Oak Creek Patch

Q&A: The Dish Manager Val Secor

The restaurant at 27th and Ryan has found success after just more than a year in operation.

The Dish Manager Val Secor cooks up a Hoppel Poppel — scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, green peppers, mushrooms and onions topped with cheese and served with toast.

In the year since The Dish opened near the corner of 27th Street and Ryan Road, the restaurant has carved its own niche in Oak Creek.

The business is many things to many people: a coffee shop, an O&H Bakery, a pizza place, a lunchtime stop for a soup and sandwich. It was a two-time winner in Patch’s Readers’ Choice competition last year, winning for best pizza and best sandwich.

The Dish added something else to its menu just this week: delivery service. From 4 p.m. to close, customers can call (414) 856-0888 to have their food delivered right to them.

Patch asked three questions of The Dish manager Val Secor in this week’s (still-untitled) restaurant feature, which previously spotlighted Papa Murphy’s and El Fogon.

1. What’s the most popular item on the menu?

A: Our soup. We make all the soups homemade. In particular, the chicken dumpling is No. 1, and then chicken with wild rice. We always have four soups, but we switch them up, so you always know there’s something different.

2. What’s your personal favorite menu item?

A: For sure, mine is beef stroganoff. We do some stuff nobody does—we take real tenderloin tips, braise them, then we take the juice, make gravy. Like the rest of the menu, it’s all from scratch.

3. What’s the best deal on the menu?

A: The best deal is our happy hour pizza. From 3 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, you get a large pizza with two toppings for 10 dollars. We sell a ton of them.


Milwaukee Business Journal

October 7, 2011

By Stacy Vogel Davis

Gas station owners to open Oak Creek restaurant

Mike and Jim Willkomm have plenty of experience with speedy service. As owners of Willkomm Co.,Kenosha, they operate five gas stations, along with a gas distributorship and a Burger King franchise.

Now, they’re planning to apply that experience to their own restaurant. The Dish, set to open around Dec. 1 in Oak Creek.

“We’ve always been quality- and speed-conscious, so we thought let’s roll that into a restaurant,” Jim Willkomm said.

This will not be fast food, he said. Instead, it will be a counter-service restaurant that quickly serves food made-to-order. It also will feature a drive-through.

Jim Willkomm described the restaurant as a combination of Panera Bread and Noodles & Co. It will offer soup, salads, Panini, sandwiches, pasta and made-to-order pizza for lunch and dinner and also will serve breakfast.

The restaurant will feature and O&H Danish Bakery counter. O&H, Racine, is famous for its kringle, so you can expect plenty of the Danish treat at The Dish, said Mike Olesen, O&H co-owner. The counter also will serve other baked goods and coffee from Alterra Coffee Roasters, Milwaukee.

O&H has two locations in Racine and a counter in the Highlands PETRO Travel Plaza in Sturtevant, also owned by the Willkomms. The new restaurant is the farthest north in Wisconsin the company has ventured so far.

The Willkomms bought the building for The Dish at South 27th Street and West Ryan Road after it sat vacant for several years, Jim Willkomm said. It was built in 2002 to be a pizza parlor, but that fell through and it operated for a couple of years as a deli.

The brothers originally hoped to open the restaurant sooner, but they decided to make some upgrades and renovations in the building. “We’re really excited to have this finished product,” he said.

The Dish due in December in Oak Creek

Oct. 8, 2011

The Dish, a quick-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, is in the works at S. 27th St. and W. Ryan Road in Oak Creek, and the building will include an O&H Danish Bakery, the first outside Racine County.

The property is the site of a Mobil station and outbuilding. It was bought a few months ago by the Willkomm Cos., the Exxon Mobil distributor for Kenosha and Racine.

Michael Willkomm, a co-owner, said diners will order breakfast dishes, hot and cold sandwiches, pastas and salads at a counter or at the drive-through, and orders would be ready in about five minutes, though pizzas for takeout would have to be ordered in advance.

The Dish will have about 40 seats and also will sell wine and beer.
Although the menu is a work in progress, tentative items include a breakfast wrap ($1.69), salad with grilled tuna and shrimp ($10.99), pesto chicken panino ($6.99) and wild mushroom ravioli in tomato cream sauce ($8.99).

Renovation of the space, including installation of a decorative concrete floor, is under way. The targeted opening is December.

O&H reaches for travelers with second satellite bakery

By Michael Burke, November 1, 2011

OAK CREEK — O&H Danish Bakery will soon branch out again with its second satellite bakery near Interstate 94.

Racine-based O&H is preparing to open a store inside a future restaurant at the southeast corner of South 27th Street and Ryan Road. The Willkomm family, which owns Highlands Petro Shopping Center, will simultaneously open The Dish restaurant at that Oak Creek site.

The Willkomms have paired with O&H before. For years, the bakery had a kringle kiosk inside Highlands Petro, at the southwest corner of Highway 20 and I-94.

In late May 2010, O&H reopened the kiosk as a 400-square-foot bakery, staffing it and selling baked goods directly.

The store’s sales have steadily climbed, said O&H co-owner Eric Olesen. “For us it’s new customers, new sales — not drawing away from our stores,” he said.

Also, Olesen added, “Racineis a great exporter of kringle.” He said people going out of town often get kringle there for friends or relatives.

“(The Olesens) are happy, we’re happy, and most importantly, our customers love it,” said Highlands co-owner Michael Willkomm.

With that store succeeding, the Willkomms invited O&H in when they bought a Mobil gas station/convenience store and separate restaurant building that were in foreclosure, along 27th Street.

The Willkomms are completely remodeling the restaurant building to open The Dish simultaneously with O&H on about Dec. 1 — a $2 million project, Willkomm said.

O&H will open another 400-square-foot store there, or about one-fourth of the total space, company co-owner Mike Olesen said.

This one will not be along I-94 — rather, about two-thirds of a mile west. But Mike Olesen said he’s very confident it will thrive, with two major employers, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Northwestern Mutual, nearby. “We’ll have a very good go at it.”

TheOak Creek store also has a drive-through window, Mike Olesen said, adding, “We’ve never had a drive-through bakery.”

TheOak Creek bakery will also try to reach into the Milwaukee market by doing wedding cake consultations there, he said.

If the new O&H satellite store works as he expects, Mike Olesen said, he could envision more of them along or near I-94.

“When we opened on Highway 20,” he said, “I was thinking if we could do more of those, we could start running a dedicated truck up and down the I-94 corridor.”

Copyright 2011


2 thoughts on “Press

  1. This place is amazing! Excellent food and great selection. Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful. I am a “foodie” and this is my new favorite place to eat.

  2. This place has the best pasta I have had in a while. The service is fast and friendly. I recommend this place to all my friends and family.

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