West Allis business gets a taste for more than cheese

Becher Street shop now has deli and café

Linda Lutz, co-owner of West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe, sits inside the business’s new café, which serves coffees, teas and deli foods at 6832 W. Becher St.

Linda Lutz, co-owner of West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe, sits inside the business’s new café, which serves coffees, teas and deli foods at 6832 W. Becher St. Photo By C.T. Kruger

Nov. 19, 2013

West Allis — A grand opening was to be held this week for the new café and deli inside the West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe, 6832 W. Becher St.

There are plenty of places to get a sub, so the café specializes in grilled sandwiches and a coffee bar that offers everything from lattes to frappes, said Mark Lutz, who owns the business with his wife, Linda.

Just like Starbucks, the café is completely equipped with outlets for patrons to plug in their laptops.

"A lady was working away for two hours the other day," Lutz said.

The café idea came to him as he looked around and saw a lot of young families moving into the area. He felt that they should have a fun place to go nearby, Lutz said.

"Not everything has to be in Bay View or Tosa," he said.

Lutz grew up in West Allis and has owned West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe since 2002. He expanded it, adding a kitchen that is now helping people start the day with full sit-down breakfasts and quick breakfast sandwiches and bakery.

For lunch and dinner, the café offer specialty sandwiches such as meatloaf and Italian beef.

Unique offerings include a grilled cheese with sloppy joe on white bread for $6.99, grilled pastrami with Swiss cheese and brown mustard on rye for $7.99, and grilled roast beef with caramelized onion, garlic mayo, blue cheese on white bread for $7.99. All are served with potato chips made at the café.

Patrons can order plain french fries, or they can go a step or two further. They can opt for french fries topped with a sliced brat, caramelized onions and cheese sauce for $5.99 or poutine (french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy) for $4.75.

Soups are made from scratch.

In all its offerings, the Lutzes try to buy from local vendors, Lutz said. For example, all the bread is from Breadsmith, he said.

The coffee bar offers Stone Creek products — lattes, mochas, iced coffee, frappes, and special seasonal drinks.

"People like their coffee," Lutz said.

But for tea-drinkers, the café has several flavors of Rishi tea.

The Lutzes know their way around cafés. For three years, they have operated a similar café off Oakland Avenue near the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. For eight years, they have run a deli and sold cheese and sandwiches at the Milwaukee Public Market in Milwaukee's Third Ward.

The West Allis café opens daily at 7 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. weekdays, at 4 p.m. Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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