Panera. Denny's. Arepanitas. These are some of the names of restaurants that either opened or closed this year in Waukesha.
Looking back, news about local eateries coming and going dominated the Waukesha Now business headlines in 2016.
We've made a list to remind you of all the top restaurant and other business news we reported this year.
1. Sobelman's coming to Waukesha
Waukesha residents rejoiced in September at the news that a Sobelman's franchise location would be opening in the city by year's end.
The bar and restaurant, well-known for its burgers and Bloody Mary cocktails, will be operated by Jimmy and Alison Dakolias, who own Bosco's Social Club downtown and the Spurs Saloon — the future site of Sobelman's.
In December, the bar had a couple of soft openings and was expected to open to the public around New Year's Eve.
2. Sendik's to open Waukesha
Sendik's announced in August that it will open a a new store on the city's northwest side at the Meadowbrook Shopping Center, 701 Meadowbrook Road, inside the former Sentry Foods.
The roughly 49,000 square-foot store, which will be one of five new Sendik's locations in the greater Milwaukee area, is projected to open this coming spring.
3. Panera rolls out new Waukesha location
After months of speculation, a Panera Bread opened in December in Waukesha at the Shoppes at Fox River.
Before the restaurant opened, the nearest Panera to Waukesha was in either Pewaukee, to the west, or New Berlin to the east. The cafe is part of the steadily-growing Shoppes development, which has revitalized the south side of the city and become a location retail destination.
4. Small-format Walmart shutters in Waukesha
In January, the town of Waukesha found itself in a familiar predicament: finding a tenant for a relatively new supermarket building along a key highway.
That was shortly after Walmart announced the 42,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market, on Highway 164 between Coral Drive and Arcadian Avenue, would close.
The medium-format store, which is considerably smaller than the Walmart supercenter store on West Avenue on the city's south side, was built in 2013 on the site of the original Waukesha Walmart off Coral Drive. The former Jewel-Osco/Sentry building just south of the Neighborhood Market has been vacant for eight years despite the fact that the building is only 13 years old with only about five years of use.
5. New Latin American eatery, Arepanitas, opens near downtown
If locals we're searching for more international flavors to incorporate in their dining options, Latin-Amerincan fusion restaurant Arepanitas is likely right up their alley.
The restaurant, 136 E. St. Paul Ave., opened in July in the former Cafe de Arts building just north of downtown Waukesha. Cafe De Arts moved about a half-mile west of the old location to 830 W. St. Paul Ave., late last year.
6. Waukesha's Casa Olé closes, could reopen soon
Area Mexican food lovers took a blow in early December when Casa Olé confirmed it would be closing down before the end of the year.
The restaurant's last day of business was Dec. 18. But that closing should only be temporary, staff said, because the restaurant's owners hope to relocate somewhere in the city in the next five or six months.
7. One of two Waukesha Denny's closed abruptly
Perhaps the most surprising restaurant closure — aside from the Gasthaus, of course — was the Denny's in the Fox Run Shopping Center, 2300 W. St. Paul Ave, which shuttered without warning essentially overnight.
Denny's did not provide a reason for the closure, but the restaurant's other location in the city, 2801 N. Grandview Blvd., remains open.
8. More manufacturing jobs leave Waukesha area
An unfortunate trend continued this year in Waukesha as a substantial number of manufacturing jobs in or near the city were eliminated.
Husco International, a local manufacturer of hydraulic controls for off-highway equipment used in a variety of industries, announced in July that it would eliminate 100 jobs and scale back production at its Waukesha headquarters, 2239 Pewaukee Road
In November, Terex Corporation, which manufactures lifting and processing products, announced its plans to shutter a portion of its Waukesha-area utilities facility, N4 W22610 Bluemound Road, wiping out 92 jobs.
Last year, General Electric announced it would cease engine production at its Waukesha power and water facility, 1101 W. St. Paul Ave., and eliminated 350 jobs.