“Key Westconsin” closes in downtown Waukesha as another round of road construction begins

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WAUKESHA -- Another round of road construction begins in downtown Waukesha on Monday, February 22nd. The owners say that's the big reason the popular restaurant "Key Westconsin" has closed for good.

After five years in downtown Waukesha, the sun is setting for Key Westconsin.

Rita Krivos

Rita Krivos

"Sigh. It was so hard. I cried a lot," Rita Krivos said.

Owners Gary and Rita Krivos made the decision a week ago -- sharing the news to their customers on Facebook.

Key Westconsin closed on February 13th -- the night before Valentine's Day -- breaking more than just the owners' hearts.

"We`ve probably sunk almost a half-million dollars into this over the five years," Gary Krivos said.

FOX6's Bret Lemoine speak with the owners of Key Westconsin

FOX6's Bret Lemoine speak with the owners of Key Westconsin

The Krivos' say grants from the city and a business improvement district initially helped make their Florida-themed eatery a reality. But last March, there were unexpected repairs. The owners started a GoFundMe.com page with a $30,000 goal to save the business.

GoFundMe.com page for Key Westconsin

GoFundMe.com page for Key Westconsin

But still, they say a bigger problem loomed.

The orange glow from a mural at the restaurant wasn't enough to outshine the orange construction barrels outside.

"Unfortunately, you close the intersection next to us and put a barricade at the other end of the street -- and nobody can get to you," Rita Krivos said.

Key Westconsin

Key Westconsin

Other business owners in downtown Waukesha have dealt with the same thing.

"We`ve watched over 50 businesses come and go. That`s excessive in my mind considering how many are down here," Gary Krivos said.

"Having a long-time business leave, it hurts," Alderman Erik Helgestad said.

Downtown Waukesha

Downtown Waukesha

Helgestad says the construction is necessary to update watermains and sewers, but says the business turnover isn't unusual.

"I wouldn`t say it's greater than what we`ve seen at any particular time, that I could say," Helgestad said.

Construction will even prompt a temporary relocation of the farmer's market -- once a big draw for places like Key Westconsin.

"When people can`t readily get to you, there are too many other options out there and they`re going to find them," Rita Krivos said.

Construction begins Monday on West Main Street in Waukesha, near the Five Points.

It is expected to be done in three phases, ending in late July.

Downtown Waukesha

Downtown Waukesha

So far, we're told there has been no interest from any other developer to purchase the location Key Westconsin currently occupies.

Information on W. Main Street construction project in Waukesha:

Construction Phasing, Parking and Access: 

During construction W. Main Street will be closed to through traffic.  Pedestrian access will be maintained on W. Main Street throughout construction by phasing the construction of the sidewalks.  The closure and construction of W. Main Street will be completed in phases as described below:

Phase 1 – February 22 to Late March – W. Main Street between Clinton and the 5-Points will be closed to through traffic to complete the underground utility work.

·         The sidewalk within the project limits will remain open.

·         The 5-Points intersection will only be closed while the contractor is working in the intersection.

·         Temporary parking closures on W. Main Street east of the 5-Points will be necessary to complete sewer lining.

·         Once the underground work is completed, the roadway will be temporarily patched and re-opened.

Phase 2 –Late March to Late April – W. Main Street is closed to through traffic between 5-Points and N. Barstow Street to complete the underground utility work.

·         The sidewalks within the project limits will remain open.

·         W. Main Street between Clinton Street and the 5-Points intersection will remain open.

·         The 5-Points intersection will remain open.

Phase 3 –Late April through End of July 2016 – W. Main Street is closed to through traffic between Clinton Street and N. Barstow Street to finish the underground work and the road reconstruction work.

·         The sidewalks on W. Main Street will remain open and in place until just prior to the removal and replacement.

·         Try to maintain access on W. Broadway through W. Main St as much as possible, but closure will be necessary.

Signs will be placed around the downtown area directing the traveling public to the multiple public parking facilities in the area.

If you have special access needs please call Alex Damien at the City of Waukesha at (262) 524-3907.  The city and the contractor can then plan how to accommodate those needs before construction begins.

Downtown Waukesha

Downtown Waukesha