Dave Sobelman, owner of Sobelman’s Pub & Grill, hopes Milwaukee will be known as the burger and Bloody Mary epicenter of the world.
Now he has a benchmark to propel the idea home.
Sobelman commissioned Kent Knapp, a local blacksmith, to create a 6-foot-tall Bloody Mary sculpture that was installed Monday at his bar / restaurant at 1900 W. St. Paul Ave.
Sobelman is running a competition to see who can come up with the best name for the sculpture that he hopes will become a selfie attraction like the downtown Fonz Bronze Statue.
“It will ultimately be the kind of thing, I think, where anyone who visits the city might want to go and take a picture,” said Sobelman, who operatesthree other restaurants in the neighborhood bearing his name.
The drink represented in the sculpture is minimalist compared to the service of Bloody Marys Sobelman.
“My Bloody Marys comes with much, much more than what you see on this sculpture,” said Sobelman, whose photogenic cocktails are bursting with elaborate toppings and are meals in themselves.
“When I opened my doors 22 years ago, I wanted to make a name for myself,” Sobelman said. “So after I started getting the attention of my burgers, I switched to Bloody Marys. I’ve never been a Bloody Mary drinker myself, but have noticed that the average Bloody Mary in town isn’t was not very impressive. “
Sobelman started by adding a giant shrimp to his Bloody Mary – which eventually grew into a full-sized shrimp as the drink acquired more toppings.
“And when you start to think about what to use, it’s like it just doesn’t stop,” Sobelman said. “You think, ‘what else what else what else?'”
Sobelman’s Bloody Mary can include mushrooms, sausage, Wisconsin colby cheese, Brussels sprouts, celery hearts and, of course, a mini burger.
Sobelman said he could hire Knapp to do a bit more trim work.
“[Maybe] I’m going to ask him to make another one and add it to the sculpture. “