By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Nov 28, 2023 at 11:02 AM

After a successful run, the time has come for C.C.’s Elbow Room, 2850 N. Brookfield Rd., to bid farewell. The bar, which opened in February of 2022, will observe its last day of service on Sunday, Dec. 10.

It’s been just under two years since the friendly neighborhood gathering place opened its doors in Brookfield Village. The bar was a dream come true for owner Cee Cee Ceman, who took on bar ownership as a second career and put her heart and soul into bringing life back to the building that formerly held Sabella’s Pub. 

Cee Cee Ceman and Rick Schmidt
Owner Cee Cee Ceman and Consultant Rick Schmidt

But Ceman says she’s made the decision to sell her successful bar so that she can offer support to her daughter who recently learned that – after a period of remission – her cancer has returned.

Family first

“I followed my dream,” says Ceman. “It was a success and I had so much fun. I met so many great people, and I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity. But my family comes first.”

“My daughter Joanie was diagnosed with cancer two years ago while I was building the bar,” Ceman explains. “She encouraged me to keep on going, and that she would be fine.”

And Joanie was fine. In fact, following her treatment, she went into remission for a year. But, months after finding out she was pregnant, she got the news that her cancer was back. “When she told me that she’d relapsed, something had to give,” says Ceman. “And I chose my family.”

Ceman says she has no regrets. 

“I want to thank everyone for supporting my business," she says. "The bar was about the people and the community here has been so great. My staff have all been rockstars. None of them will have issues finding jobs because they are trustworthy, hard-working and they take pride in what they do. And I am so grateful for Rick Schmidt, who has been my consultant through it all. I have truly been so lucky.”

Ceman notes that the bar is currently for sale as a turnkey operation.  Serious inquiries can be directed to Rick Schmidt at (414) 559-6437.

"I love Brookfield and live less than a mile away,” Ceman adds. “So if someone buys it and keeps it a bar, I’m happy to be a regular there!”

Last call

In the meantime, customers are invited to pay a visit to C.C.’s Elbow Room, enjoy live music on Wednesday evenings (including a performance from Anthony Nix on Dec. 6), and raise a glass to the woman who followed her big dream and met with success.

Through Dec. 10, C.C.’s Elbow Room will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 3:30 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.