d say you’ll head down the path that says some of the new chains get government breaks not extended to existing businesses. If so, ok, that makes it less than pure.

    But I think it closed because of ineffective marketing, and an apparent disinterest in attracting a clientele that could support it (that being a younger demographic).

    In other words, it wasn’t as good at capitalism as its competition.

  7. Heinemann’s business model was outdated in the current competitive restaurant environment and their target customers have been dying off for years. It’s not happy news to hear about a business closing, but think of how many restaurants have bitten the dust because their “schtick” didn’t ring any bells with the mass market needed to keep a going concern.

  8. Heinemann’s was a guaranteed quiet spot for this family. We probably didn’t make it more than once a year as the children grew older, but we liked it.

    They suffered at the hand of City of Brookfield governance that created extra zoning density to allow restaurants that would not have normally been allowed to develop. That’s why it wasn’t necessarily pure capitalism at work. Someone – namely Speaker and his band of merry men – stepped into the community next door and changed the rules. I think similar development happened in other communities to accommodate the chains.

    Changing the rules in the middle of the game will be Speaker’s legacy. From buying extra road easement on Calhoun to moving fire stations that didn’t need to be moved, it’s all about what he gets for his effort.

    Too bad no one is willing to document the bonuses to him.

  9. The Lorax says:

    I’ll add my name to the list of people who didn’t like it. I’d rather jaunt over to the Grecian Inn.

  10. Well good grief, now we know why it closed. I was the only one eating there!

  11. It was my all time favorite breakfast location, and I will miss it.

    For the record, the competition which Heinemann’s owners referenced impacted all of the Heinemann’s locations throughout the metro area. Half of those closed last year, with the hopes that the remaining locations that remained open–and were more profitable–would survive.

    Another reason cited for the closure was the new Milwaukee compulsory sick leave ordinance, a piece of legislation that really makes no sense in my book.

  12. No, Cindy, you were not the only one eating there. We did too, although like your family, it became maybe a yearly event rather than a monthly one. Our main reason for not going was the long wait for Sunday lunch.

    Loved their Swiss burgers, shredded French fried onions and Singapore noodle salad (that has been off the menu for years).

  13. Tinkerbell says:

    Loved their yogurt & granola parfait, and their grilled coffeecake. One very healthy, one not so much.