About

The Restaurant
Beer steins in the dining room at Karl Ratzsch restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki/PLATE

Opened in 1904 as Hermann’s Cafe, Karl Ratzsch’s strong connection to local German heritage, friendly atmosphere and convenient location in Downtown Milwaukee has made this restaurant a beloved destination for the past 100 years. Though newly renovated and remodeled, this institution has returned to what’s made it a long-time favorite.

The Chef/Owner
Thomas Hauck, chef/owner of Karl Ratzsch restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki/PLATE

A native of Milwaukee, Chef/Owner Thomas Hauck graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and honed his skills in France. Upon returning to the states, Thomas worked as a line cook with Chef Michel Richard at his flag ship restaurant Citronelle in Washington D.C. Within nine months, Thomas was promoted to Banquet Chef. Within the year, Thomas achieved the title of Executive Sous‐Chef. For the next two and half years, Thomas worked side by with one of the most acclaimed chefs in America, Michel Richard. Thomas moved back to Milwaukee in 2011 and opened c.1880. Since then he has received awards from Food and Wine, Wine Spectator, Best Chefs in American and was a semi-finalist for the Midwest James Beard Award in 2016.  In 2016, Thomas became the new steward and owner of Karl Ratzsch. With Ratzsch, Thomas is determined to maintain the German tradition and serve this restaurant to the next generation. Prost!