Madison Originals Magazine Madison Originals Magazine February 2012 - Page 20

20 | madison originals magazine “It’s all about change,” says Hawk Sullivan (formerly Hawk Schenkel), owner of Hawk’s Bar & Grill. Clearly a no-status-quo kind of guy, Hawk thrives on creative change. Hawk owns three Madison businesses: The Jade Monkey Cocktail Lounge, The Atomic Koi Cocktail Lounge, and Hawk’s Bar & Grill on State Street, now in its ninth year. He’s made some impressive changes to the Hawk’s Bar & Grill interior, continually reinvents the menu, and he even changed his own name. The son of creative, artistic parents, Hawk grew up sharing time between Madison and Chicago. “I grew up living with my mother in Madison, but during the summer, I lived with my father in Chicago,” he recalls. “My mother is an artist, art teacher, free spirit, and something of a hippie,” Hawk explains. “She chose my name after she had a mystical, spiritual experience with a hawk while living in California.” Marcia Anissa Schenkel’s Mystic Artworks features spiritual, gurative, and abstract expressions paintings, drawings, and prints. Hawk’s father, Al Süildebhăin, introduced his son to the restaurant business. “When I was a kid, my dad managed several restaurants in Chicago where he also worked at times as a chef, so I was around restaurants a lot. I call my dad, who grew up in a large Irish family, a renaissance man,” Hawk says. Brilliantly creative, Al is a regular contributor to Hawk’s entrepreneurial endeavors. A musician, photographer, artist, baker, chef, and woodcarver, Al helped with the design and redesign of Hawk’s Bar & Grill. He also masterminds sauces and homemade soups, and bakes “Al’s” famous brownies and cookies available there. Several years ago, Hawk legally changed his last name, but just recently nalized the process by completing the logistics of updating and signing dozens of documents. “Updating everything was not easy,” he explains. But getting married last October motivated him to tie up the many nal details. I took my father’s surname, but instead of going with the true Irish spelling [Süildebhăin], for simplicity I went with Sullivan,” he jokes.Together, Hawk and Al created a casual, inviting bar ambience using warm woods throughout the space while retaining the 130-year-old building’s original brick and tin ceiling. “When we built the bar, we used oak and some other exotic woods. We removed six layers to get to the brick walls and the original tin ceiling had been covered for 50 years,” says Hawk, who continues the improvement process. “You have to do that in the restaurant industry. You have to keep investing back into the business. You can’t be afraid of change.”Recent improvements include a new awning over the two entrances with