A New Steak, Seafood and Speakeasy Spot for the Third Ward

Benson’s Restaurant Group plans to open The Edison this summer.

Benson’s Restaurant Group just announced the name of its latest concept. The Edison, a “sophisticated neighborhood grill,” (per press materials) is expected to open this summer at 322 N. Broadway, which formerly housed Wahlburger’s.

The 140-seat restaurant – which will make up a Third Ward dynasty of sorts, with siblings Onesto, Smoke Shack and Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria – sounds like a steakhouse. “Coal-fired butcher’s cuts,” as well as seafood and other classic dishes, will highlight the menu. With that speakeasy trend still chugging along, the Edison will offer a speakeasy-inspired bar that’s all about curation in its selection of distilled spirits, nostalgic cocktails with a modern twist, local draft beers and “approachable” wine list.

Benson’s, part of the Marcus Investments group, most recently opened The Bridgewater Modern Grill (2011 S. First St.). I reviewed it in our January issue.

Here’s what David Marcus, Benson’s CEO, had to say about the company’s growing empire:

“For the past few months, we’ve been hard at work with our partners, skilled executive chefs and staff to create impeccable food and drink offerings and a welcoming gathering place that stands out in the Third Ward. The space captures the true spirit of the Third Ward, with raw, architectural accents with warm wood and tall windows, while remaining contemporary and inviting. We can’t wait for the community to experience The Edison for weekday brunch with a colleague, a family gathering for dinner, or a post-work drink at the bar.”

This latest concept is expected to offer service seven days a week and offer lunch, brunch and dinner. An obligatory outdoor patio (at the front of the building) will seat 44 guests.

In the culinary development department, the menu’s creation will be overseen by Alex Sazama, Benson’s corporate executive chef, and Steve Gustafson, the company’s regional executive chef. Gustafson headed up The Bridgewater’s culinary operations. The Edison’s exec chef is Anthony Janssen.



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.