In addition to being two of the more recognizable public figures in Wisconsin and the reigning Most Valuable Players of their respective leagues, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun are close friends.
Now, they’re business partners.
The Milwaukee-based SURG Restaurant Group announced today that Rodgers and Braun will team up on a new restaurant called 8*twelve. The restaurant, located at 17800 W. Bluemound Rd. in Brookfield, will offer family cuisine as well as steaks and seafood with much of Executive Chef Aaron Patin’s preparation taking place on a wood fire grill, a center point of the kitchen.
Fans of both players will see memorabilia in the bar area, which will feature numerous big-screen televisions. The grand opening is slated for June.
"Wisconsin has the greatest fans in the country," Rodgers said in a release issued by the SURG group. "This is an excellent opportunity for me to work with Ryan on a project that will create something for fans of the Packers, Brewers and sports in general, to take part in and enjoy."
The new restaurant -- located in a spot that formerly housed Charro -- represents the second SURG partnership for Braun, who also is involved with Ryan Braun’s Graffito, a popular spot in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.
"Aaron and I are not only great friends, but we both have whole-heartedly made long-term commitments to the sports fans of Wisconsin," said Braun. "We wanted to give them a home base to celebrate their favorite teams and enjoy some great food and service."
Omar Shaikh, co-owner of SURG, said the players both had input on the concept of 8*twelve and will make scheduled and unscheduled appearances throughout the year.
"Ryan's involvement with Graffito has been such a positive experience for both sides, so when another opportunity presented itself in Brookfield, we all agreed to move forward," said SURG co-owner Omar Shaikh.
"Aaron had expressed interest in the business after visiting Graffito a few times and with his friendship with Ryan, 8*twelve just fell into place. This will be great for the Brookfield area"
Mike Polaski, CEO and co-owner of SURG, said plans for additional locations are being considered. In addition to Ryan Braun’s Graffito and 8*twelve, SURG also operates Carnevor, Distil, Graffito South, Umami Moto and Mikey’s.