Since Wauwatosa Gas at 8334 W. North Ave. closed its doors, some local residents have wondered what may become of the site. A recently-proposed plan would transform the building into The Ruckus, a burger and ice cream stand.
The planners of the project are the owners of Colectivo, who are set to open a The Ruckus location at 4144 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood.
The owners hosted an informal Q&A Nov. 29 with neighbors to present a proposed concept for the site and adaptive reuse of the existing building. Reaction from the attendees was mixed, with some expressing concerns regarding traffic and parking.
In a letter that served as an invitation to the meeting, the company said it is "focused on building beautiful spaces that become neighborhood amenities for families, friends and kids big or small."
"It is a delightful building and it would be fun to reinvent the former Tosa Gas site," Colectivo vice president Scott Schwebel said. "Bringing a new amenity for all to the neighborhood while saving this quirky little building that has become so iconic in Wauwatosa."
The letter also says the planners intend to save the existing building by adding additional structures onto it and thereby preserving its original charm.
Schwebel cautioned that the project is still under the early stages of approval by the city of Wauwatosa and therefore too soon to discuss the details of the plan, but said the economics of the site and saving the building are really tricky.
"We believe we have a really appropriate use and plan proposed for the site that will add lasting value (and fun) to the Village," Schwebel said.
Renderings show a repurposed structure with significant preservation of the architectural integrity of the building. Plans filed with the city indicate the build-out, which is meant to be pedestrian-friendly, would also include significant space for bicycle parking.
The Ruckus is billed as a classic "neighborhood ice cream and burger stand" which will offer a small selection of grilled items, custom-made ice cream and housemade churros.