Brown Bottle Will Reopen
Old World European bar will feature beer garden and serve dinner and lunch.
A new Chocolate Factory, and new craft distillery and a reopening of an old favorite are among the week’s changes in the city’s busy dining scene.
Brown Bottle: This old-world European tavern, located in Schlitz Park, has a long history in Milwaukee, and is about to reopen. First established in 1938 at 221 W Galena St., the bar was originally a tasting room for the Schlitz Brewing Company. From 1986-2004 the space became the Brown Bottle restaurant and bar featuring intricate iron pieces by Milwaukee artist Cyril Colnik, and reclaimed architectural elements from Europe. In 2005 it reopened as Libiamo Italian Restaurant; the restaurant closed in 2012. On July 2, 2014 Gary Grunau, president of Brewery Works, applied for a new liquor license for the vacated bar, with a proposed opening for August 15. The new Brown Bottle will feature a beer garden, a full service bar, and even a coffee shop. It will also serve dinner, lunch on the weekdays, and catering options for private parties.
Story Hill BKC: This combination restaurant, wine bar and coffee shop, to be located at 5100 W. Bluemound Rd., and created by co-owners Dan Sidner and Joe Muench, is set to open in August. Sidner and Muench also own Maxie’s and Blue’s Egg.
Central Standard Craft Distillery: Located at 613 S. 2nd St. in Walker’s Point, this newly established craft distillery is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Evan Hughes, Pat McQuillan and Brandt Foster. The space recently opened. The 1600 square foot beer and liquor distillery features repurposed wood from a 108-year-old Wisconsin barn, ironwork by Kendall Polster, and cushy barstools which line the newly fashioned bar. Owners hope to first produce a rye-based vodka, wheat-based gin, and white whiskey made with oats, all of which will be sold at the distillery’s tasting room before being sent to area restaurants and retailers later in the year.
The Chocolate Factory: This opening is the well-known eatery’s eighth location in the Milwaukee area. The space, located at 4330 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood, will offer subs, ice cream, soups, salads, and hot dogs. Previously, the space was wine vendor and restaurant Thrist & Vine, owners Anne and John Nehring decided to close shop in 2012 to pursuit Nehring’s Family Market in the Milwaukee Public Market.
Wicked Hop II?: Call this one a maybe. The owners of the Third Ward bar, Wicked Hop, are seeking to open a tavern and restaurant at 1850 N. Water St., where Brocach now operates. Andy Drobac, an owner of Brocach, says a deal hasn’t been finalized yet.
Fajitas Grill Centro: Say goodbye to the Mexican restaurant at 530 E. Mason St. This is its second closing. It was previously known as Fajitas Grill, located at 1673 N. Farwell Ave. and that one shut down in 2012. The newer version opened in 2013 and has now closed.
Café Vocar: The Riverwest European-style restaurant located 932 E. Wright St. has officially closed its doors after less than a year in business. The site offered cooking classes and a menu featuring classics like Hungarian goulash, beef stroganoff, chicken in puff pastry, and wiener schnitzel.