New eatery is a frozen flashback

Restaurant themes itself after Whitewater’s history, serves special burger patty

Benjamin Pierce, Managing Editor

It didn’t take Dick Kraus very long to settle on the theme for his new restaurant after buying a building in January.

Brain Freeze, a 1950s and 1960s style burger and shake shop, is nestled at 525 E. Milwaukee St. He knew he wanted an “old fashioned” theme as soon as he found out he’d won the bid for the building.

“I don’t think in a box,” Kraus said. “I’ve always liked this time era. You look around at other restaurants, and there really isn’t anything like this in the area.”

The restaurant serves a variety of different foods, but the most popular feature is the hamburger. The patties are ground, mixed and made when ordered. Their special ingredient is a bit of pork.

“We don’t just use fresh burger,” Kraus said. “We mix fresh pork in with it, and it’s juicier than heck.”

The other savory secret is toasted buns, restaurant manager Toria Mcpherson said.

“We’re big on our toasted buns,” Mcpherson said. “They have to be toasted before they’re served.”

The unique burgers get noticed by customers, too.

“Dozens of people have made comments about how this is what a burger is supposed to be like,” Kraus said. “I’ve heard it from so many people.”

Whitewater resident Matthew Bolter lives right down the street. Since the restaurant opened in May, he’s been there at least once a month for the double burger with bacon.

“It’s all fresh food. I like the fresh-made patties. The food is really good, and it’s only a block away,” Bolter said.

Almost all of the food made in the eatery is locally sourced.

Each burger is made fresh to order, the buns come in daily from a local bakery and Mullen’s in Watertown makes the hard scoop ice cream.

Like the food, the actual building is locally themed, too. The entire building is embossed in Whitewater decor. From Whitewater High School yearbook photos to old Whippet football pads, the restaurant has a local theme.

“It’s Whitewater related,” Kraus said. “I went up to the high school and took out all the yearbooks from 1950 to 1969 and just started randomly taking pictures. Everything in here, it’s all Whitewater.”

The restaurant has only been open for a few months, but it has been a busy time for the new business in town.

“When we first opened there were so many people that came all at once. On the third day right in the middle of the noon hour, our main cook just walked out because she couldn’t keep up,” Kraus said.

He wasn’t happy to lose a cook, but the many customers made him happy. Through his locally themed restaurant and food, he hopes to make them happy.

“I don’t do things like other people. It’s always a bit different, but this is exactly how we planned it,” Kraus said.

Mcpherson agreed.

“We get a lot of people coming in here thanking us because it reminds them of the old Frosty restaurants. We’re happy to be here,” she said.

The restaurant is planning an official grand opening ceremony in November.