MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- When they first opened their grilled cheese truck in 2011, the Gouda Girls were excited and hopeful. Now that they're debuting their new restaurant, it's a different feeling.
"Overwhelming, Yes, overwhelming. Our space on our truck was this big, and our restaurant is this big," Owner Tina Tonn said. "My legs are feeling it, and it's wonderful! It's beautiful, of course, historical downtown Milwaukee, who would not want to be part of this? "
Located in the Pabst building in downtown Milwaukee, the grill is in a perfect place for hungry Milwaukeeans.
"We have built our office worker clientele in this area, and so they're coming in strong, but we have the students," Owner Katherine Tonn said. "What a joy to come back to having students in our life! That's been away from that for a while, but kind of the mom comes out; that's my joy! And to have these kids now come in and remind them to take a napkin, don't wipe on your pants!"
They sold their old commercial kitchen and will now use the new location to prep food for their food truck as well as serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And while happy to be in a new location, the Tonn's say it will be difficult to leave the old neighborhood behind. They've been dubbed the "Milwaukee Moms" because of their willingness to allow novice chefs and bakers to use their old commercial kitchen space.
"We gave them a discounted rate, we'd help mentor and do things, and now that's going to be gone. So that part is a little bit sad because I've always loved to teach or loved to help, and we love to pay it forward, so we're just going to have to do it in a different way."