Karl Ratzsch Restaurant Has Closed

Owner Thomas Hauck, of c. 1880, announces the closure nearly one year after he reopened it.

Incredibly sad news to receive today or any day. German restaurant Karl Ratzsch (320 E. Mason St.) ‒ an institution that dates to 1904 ‒ has closed its doors.

According to the press release received Sunday morning, the restaurant has closed permanently under the ownership of Thomas Hauck, the chef/owner of c.1880 in Walker’s Point. It was almost one year ago that the restaurant officially debuted under his ownership. (In January 2016, Hauck announced that he had purchased Ratzsch, with plans to remodel but keep the traditions of German food, hospitality and culture.)

Hauck’s statement regarding the closure: “It was my greatest hope that I could take this restaurant into the future and take it to a new generation, without it being lost. Unfortunately due to many factors I am no longer able to sustain keeping Karl Ratzsch open.”

A sad day indeed.



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.