Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Restaurateurs chose us because they know the ambiance is just as important as the food to the dining experience.
Restaurateur Scott Johnson has been the force behind a half dozen hot spots in Milwaukee over the past 25 years. But his first love was his motorcycle-themed Fuel Café in Riverwest. When it came time to open a second location decades later, he had to find someone he really trusted to recreate, but update the concept.
Scott approached Jake Knox while he was building out a custom office suite adjacent to site for Scott's second Fuel Cafe. He asked Jake to him to help define the architectural woodwork for another new concept he was working on – his third Bel Air Cantina restaurant in Oak Creek. After he saw his capabilities, Scott knew Jake would be the perfect guy for Fuel Café Walker’s Point. For about a year (July 2016-August 2017), Jake worked with Scott and his team to craft all the finished woodwork at Fuel and also, Bel Air Cantina Brookfield and Bel Air Cantina Madison.
Milwaukee’s Fuel Café Walker’s Point is a full-service café, restaurant and bar that finally came to fruition 24 years after the original café in Riverwest. Featuring the best local products, from-scratch cooking and a motorcycle theme, Scott was after a particular aesthetic for the expanded version of his first restaurant concept.
Jake constructed and installed most all of the interior finished woodwork like the wall finishings, banquets/booths, stairs and more. He provided guidance on the design process and ideas on the best materials to use to stay within the budget and achieve Scott’s desired look for the space.
He admits that restaurateurs are specific about the way they want things, and Scott credits Jake for being intuitive, especially when people can’t exactly articulate what they want. Jake presents creative ideas and solutions to help clients bring their ideas to life.
Scott says, “You’ll never get an ‘I can’t do it that' from Jake. He constantly offers creative alternatives and solutions to design problems and can shift on the fly, all with a smile on his face.”
In addition to being accommodating to clients’ needs, Jake is happy to comply with his clients’ ideas without judgment. As a customer, Scott didn’t see a lot of the little details or multiple moving parts of the projects. Every time he visited the job site, he was happy to see the work was getting done and that Jake and his team handled particulars and obstacles while maintaining a great attitude. They always worked alongside the other contractors well and had no problem adjusting their timeline to work around other aspects of the project when construction didn’t always go according to plan.
Plain and simple, “Jake and his guys are always really easy to work with,” says Scott. “They get shit done on time and on budget.”