Andrew McCann
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Bringing Home The Bacon

Baconfest returns, and two new restaurants and two new bars are opening, not all serving bacon.

By - Feb 10th, 2015 03:20 pm
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Baconfest Milwaukee

Baconfest Milwaukee

Bacon fans, rejoice! The fourth annual Baconfest Milwaukee is right around the corner, and this time it’s “bigger, bolder and baconey’er!”

On Sunday, Feb. 15, the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Event Center will throw open its doors to curious carnivores for the pork-tastic event. The festival features 35 local vendors and promises “unique bacon creations along with some classic favorites prepared by Southeast Wisconsin’s best chefs and restaurants.” Supplies are not “unlimited,” according to the official Baconfest site, but there will be more than enough sizzling baconey goodness to go around.

Baconfest is sponsored by – brace yourselves – The Hog (Radio 102.9) and Patrick Cudahy. HOG Heads can expect appearances by your favorite 102.9 personalities, including Bob & Brian and Joe & Borna. Ticket giveaways will be held this week at McGillycuddy’s on Thursday (Feb. 12), New Berlin Ale House on Friday (Feb. 13), and on Saturday at the Saloon on Calhoun in Brookfield (Feb. 14).  For HOG Heads and bacon enthusiasts who are feeling lucky, the giveaways at these bars un for two hours, and winners are announced every 30 minutes.

For those looking to get in the traditional way, tickets are $35 per person. The event runs from Noon – 4pm and is open to anyone, as long as a parent accompanies attendees under 21. Free Parking is available in the structure next to the Hotel & Casino.

Finally, while it may sound like the perfect combo to some, bacon and gambling do not go well together at Potawatomi. All bacon must be finished before guests hit the casino floor. Remember, bacon grease belongs on a napkin, not on your Blackjack cards.

Kam’s Thistle & Shamrock

Talk about good timing! One of Baconfest’s suppliers just opened for business. Kam’s Thistle & Shamrock opened on Feb. 6 on Milwaukee’s Northwest side. As we reported in December, business-savvy owners Jeff & Carey Young Kamermeyer opened their new restaurant (3438 N. 84th Street) next to their bar, Kam’s Corner Tap. Now you can enjoy a pint and follow it up with some traditional Irish fare. Not necessarily in that order, of course.

As the Journal Sentinel reports, Kam’s main dishes include corned beef with cabbage, roast beef and Guinness gravy, and beef-and-lamb shepherd’s pie. A Friday fish fry offers cod with the typical side of French fries or chips, and a side of potato pancakes for those looking to branch out.

Hours are 4 – 11pm Mon. – Fri., 11am – 11pm Sat., and 11am – 7p Sun. They take reservations every day but Friday.

Lucid Hookah & Light Lounge

As we reported previously, SURG restaurant group is opening a new downtown hookah bar and lounge called Lucid. The Middle Eastern-themed lounge with an urban-industrial aesthetic opened Monday at 729 N. Milwaukee Street.

Lucid is split three ways, offering a bit of everything for visitors, whether they’re looking for drinks, dancing, or a little relaxation. The front offers a laid-back hookah lounge where guests can sit, chat, and sample the sweet aromas and flavored smoke of Lucid’s hookah pipes. A dance floor and DJ are located at the back. A bar and dining area is situated in between where elegant lighting shifts from shade to shade, in keeping with Lucid’s “light lounge” aesthetic. Food is not available — yet — but customers will be able to enjoy Middle Eastern small plates later this month.

Domestic and import beers, wines, and signature cocktails are all on offer at the bar. Happy hour is Mon. – Thur., 4 – 7pm, and Sun. from 4pm to close. Hookah will run you $20, and is half-off during happy hour.

Artisan 179

Carrie and Dale Boehm, owners of Pewaukee’s former Lakefront Grille, along with Ted Anderson, formerly the general manager at Bacchus, have refurbished the old space into a brand new restaurant offering “modern global cuisine.” The new menu is foodie-friendly, while also covering a range of regional dishes, from Italian cuisine to “New South dishes,” to the less elegant but oh-so-comforting Philly cheesesteak and Cuban sandwiches.

Chef Richard Sweed pushed the company’s focus on free-range and grass-fed meats in OnMilwaukee’s coverage. According to Sweed, “the quality of the ingredients and the artisan way of making things from the bottom up is really our goal.”

Artisan 179 is also pushing for community interest and involvement by making itself a place “Where artistry and food unite.” The dining room features paintings by local artists hanging on the walls. The restaurant will host local musicians Friday and Saturday nights, and special events like cooking classes and dancing lessons will be held.

Artisan 179 is located at 179 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Pewaukee. It is open Tue. – Thur., 11am – 9pm and 11am – 10pm on Friday and Saturday.

Junior’s Hook

More action in Walker’s Point: Matthew “Sherm” Sherman’s new bar, Junior’s Hook, will be open for business at 1517 S. 2nd Street, at a date yet-to-be-announced. According to OnMilwaukee, the space has been home most recently to bars such as The Parlor, The Bomb Shelter, and The Monkey Bar.

Sherman named the bar in tribute to his father, the article says, who boxed as an Airman and sported the nickname “Junior.” Sherman, who previously worked at Champion’s Pub, says the bar will be “an homage to boxing, but not a ‘boxing bar’” and instead, “more punk rock.”

42 Ale House

When owners Tony and Lynn Nilles opened the 42 Lounge at 326. E. Mason St., their vision was to include a restaurant but the site couldn’t accommodate a kitchen. Now, almost two years after 42 Lounge opened, they are opening a second place in St. Francis, called 42 Ale House, as the Journal Sentinel has reported.

The new location, at 3807 S. Packard Ave., was formerly Ubeer Gastropub. 42 Ale House will feature two dozen beers on tap and a menu featuring pub food with a number of gluten-free dishes. The opening date will be announced later.

42 Lounge meanwhile continues at its downtown location, offering gaming consoles, tournaments and gaming-themed cocktails.

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