A.J. O’Brady’s Expanding, Filling Café Vino Vacancy

Falls' first Irish pub is on the verge of expanding rapidly - both locally and in Waukesha.

Just over a year ago A.J. O’Brady’s owner Bruce Russell opened Menomonee Falls’ first Irish pub downtown. Now, A.J.’s is on the verge of major expansion throughout Waukesha County.

A.J.’s is starting locally, and has signed a lease to occupy the former Angelo’s Café Vino building. Café Vino left a prominent vacancy downtown after the business closed its doors in June. The new expansion will be dubbed, A.J.’s Live, and will open Nov. 1.

Russell said they plan to use the new space for overflow crowds during Tuesday burger nights, and Friday fish fries. They also plan to convert the café portion of the building into a 60-person banquet hall. Russell said he has big plans for the space, but he’s keeping those close to the chest at this point.

However, Russell is investing thousands to install acoustic paneling in the bar – so live music figures to play a prominent role in the new venture. Russell said the primary reason for the expansion is to book more parties.

“Every week we have to turn down people who want to book parties here, but we don’t have the space here,” Russell said. “We also have an hour wait sometimes on busy nights, and the new space will alleviate that.”

Russell said they plan operate A.J.’s Live from 4-11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 4p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Russell said a scaled-down menu will be offered at A.J.’s Live.

“We really like the space and the way it’s set up,” Russell said. “We really enjoy that we won’t have to turn down business anymore due to space.”

Russell said he would announce more specifics about A.J.’s Live as the opening date approaches. He’s still working to solidify their plans for the new space.

That’s Not All

Menomonee Falls is just one portion of a significant expansion plan for A.J.’s.

Russell currently leases the current location across from Mill Pond Park. However, they are just weeks away from signing papers and owning the building. Within the next year, Russell plans to renovate the upper level of A.J. O’Brady’s and add banquet spaces and outdoor dining on the rooftop.

Additionally, if you like the service, prices, and food at A.J.’s in Menomonee Falls, you’ll also have a chance to try it out in Waukesha. Russell said they plan to open a 7,000-square-foot A.J. O’Brady’s II on Main Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Waukesha.

“I never got into this to just open and operate one location,” Russell said. “We want to build a little empire.”

Russell hopes to open A.J.’s II in February. He has hopes that he can capture a market of local customers that would traditionally travel to Milwaukee for a night out. He hopes to keep people closer to home.

“We’ve had a lot of success here in Menomonee Falls, and people appreciate our prices and quality,” Russell said.

Russell plans to hire some 115 more employees to staff the expansion in Menomonee Falls, and A.J.’s II in Waukesha.

Adam W. McCoy (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Steve ® September 26, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Good job Bruce
jerry mislang September 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM
He runs a good business at AJ's and i would would bet Live turns out the same way. However, please don't move your great bar manager Becca, keep her right where she is, she does an outstanding job!
nicole bishop September 26, 2012 at 01:09 PM
We wish all the locations success, as the first AJ'S has always been run with great staff, great food, and outstanding efforts to keep patrons involved in events, parties, and fun!Best of luck Bruce and congrats on your new adventures! Nicki & Tom
Crashtap September 26, 2012 at 09:17 PM
This is great news: a successful and growing Falls business. The original building was once owned by my wifes grandfather back in the 30's. There, you could have seen guys like Jerome Brinkman perform with his buddies in impromptu boxing matches, all in good fun. GO AJ's.


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