From Our Editors
In 1999, Dave Sobelman was serving burgers and pitchers of beer to blue-collar workers in the rough and rugged Menomonee Valley. With the checks he cashed on weekends from the humble factory workers, he began ordering some of the finest ingredients for his burgers—locally baked country-butter rolls and the best beef available.
Then one day, Dave walked out of his burger bar and saw a newspaper stand for the Shepherd Express. The cover story highlighted the Top 5 Pub Grub locations in Milwaukee, and Dave's did not make the list. This omission was a turning point in Sobelman's history.
After seeing the article, Dave called the author of the story and invited him to his storied Schlitz tavern. The local writer came into Sobelman's the next day and ordered a plain burger and a beer. That very next week, Dave Sobelman had his own feature article on the front page of the Shepherd Express praising the burgers at Sobelman's Pub and Grill as the absolute best in Milwaukee.
Dave became intrigued by the possibility of fame after seeing his name and acclaimed burger in print. So with the help of his wife, Melanie, Dave created a menu full of quality burgers and some of the most massive bloody marys anyone had ever seen.
It's really not what's inside the glass that makes Sobelman's Pub and Grill's signature bloody mary, the Bloody Masterpiece, stand out. It's the 13 garnishes. Brussels sprouts, celery, sausage, cheese, and even a cheeseburger slider stick out of the drink like an edible bouquet. The creative drink has garnered many fans, not to mention a feature on Good Morning America.
The Bloody Masterpiece and other bloodys pair perfectly with what the husband-and-wife team calls the best burgers in Milwaukee. They back up the claim with a 2013 Readers’ Choice Award from Milwaukee magazine and three other local Best Burger awards.
Despite the creativity shown with the drinks and menu, Sobelman's Pub and Grill's original location on St. Paul Avenue has a timeless element. The Sobelmans make great use of their building, and they've kept original Schlitz tavern elements such as beer-barrel tables and strict adherence to the law of gravity in the revived Menomonee Valley neighborhood.