Andrew McCann
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New BBQ Joint, New Tiki Bar in Tosa

Plus a new mini-bowling joint that serves pizza, all in one sprawling suburb!

By - Mar 31st, 2015 02:05 pm
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Photo from facebook.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Photo from facebook.

These are good times in Tosa. The suburb west of Milwaukee has been building a neat little downtown area, but is also expanding options elsewhere, anywhere, everywhere.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Yes, that the smoky smell of barbecue now wafting in the air at the western edge of Tosa. The family-owned national franchise operation will open its 500th restaurant on April 2. in Wauwatosa, at 3180 N. 124th St., as has reported. The Dallas-based company’s chairman, Roland Dickey, Sr., will be at the restaurant for the opening and giving away copies of his scholarly book, “Mr. Dickey’s Barbecue Cookbook.”

Dickey’s as you can learning reading its website is a wonderful American success story. It was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey, and today boasts locations in 43 states. That now includes nine locations in Wisconsin, with joints in West Milwaukee, New Berlin, Pewaukee and now Wauwatosa.

“Every location smokes all of their meats on-site at the restaurant the same way it was done in 1941,” the site notes, serving up beef brisket, pulled pork, ham, polish sausage, turkey breast and chicken, with such “home-style sides” as jalapeño beans to macaroni and cheese.

The Thirsty Duck

Also coming to western Wauwatosa, is a new six-lane, duck pin bowling alley and restaurant called The Thirsty Duck in what is now Pitch’s Baby Grand, at 11320 W. Bluemound Rd., as OMC reports. The new venture is by brothers Mark and Dan Zierath, who also own both Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pubs, 11302 W. Bluemound Rd. and 1203 N. 10th St. They say they will will renovate the old Pitch’s space and open on June 15.

The bowling operation will be modeled after the famed Koz’s Mini Bowl on the near South Side, whose owner Justin Koz has been helping the Zieraths create similar duck pin lanes that will also feature human pinsetters, the story notes. The menu at the Thirsty Duck will focus on gourmet pizza and chicken.


In yet another burst of cosmopolitanism, Tosa will also be getting a new Tiki Bar. Isn’t Tiki, after all, the first thing you think of when someone mentions Wauwatosa? OMC was all over this story as well, letting us know the new bar, cocktail lounge, and restaurant will be located at 6502 W. North Ave., and will be called Wauwatiki,  Which is much easier to say than the name looks. Renovations to the space will add a patio and wrap-around deck, two bars, and eventually, it’s hoped, an enclosed patio space and a fire pit.

The new bar is one of several new establishments in the area. Tosa Alderman Joel Tilleson told OMC the new businesses should help to revitalize the area.


Elsewhere in this bustling area, the Redbar in St. Francis is now serving food, something its owner Carrie Wisniewski tells OMC she’s long wanted to do. Fans of the now-closed Times Square Pizza and Atomic Chocolate of Walker’s Point will be happy to hear that Sean Henninger, the owner of those two fine places, will be handling the kitchen at Redbar.

Henninger was scouting St. Francis for locations to reopen his former businesses when Wisniewski offered him work, the story notes. While he breaks from location scouting, Henninger continues to expand the menu. Take, for example, the Danger Dog; it’s a hotdog wrapped in bacon, deep fried, and layered with nacho meat and cheese.

Other oddities include a specialty ketchup prepared with Tullamore Dew whiskey. Or a specialty sauce – served on or alongside the burgers and tater tots – that’s also prepared with Tullamore Dew.

On Fridays, visitors can order a fish fry ($12) battered with Lakefront Brewery’s Riverwest Stein. Side options include homemade coleslaw (no Tullamore Dew in this one) and tater tots, although you can opt for potato pancakes too.

In addition to an “eclectic, meat-focused” menu, plans are in the works for a Taco Tuesday bar, catering, and box lunches. There are also rumblings about beer dinners and pork roasts.

Redbar’s kitchen hours are: Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturdays from noon to midnight; Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.

Van Buren’s Whiskey Bar & Grill

We reported earlier this month about Van Buren’s Whiskey Bar & Grill’s soft opening.

The brand new place off Brady Street, formerly Libby’s Lounge, finally held its grand opening last Friday, Mar. 27. The new place is more a lounge than a tavern, offering up a whiskey-centric menu with gourmet burgers designed to pair well with whiskey, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. Van Buren’s also features a cigar bar.

Menu items include a lot of burgers made from a lot of different animals, including grass-fed beef, bison, elk, and ostrich.

Yes, Van Buren’s serves ostrich burgers.

Van Buren’s also features a Whiskey Club and special events. Vendors will host tastings and hold workshops on how to determine proper food pairings and bottle pricing.

Fresh Farm Bowls Truck

A brand new farm-to-fork food truck will be making its debut next month outside the US Bank Building, according to OMC.

Fresh Farm Bowls is the first venture by owner Jonute Svien. It will serve ethnically inspired lunch and dinner options, including Asian and Middle Eastern bowls that incorporate ingredients like Asian chicken, chipotle pork, falafel, tofu, hummus, or roasted green options for vegetarians. The menu also offers stuffed pasties for a quick grab-n-go meal, as well as soups and beverages.

Most significant is Farm Fresh Bowls’ breakfast offerings, which include healthy alternatives to the typical “quick-and-cheap” or “not-at-all” choices typical of the busy professionals around that area of the city. That includes a breakfast churro bowl for less than $5, and a smattering of egg, sausage, and veggie-stuffed pasties. You can also just grab a croissant and a cup of Stone Creek coffee if you’re really in a hurry.

Not long after he opens for business, Svien will serve breakfast at the UW-Milwaukee and Marquette campuses, and at St. Mary’s and Aurora hospitals. Over summer, he will serve lunch on Monday at US Bank, Tuesday at Schlitz Park, and at many other locations to be announced.

Farm Fresh Bowls officially starts serving April 28.

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Now Closing

Apartment 720

The Milwaukee Street dance club, which declared itself “Milwaukee’s Hottest Dance Club & Celebrity Hangout” unexpectedly closed its doors on Saturday, March 28.

An announcement over Facebook thanks fans for a great run and promises “something new and exciting this summer.” There’s not much info out there, but it’s fair to say the club isn’t actually closing, just reshaping.

The official website is under construction, and declares a newly remodeled site will be up and running shortly.

The club most recently hosted DJ Four 7 as a special act.

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