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Thiensville awarded $250,000 state grant to rebuild restaurant

May 25, 2023
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WEDC investment to help fund restoration of The Cheel restaurant after fire

THIENSVILLE, WI. MAY 25, 2023 – The Village of Thiensville is receiving a $250,000 Community Development Investment (CDI) grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help rebuild a popular local restaurant, The Cheel, which was destroyed in a 2020 fire.

“WEDC is committed to collaborating with communities throughout Wisconsin to invest in revitalizing their main streets and support local businesses,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “This project will not only restore a beloved community institution but support further economic growth and development.”

The Cheel, 105 S. Main St., was a community staple since 2014, serving award winning farm-to-table Nepalese cuisine to residents and travelers alike.

Located at the busiest intersection in Thiensville, The Cheel attracts diners from across the state. The restaurant has been closed since November of 2020, after a fire tore through the historic, 130-year-old Queen Anne building the restaurant called its home. New construction will double the restaurant’s capacity and include an expanded dining room, bar, patio, event space and live music venue.

“Things are lining up, the sun is shining, the team is excited, and I am excited to bring Nepalese food back to the community and continue to give back,” said Barkha Limbu Daily, owner and chef at The Cheel. “We could not do this without WEDC. We are lucky to have an organization that supports small, and woman-owned businesses in this state.”

Daily, who left Nepal in 2003 to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Lakeland College in Sheboygan founded The Cheel after a successful career in international marketing. Daily identified a gap in the market, seeing that there were almost no places in Wisconsin to experience Nepalese cuisine. The restaurant’s focus on authentic Nepalese cuisine using local ingredients has made it a hallmark of the community.

Since its founding, The Cheel has been a catalyst for economic growth in Thiensville, according to village officials. The Cheel and its management team have invested in two other restaurants in the village, created 25 jobs and led the redevelopment of three commercial properties. Additionally, they have been heavily involved in reinventing the village’s seasonal farmers’ market, organizing and promoting the Best Dam Blues Festival, an annual blues event, and inventing Trucks in the Park, a local food truck event. The reconstruction of the Cheel will further enhance Thiensville’s main street, complimenting the existing small businesses and bring a renewed vibrancy to the community.

“The Cheel’s previous building was a historic building with its own personality, and we’re hoping this reconstruction will bring that personality back,” said Colleen Landisch-Hansen, Thiensville village administrator. “We’re happy to see the Cheel rise from the ashes.”

WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.

From the program’s inception in 2013 through March 2022, WEDC has awarded nearly $34.8 million in CDI Grants to 166 communities for projects expected to generate more than $517 million in capital investments statewide.

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