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Historic Turner Hall Restaurant reopens under new ownership

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MILWAUKEE -- The historic Turner Hall Restaurant is a Milwaukee landmark that has now reopened under new ownership. 

The BMO Harris Bradley Center now owns the restaurant, which makes sense because of the Center's close proximity to the restaurant.

After two years in the dark, the newly-renovated Turner Hall Restaurant lit up for a soft opening about a week ago -- with no publicity. The restaurant is much brighter than it was, and the floor has a different texture. 

However, some of the treasures of the old restaurant remain, such as the murals.

The restaurant officially reopens on Friday, November 30th, with the return of its famous fish fry.

Executive Chef Thomas Peschong, who is used to fine dining, said he welcomes the more casual atmosphere of Turner Hall, and adding some local flavor to the menu.

"Usinger sausages, been using some spices from the Spice House, the Third Street Burger. Ideally what we'd like to do is kinda promote local stuff -- to do things in the neighborhood and indigenous to the area," Peschong said.

The BMO Harris Bradley Center renovated the restaurant and is leasing it from Milwaukee Turners and the Turner Ballroom Preservation Trust. For a major franchise, it's a good fit. Miller Park has Friday's Front Row, Lambeau Field has Curly's Pub, and now BMO Harris Bradley Center has Turner Hall Restaurant.

"It was just a super opportunity for us to again provide more fan amenities, more options. We are squeezed for space across the street and this was a very economic option for us to again pre-events, for parties, for post -event activities for people to go to," Paul Jansen, VP of Business Development at BMO Harris Bradley Center said.

John Kielich savored some of the food at the Turner Hall Restaurant for lunch on Thursday, November 29th.

"I was disappointed when it closed because it`s been an institution here for so long and so when I saw the news today that said 'we`re open' I said 'we`re going,'" Kielich said.

Turner Hall Restaurant will be open from 11:00 a.m. until close Tuesday through Sunday, and the restaurant accepts reservations.