MOUNT PLEASANT — The Dish, the new restaurant at Highway 31 and Spring Street, is designed to have a meal ready in five minutes. But don’t think of The Dish as serving “fast food,” says co-owner Jim Willkomm.
The Dish, a 6,200-square-foot restaurant, opened Wednesday and is a key piece of Jim and Michael Willkomm’s approximately $8 million development at the southeast corner of Highway 31 and Spring Street. The development also includes a Mobil gas station with store, the Rocket Wash car wash and Dunkin’ Donuts, which Jim Willkomm expected to open Thursday.
The Dish is a considerably larger version of the one the Willkomm brothers opened in Oak Creek. Both are independents from a concept the Willkomms devised themselves.
Jim explained the concept derived from a building he bought in an industrial area of Oak Creek. The brothers wanted to open a place where workers could come, be served a good sandwich and eat — all during a 30-minute lunch break.
The brothers still aim to have each customer’s food ready in five minutes. But Willkomm said, “We don’t call it ‘fast food,’” because that implies lower-quality fare.
The new Dish has a spacious design with a unique flourish. A long part of one wall displays a mural of an Italian scene. Willkomm said they had a photo taken on a street in Italy, chose which elements they wanted to keep, rearranged others, and then a Madison company turned their scene into wallpaper.
The Dish has booth and table seating for 156 people in summer and 122 in winter, with one seating area that’s open to the outdoors but can be closed during chilly weather to become a sunroom.
The kitchen is overseen by Kenosha native Val Secor, who also designed the first Dish’s kitchen and compiled its menu. Willkomm said Secor regularly competes in pizza competitions from Milwaukee to Kenosha, saying, “He wins every pizza competition. ... I can’t wait for people to try the pizza.”
“We’ll put our sandwiches and pizzas up against anybody’s,” Willkomm said.
The menu starts with breakfast items available until 1 p.m. every day, such as breakfast wraps, mini-buttermilk pancakes, made-to-order omelets for $8 and Hoppel Poppel with Toast, which is essentially a skillet plate, also for $8.
Other food categories include small plates, salads, hot snack wraps, stone hearth pizzas, paninis and sandwiches, pasta dishes and daily fish fries. The restaurant also has a full liquor license. Willkomm’s favorite menu item is the Chipotle Steak Melt, for $10.
Customers place their order at a counter and are given a buzzer that tells them when their food is ready, so there is no wait staff to tip. The Dish, which employs about 28 people, also has a drive-thru.
The Dish is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. For more information call 262-898-8484.
With the near completion of Dish and Dunkin’ Donuts, it may seem that brothers Michael and Jim Willkomm are finished with the $8 million development they began constructing in September.
But not so. They will also build a 9,300-square-foot retail building on the property, enough to house three or four commercial tenants. Construction will start when they have that space 50 percent leased.
Reporter Cara Spoto contributed to this story.