Polonez Restaurant to Close After 40 Years

You only have a few more weeks to get pierogi and stuffed cabbage rolls at this beloved Polish establishment.

Retirement is so close for the owners of Polish restaurant Polonez (4016 S. Packard Ave.). That means, I’m afraid, the shuttering of this almost four-decades-old landmark. The restaurant just announced on its Facebook page that Sept. 25 will be the last day of service, so you’ve got a finite amount of time to get some pierogi and stuffed cabbage rolls. On Sept. 1 (Thursday), the menu will be strictly a buffet with limited options and some sides.

Founders George and Aleksandra Burzynski are natives of Poland. They’ve operated Polonez at two locations – the first, near St. Josaphat Basilica, opened in 1983. The second and current spot is in St. Francis, where it’s been for 21 years. (In the last few years, the business has actually been for sale.)

The Burzynskis’ son Peter says it’s time. “They’re 74,” he says of his parents. “My dad has been working so, so much. It’s very tough on him now. Half our staff is leaving to go to college. I wanted to close in a way that’s not too taxing for the people still [working] there.”

Regarding their last month in business, you can dine in or carry-out. The buffet menu will feature soups (red borscht, bacon barley), a rotating special appetizer, a meat and vegetarian pierogi, cucumber salad, potato pancakes, bigos (hunter’s stew), pork cutlets, stuffed cabbage rolls, Polish sausage and, on Fridays only, chicken or fish. And reservations are strongly recommended. Call 414-482-0080.

Prices: $22 (between 11 a.m.-2 p.m.) and $25 (2-8 p.m.); $11 and $12.50, respectively, for children 12 and under.

Hours: Thurs-Fri 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 4-8 p.m.; Sunday 11-8 p.m. Last seating is at 7:45 p.m.

According to Peter, Polonez’ buyer will open a business called Taxi and Tide Play Cafe, which will “have an East Coast meets West Coast vibe. ‘Taxi’ represents the East Coast, New York, and ‘Tide,’ like the ocean tide, represents the West Coast, California.” It will also offer classes, art workshops and birthday parties for toddlers and young children.



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.