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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Judge's Beyond The Reef , Brookfield, WI (restaurant)

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Judge's Beyond The Reef , Brookfield, WI (restaurant)
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 19, 2007
Posts: 40
From: Pewaukee WI.
Posted: 2011-09-07 4:17 pm   Permalink

Thanks for posting the menu Pa'akiki - it's a great addition to this thread, and the first full menu I've seen so far. I wish whoever posted the original cover on the Arkiva Tropika site would have scanned & posted the contents as well. I also have one of the cocktail napkins, and I think those and both our menus are post Judge's era, with yours being somewhat later as the prices have almost doubled, plus a change in the cocktail lineup- no "Sneaky Tiki", but the addition the Piña Colada, possibly the influence of Rupert Holme's "Escape" song from the late 70's/early'80's.

I've noticed(took me long enough) that the long Matchbook, the Arkiva Tropika menu cover[same tapa design as the matchbook], the mug, and the ashtray are all labeled Judge's "Beyond the Reef", everything else is just "Beyond the Reef". The small article from the October 9, 1964 edition of the Milwaukee Sentinel was the last to name the restaurant Judge's "Beyond the Reef", the following ad from the January 21st 1966 edition of the Milwaukee Journal has it listed as just "Beyond the Reef".

Robert and Peggy Judge were the original owners of the "Beyond the Reef" restaurant at 16590 West North Avenue, Brookfield, WI., as well as one in Kihei Beach, Maui, Hawai(circa 1958-196???)
As stated in the 1958 Milwaukee Sentinel article, The log cabin look of the building was do to its "old country dance hall" origins. The A-frame entrance w/palms was the dash Polynesia they felt its makeover needed. From the sound of the article it opened up in 1958, although it was in the planning since their 1954 Hawaiian vacation. Nothing much on their Maui venture has turned up yet, however the back of the postcard hand dated 1963 does mention the mural in connection to their Hawaiian restaurant & their Maui matchbook their Brookfield operation, so it can be assumed both existed together for at least part of those years.

The second owner/operator of the "Beyond the Reef" was Frank E.Schuster and his wife Norma who took over sometime in the mid-late sixties until selling to another restaurant chain in the later eighties.
Frank Schuster died on Jan. 2, 1999

From the 1980 Milwaukee Journal article below, the singer says he's been singing at the restaurant since around 1966. Which is probably around the time the Schusters took it over.


Musician strolls
to a different beat

Excerpts from a Milwaukee Journal article from May 2, 1980

By Oble Yadgar
Special to The Journal

In popular entertainment. the strolling musician Is not only an endangered species but also nearly an acoustic dinosaur, rapidly becoming fossilized by today's electronic music.
He has an appealing voice and, often armed with a guitar and a headful of tunes, has the knack of charming a big circle of listeners.
He will sing your favorite song just for the asking, but if you want to be left alone. he will graciously drift to the next table and sing for someone else. It's pan of the routine. No hard feelings.
That's what serenading is all about, and that's what Dick Hardin does best.

Song-filled life

Hardin has poured out tune after tune in one place or another for most or his me, and If you ask him about it. he'll say, "I have wanted to do nothing else but play the guitar and sing.'
While bands of other musicians have drifted in and out of local clubs,the Beyond the Reef restaurant has been Hardin's strolling ground for the past 14 years.
Hardin, a husky gent with a warm way and easy manner, entertains at the restaurant, 17160 North Ave., Friday and Saturday nights from 8 to midnight. He charms the American-Continental and Polynesian menu with a causal fare of popular. country and Hawaiian tunes, as well as some ethnic numbers and a few selections of the blues.
"Lara's Theme," "Blue Hawaii." and "Your cheatin' Heart" barely brush the surface ot a long list or songs Hardin serves throughout the evening. Requests fill another tall order.


That is not to say the baritone doesn't get help some nights. Occasionally Beyond the Reef owner Frank Schuster clears his pipes for a duet with Hardin. They sing nostalgic rounds of Mills Brothers' tunes. Hardin's wife, Delores, is another partner for occasional duets.

The more the merrier

Schuster's wife, Norma, occasionally breaks out In a few solos, too. With Hardin's capable guitar backing. she builds a romantic mood from standard favorites such as "You Made Me Love You." "It Had to Be You." and "After the Lovin'."
The combinations work well enough to please both the young and the Old. He works for that. Hardin said.
"It gives me a kick that I can entertain young people. I know that I can entertain those from the World War II era. It's the young people that give me a real charge."
Nightly. a few of the tunes are bound to get extra play. But even so, Hardin believes in giving them a fresh coat each time.
"I'm not a clock-watcher filling time," he explained. "If I have to do 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' 10 times, I'd like to do the 10th one as well as the first one.

The next article puts the creation of the "Sneaky Tiki" cocktail around March of 1967. It doesn't say Judge's, but so far the posted Judge's mug is the only mug directly associated with the restaurant. This does conflict with my idea that the ownership changed based on the January 21st 1966 ad above. The Judges must have initiated dropping their name from the title - maybe to make the restaurant more sell-able.

Here's an article from March 18th, 1973 Milwaukee Journal.

....and one from the April 19, 1974 Milwaukee Sentinel

This also brings up why it's kind of hard to find out info on both the "Leilani" and "Beyond the Reef". The Milwaukee Journal & Milwaukee Sentinel were both owned by the same company, the Journal an evening paper and more hard news/in depth orientated, and the Sentinel morning lighter/quick scan fare. Small business news, press releases, etc., were carried in gossip/human interest/dining out sections sporadically because Brookfield was a suburb of Milwaukee and not part of the metro culture. Even though there were positive mentions early on, I have to think there was some element of either editorial snobbery or some outside influences dismissing the Polynesian craze that kept writers in check.....i suppose that's true all over.

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