Panther Pub and Eatery, a Greendale athletics-themed restaurant in the Village Center, will provide a family experience, the owner said at a presentation Thursday.
Mike Drilling said at a Greendale Historical Society meeting he had “no interest in opening a tavern or bar.” He said the restaurant would be a family establishment where parents can bring their kids, and also be inviting to a younger crowd. He said his establishment would be similar to a Red Robin and Applebees.
Some have expressed concerns that Drilling is bringing a bar into the Village Center.
“I don’t want that kind of establishment,” Drilling said. “I think we all know what I’m talking about. Parents have to be able to bring their 6-year-old.”
Drilling said he’s always envisioned a sports-themed restaurant that would be a source a fundraising for various Greendale non-profits, especially Greendale High School organizations.
The restaurant, which is expected to be open by next summer, would possibly operate from 11 a.m. to midnight. Even though he is allowed to remain open until bar time, Drilling said he does not plan to do so. Many people at the presentation were happy to hear that it would be open for lunch hours.
The most important aspect of the restaurant to Drilling is the consistent quality of the food, and the owner doesn't see his restaurant in competition with others in the Village Center. He said Joey Gerards is a more upscale place for special occasions, Betty Ferch of Ferch’s Malt Shoppe and Grille has been a huge supporter of Drilling, and he doesn’t plan to serve pizza out of respect for Ricardo’s Pizza.
Planned for the former Associated Bank on Broad Street, the restaurant will fit about 95 people and will include a 40-person outdoor dining patio. Drilling plans to renovate the interior and exterior to make it look more like the rest of the Village.
The tenants in the upper level of the building would stay but the orthodontist in the lower lever would need to leave, Drilling said.
“My vision of this is for Greendale people to come here, and this is their place," Drilling said. "This is the Panther Pub and Eatery. This is a Greendale thing.”
Drilling even mentioned the possibility of busing people to Greendale High School athletic home and away games.
The presentation ended with people clapping and wishing him the best of luck.
About the owner
As a longtime successful businessman, Drilling has no restaurant experience but has sought out restaurant consulting and is optimistic Panther Pub and Eatery has promise.
Drilling graduated from Greendale High School in 1981. He left the village for a few years but came to raise a family here. Both his son and daughter graduated from Greendale High School.
He coached the Greendale High School baseball team in the past and is currently coaching at another high school.