Tim Thompson is on a roll.
First, he opened The Free House Pub in Middleton in 2012. Then in 2014, he brought the Flying Hound to Fitchburg. In between, he took over a golf course restaurant, now known as the Tap Room at Hawks Landing in Verona. And don't forget the enormous Milwaukee pub and eatery he installed late last year.
Now comes a Monona spot, Waypoint Public House, set to open in mid-April or early May at 320 W. Broadway.
"A definition of a waypoint is a place that you stop between your departure point and your final destination," Thompson said. "That's really what we want to be for the people of Monona and the surrounding area -- East Side, McFarland -- that kind of place between home, work and home."
The restaurant and pub will sit on the ground level of a four-story, $22 million development along the Yahara River. It will take full advantage of its location, offering river views from the inside and out. "Although the patio doesn't currently exist, I promise it will," Thompson said.
While Waypoint will be similar to Free House and the Flying Hound in its "overall approach to food and drink," Thompson said, it won't be a carbon copy of either.
Free House is pretty much "all Wisconsin all the time" and the Flying Hound has a decidedly European bent, he said. "It will be neither of those two."
Waypoint will have a more American approach, Thompson said, but still focusing on the same things his other places do: "local sourcing, thoughtful pub food, different takes on classics."
On Dec. 22, Thompson opened his Milwaukee venture, Ale Asylum Riverhouse, which through an agreement with Ale Asylum, uses the name and imagery of the Madison brewery. The more than 7,000-square-foot pub and eatery is located at 1110 N. Old World Third St., on the Milwaukee River.
"We intentionally opened in the doldrums, I guess you'd say, of a restaurant's calendar year," Thompson said. "It has been going really well. It's such an enormous space, the intent was to make sure that we were definitely knowing what we were doing by the time patio season came around."
Ale Asylum's reputation in Milwaukee is growing, he said, and Riverhouse is benefiting from that. "We are so far ahead of where I thought we'd be at this point, that I am very, very happy... It is just going to be insane in summer. But we've already had some truly monumental days since we've opened."
Thompson has two minority partners at Ale Asylum Riverhouse, Patrick Flynn and Matt Markson, who are also his GMs.
The Monona restaurant will be Thompson's sixth. His first bar and restaurant, The Library Cafe & Bar near the UW-Madison campus, will be open eight years this summer.
At Waypoint, he is working out a deal to have two minority partners who will work there and vest ownership over time. His partner in Free House and Flying Hound is Alex Kammer, while at the Tap Room it's Adam Greenberg of City Bar.
His most important partner, he said, is his wife, Stephani Dalbesio, who runs The Library and helps him operate all the businesses.
Thompson acknowledges that his restaurant and pub-opening momentum has really picked up in the past few years.
"Yeah, I need to have this stop. I need to smell some flowers for a while, I think," he quipped.