Angelo's Café Vino Closes Its Doors Permanently

A sluggish economy was blamed for the decision to close after over two years in business on the corner of Main and Mill streets.

Angelo’s Café Vino in downtown Menomonee Falls is closing its doors for good.

owners announced the closing Monday morning. After two years in business on the corner of Main and Mill streets, owners of the coffee shop and wine bar just couldn’t make it work in the sluggish economy.

“In retrospect, we picked perhaps the most challenging economy and business climate in the past 75 years to attempt this start-up restaurant venture,” said Building Owner Bill Bode in a news release. “For the past two and a half years we have been optimistically looking forward to a genuine improvement in the business climate. Unfortunately the turnaround of this languishing economy still looks too far off and the prudent choice for us is to close.”

Bode said they plan to open another café, bar, and restaurant at the existing location when the economy improves and Menomonee Falls continues to develop. When they time comes, they’re optimistic it will be a success.

“The owners of Angelo’s Café Vino wish to sincerely thank the people of Menomonee Falls and the surrounding communities who patronized our bar and restaurant,” Bode said.  “We further wish to thank the dedicated staff for their efforts to build the business.”

Angelo Petropoulos, who managed Café Vino, emphasized the importance of unique menu items and great music at the business. He said Café Vino was meant to be a place to escape the ordinary, and gather with friends.  

Dr. Judith Zane July 31, 2012 at 07:46 PM
It is pretty sad that we are judging a young man with the ambition, drive and courage to try to start up a restaurant from the ground up in this economy and in this community. Then you have the nerve to pass judgment on his appearance? You should be ashamed of yourself! Have you ever sat down and spoke to him? Do you know his story? Do you know the reason behind his haircut? btw the I think its fits him well. Bottom line, he took care of his customers! He took great care of his customers! I seriously doubt that he refused to host your party, perhaps that date was already booked with another party and judging by your attitude you probably thought your function was more important than anyone else's. Cafe Vino was the classiest place that MF had and has had in many many years. You were proud to bring clients, family and friends there because you knew that it would be consistantly great, both the service and food. Tell me how many owners greet almost ever customer that enters his place? Angelo conducted himself with class! I constantly hear rumblings that MF needs this and MF needs that. I heard a week ago at a meeting in Village Hall, that MF needs a Gourmet Cheese Shop and a Upscale Wine Store.... People? You had that with Cafe Vino and you didn't support it. Let's face it, we lost the classiest place we had and all you want to do is judge the person who brought it to us because of the way he chose to wear his hair.. Pretty Pathetic! What have you done for MF?
Dr. Judith Zane July 31, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Is it?
Carl Engelking July 31, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I would like to add that Cafe Vino is just one of three businesses that Bode's redevelopment brought to downtown. There's also a successful salon, Pink Lemonade, and a women's workout facility, Curves, there. Additionally, there are roughly 15-18 nice apartments that are all full.
Joe Knows July 31, 2012 at 08:30 PM
This is why people need to support the local businesses. Angelo's, O'Brady's, Sal's etc. they're all nice places to visit and offer something different. They're all local people that are human and trying to do the best they can. When ever I visit Chili's, Applebees etc. I wait 30-40 min for my food that looks and tastes like it came in frozen and decorated to look nice. The downtown places actually take pride in serving good food and giving great non corporate service from usually local people. However, every night I drive home the corporate crap is always packed!!! Start supporting the local businesses and the people TRYING to rebuild it and watch the downtown area really take off!! You wanna see your tax dollars work then stop complaining about it and support these places. Sorry to see you leave Angelo's and sorry for the arrogant people that post on here.
W . Benz July 31, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Carl don't you rent a appt from Bode ? Also Bode owns and has been given grants and loans on his other delvelopments ? . Bode the landloard also was the majority owner of Vino's and Angelo was the minor owner , to set the record straight. I am all for Bode to develop any properties he wants with HIS money . Don't blame us the taxpayers and Village residents for business failure , you people always looking to blame someone next you'll blame Geo Bush and the economy. Yes your right" Pretty Pathetic" and I always paid my own way not looking for a hand out . So your all for the Village spending Money for Corp businesses , I think they call that Corporate Welfare . Suggestion : Why don't you and your friends invest in Cafe Vino I sure Bode would listen to your business proposal.
Barb V July 31, 2012 at 11:06 PM
So Firefly, what's the answer to getting business established again in the downtown? You b**** a lot and spew lots of rhetoric but how about some realistic ANSWERS to the lack of viable businesses in downtown Menomonee Falls? It wasn't better for me since Clinton was in office.
Barb V July 31, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Another classy place is 3 Cusines...lets NOT lose them too! SHOP THE FALLS FIRST was a slogan that the Chamber used 15-20 years ago...it needs to be resurrected so we don't lose the businesses we DO have.
Barb V July 31, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Joe- there is no way to say it any better: "Start supporting the local businesses and the people TRYING to rebuild it (such as the Village Centre Business Improvement District a.k.a BID) and watch the downtown area really take off!! You wanna see your tax dollars work then stop complaining about it and support these places". I have a non restaurant business in the Village Centre and I get more business from people in Brookfield, Franklin and Oak Creek than I do from Menomonee Falls. People don't know what they have right in their own back yard until it's gone and then it's too late. Wish I knew Cafe Vino was in trouble- I would have made a point of going there more often. Best martinis EVER.
James Gottemoller August 01, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Throwing stones accomplishes nothing. Business dont start unless someone steps up and takes a chance. Better than 50% of the self employed businesses fail in the 1st- 2 yrs. I give him credit for trying. Do you really want a chain business or a big box store down town? The downtown can be special if it is built with a local flavor. We must support it if it is going to have a chance.
W . Benz August 01, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Throwing money has accomplishes what ? Big box downtown or chain businesses ! You bet their called anchor's and other busnesses draw off of them . Would love to see Bass Pro shop or Olive garden or 5 guys. or a number of other venues using their skills and money to the benefit of everyone. Joe you should know Chillies in Germantown and Applebees puts on some of the finest meals in town. The local people as some called them also work there and make a nice living from this Big box restaurant .
Sussex Gal August 01, 2012 at 03:32 PM
@ firefly Don't complain that your "taxpayer money is going to waste because BODE isn't making good business decisions, GO SUPPORT the small town businesses with GREAT FOOD rather than at the BIG BOX chains that is mediochre at best. If Chilis is the finest meal you've eaten you haven't been in the downtown restaurants. Bode didn't make bad business decisions it's the people of the community choosing to the average chains over the unique places like Angelo's "Escape the Ordinary" was his tagline for a reason you never did that it seems. Venture out a bit
W . Benz August 01, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Thanks Sussex : Mr Bode make a business decision he closed Angelos . So your all against Big Box restaurants ! never been there Sussex Gal ? and were do you eat in Sussex and just how do you know Mr .Bode. Thats right " People of the community chossing " So now people like you are ripping were they eat , what they eat , and whats good for the People of the community sounds like social engineering for the left doesn't it. So all the good people who work in these BIG BOX restaurants shouldn't be supported because the food is inferior [ mediocre ] I'am sure they would take issue with you. BTW. I said I ate @ Applebees ....shame on me spending my money were I Choose to . Any taxes owned or other monies due on Vino's ? after the closing ....Just asking
W . Benz August 01, 2012 at 08:19 PM
MF Girl : These businesses and Landowners have been granted free money with no pay back . The businesses that fail had aggrements with the Village but then the Village never collects collateral /money due. In the case of Harbor's he and his wife owned employees wages and tax warrants . As for the Radission Hotel they took snowmobiles and Vaccation homes as collateral. The Airport Wyndham 510 rm and Ball rm was sold @ sheriff's auction for 5 Million , so what do you think the 135 rm Radission is worth ? Also taxes were due Today of @ 24 k to Waukesha co. from the Radission.
Carl Engelking August 01, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I didn't want to jump in here, but I feel like I need to. Angelo was one of the first business owners I met when I became the editor of Menomonee Falls Patch, and from day one he was always accommodating, friendly, and always conducted the business with class. Given that I don't have an office, Angelo and his staff always let me spend countless hours working on the laptop from the dining hall. He also stepped up in a big way to help us organize Patchapalooza. And on the day of that event, an elderly woman fell on the curb trying to cross Main Street while pushing her husband in a wheelchair. The first person to run to her aid was Angelo, and he helped the couple cross the street and get to Mill Pond Park. Forgive my failure to be objective, but it was hard to see Angelo's shut down, and Falls certainly lost a great person as a result of the closing. I hope for the best for Angelo, the staff, and that now vacant business on Main Street.
Susan Corkum August 02, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Come to the Village Centre, see what is down here. I opened an art gallery 4 years ago and included a First Edition and Collectible Book shop in the business. (BTW it is the last bookshop in the Falls) The 60+ artists I represent here are professional and the quality of their work is outstanding. There is also a chef owned Cheesecake Store, 3 other art galleries, 6 other restaurants within walking distance, wonderful salons, yoga, flowers shop, quilting, music, nutrition and so much more. Use the businesses that are here, find the pleasure at getting to know the owner instead of heading to the mall. Menomonee Falls is a wonderful community use it and at the same time save the gas and parking fees. Help KEEP and attract more great businesses. Actually you can make suggestions as to what you are looking for, maybe that business would be interested in joining the community. Hopefully we won't be having this conversation about the loss of a asset to the community again.
Tdamico August 02, 2012 at 11:54 PM
It's funny Firefly that you somehow feel yourself qualified to question anothers objectivity when it's painfully obvious that your biases and social conditionings completely leave you incapable of it. It's fine that you question the fiscal judgement and responsibility of your Village. That's your right as a concerned citizen. But you lose any and all credibility when you feel it necessary to start bringing in petty personal judgements regarding non-issues like mohawks and tennis shoes. Let there be no question as to whether or not you "may have been premature" in your assesment of Angelo. You were.
Pj August 04, 2012 at 06:13 PM
The food at O'Brady's is ok for the most part, its also pretty loud not my type of dining.
Vickie Dederich August 05, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I feel we need to have less expensive businesses in the village center. We frequent Rincon, Griddlers, AJ Obradys , Ninos but Cafe Vino was just to expensive. Unique yes, maybe for an occasional date night but occasional date nights just don't keep businesses running. I would like to see a deli in the village centre like there used to be. Good sandwiches and reasonable.
jerry mislang August 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Two establishments almost right across the street from each other: one closes and the other is booming. The consumer has spoken as they always do.
jerry mislang August 05, 2012 at 02:51 PM
That tip on O'brady's is news to me and my wife. We're both in our 60's, go there frequently and I don't think we get "trashed"....
jerry mislang August 05, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I have a very small business. My suppliers are always telling me when they have a new product that "your customers will love this". My standard response is that "my customers, not you, will tell if they love it IF they buy it". It appeare that enough folks did'n't "love" Cafe Vino or they would still be open. I feel bad for them but it's a consumer choice and apparently they choose to spend their discretionary income is going someplace else.
Let's Roll August 05, 2012 at 07:27 PM
This is really a shame. It was a cool place and a good place to hear live music. It is tough to start a business in any economic environment.It was pricey for the Falls and the service was inconsistent. Still this makes it harder for someone to select MF as a place to start a business. The more that fall, the fewer will start.
Jackie Tews August 05, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Wow, lots of good comments on both sides of this issue. I too am a business owner that will be open for 3 years on Nov6 and I can attest to "it is not easy to get going". Luckily I have a husband who supports me as I could not make a decent salary off of my store. I love my store and keeping praying it will succeed but there are so many obstacles in the way. With so many vacancies landlords can't keep up their properties. Falls Plaza I is no different then the rest of the strip malls in that it is probably atleast 50% empty. Strip malls that are set back from the street need street visibility of what is in there. We need a sign to list our stores on but the village refuses to allow us a second sign as we probably won't all fit on the Sentry (soon to be Piggly Wiggly) sign. Our landlord can't afford to fix the current sign either. As a small store, The AVON Shop I am paying big rent for a little guy - I figured try and afford the big rent and I should be able to reap the rewaqrds of a busy Strip Mall - well then Banner Crafts left the same month I opened. We have no junior anchor, no street sign how are we to survive. The other big issue many other have stated SHOP LOCAL. It's so easy to go to Walmart or Target (just like the big box restaurants) because they sell in such quantity they can discout below what small businesses can. If you don't want to be stuck with big box chains, you need to SHOP AND EAT LOCAL.
James Gottemoller August 05, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Now that we have had much debate, how can we move this forward into a constructive plan. Support the businesses that are there, attract new business for the open spaces and missing services we could use there. The stain glass window store and the art studio are nice places. The Cheesecake store is great. What about an Ice cream and soda shop downtown? What about additional events to call attention to the area. Chillifest was nice, halloween nite was good, can we find away to draw people in during a summer night. How about a summer night walk? Maybe the businesses could have a business afterhours in the shelter? Networking events to make that next business connection. What is done is done, we have enough creativity and concern for our community, how can we help our town center grow and be the place to be?
Dawn Mariscal August 06, 2012 at 04:05 PM
First of all I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to share their comments regarding this story. As a downtown business owner and member of the Village Centre Business Improvement District for the past four years it is always sad when we lose a business downtown. Nobody likes failure, however when one door closes it may open another for something even better. The Village Centre BID assists our current and new businesses by giving us opportunities to be involved in our downtown events and promoting our business through use of sandwich boards and other advertising opportunities. It is up to us as business owners to make use of these opportunities and get involved and if we choose not to then it’s our own fault. I am proud to have my business in the BID and love being involved with the many great things we have going on to make the downtown a better place for everyone. If you have no idea about what is going on and the changes happening I encourage you to sign up for the Village Centre electronic newsletter at www.menomoneefallsdowntown.com or be sure to “LIKE” us on Facebook at Menomonee Falls Village Centre. (more continued below)
Dawn Mariscal August 06, 2012 at 04:06 PM
(continued from above) One of our new events that started a few weeks ago is Thursday Tappy Hour which runs every Thursday from 4 pm to 7 pm. Our eating establishments offer specials on appetizers and beverages. Our art galleries are open for you to browse and great desserts are available at The Cheesecake Store. In addition to our art galleries being open, several retail and fitness businesses have signed up to be open until at least 7 pm on Thursdays Don’t forget to visit our Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Sundays. At the Farmers Market be sure to pick up one of our Wednesday Market Appreciation Coupon cards. This coupon card has many special offers from our downtown businesses for you to take advantage of. How about coming out for our “Concerts in the Park” which run every other Thursday evening and every other Friday at noon? Great FREE entertainment!!
Dawn Mariscal August 06, 2012 at 04:08 PM
(just a bit more to share from above posts) Change does not happen over night and can take some time, however many building owners have done a great job in the past year making external improvements to update the look of their buildings. If you haven’t actually taken time to visit and walk the downtown area I encourage you to do so. Just driving through won’t give you the full appreciation of all the work that has been done. Be sure to visit Mill Pond Park where for the first time we have our public art piece “Jessie” the Heron which was graciously donated by Susan Corkum and her husband, Tim of Purloin Studio. The BID is also pushing forward with an important branding change for 2013 and public opinion is highly encouraged. If you feel strongly about the name of our downtown area we want to hear from you. Your opinion can be share with the Village Centre Manager, Barb Watters by email at vcmenfalls@wi.rr.com or by calling the office at (262)251-8797. Please share your thoughts and ideas as to what you would like to see. SHOP LOCAL SHOP OFTEN! We want to see you!!
James Gottemoller August 07, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Dawn, thank you for bring to our attention some of the activities that are taking place in the downtown. We do try and attend the concert in the park. I will look to have us attend Tappy Hour. I like to support our local activities. The Cheesecake store I am connected to his facebook page and when we have one of those GREAT cakes, I make a comment on his page and share it with my friends. We are due for a visit to the art gallery. Thank you again for getting the word out on activities.
James Gottemoller August 07, 2012 at 11:29 AM
I have witness my hometown going from a hustle and bustle little place with many shops back in the 60's and early 70's to just about a dust bowl today. It is important to support your local businesses. Menomonee Falls has an excellent base. One that can attract new businesses. Use it, grow it, it will prosper. Be proud of what we have and how we can make it better.
JH November 02, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Hey guys... for the record, we at JH only had a $25k loan. The issue that should be looked into is the fact that the building was never and has never been approved for tenants. There is no state approved plan, HVAC issues, etc that make running a business there rather difficult. Yet, the Village has approved 3 businesses (coffee houses) in that one section, a book store, and a couple other businesses all without the building being inspected or approved. Well, that's at least where it was when we closed. Sorry for adding to the debt.


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