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The Outdoor Dining Season Begins

Milwaukee’s first food truck carnival, Estabrook Beer Garden’s Maifest, and Beerline Cafe is coming.

By - Apr 30th, 2015 11:43 am
Food Truck Carnival

Food Truck Carnival

No, it’s not quite summer, but we’re in for a week or so of days with highs in  the 60s, so let the outdoor dining season begin!

For starters, the Milwaukee Mobile Food Association is organizing its First Food Truck Carnival, slated for Sunday, May 3rd, to be held in sunny (we hope) South Milwaukee on 11th and Madison Ave.

At least eight food trucks are expected to participate. Participants can expect a whole lot of variety – of course, you already knew that if you’re at all familiar with Milwaukee’s booming food truck industry. Confirmed vendors include Hattie’s, which serves sliders; Meat on the Street, a Filipino vendor; Eats & Treats, serving sandwiches, sausages, and ice cream; burger vendors BurgerMeister and Oscar’s On A Roll; and Streetza Pizza.

According to the press release, the event is “family friendly and alcohol-free.” Music will be provided by Milwaukee’s local “steam powered, funked out, bluesy, pseudo slavic, old timey, americana, sea shanty, eclectic acoustic” band, Water Street Bridge, which seems to have all forms of music covered.

The event is one day only, and will run from noon to 4pm.

Estabrook Beer Garden

If you love beer but hate this bothersome “drinking indoors” thing everybody seems so obsessed with, have we got great news for you! Estabrook’s annual summer Beer Garden, which serves Hofbrau brews,  opened (on April 28) a month early this season, and just in time for Maifest.

According to, the Maifest celebration is the first of its kind in Milwaukee for several decades. Attendees to the weeklong celebration can expect traditional German food and dancing, as well as live music and a special Hofbrau brew, Maibock. Guests looking to test their endurance can enter a stein-holding contest. First prize is a trip to New York City.

The fest will also feature live music by a lineup of local bands, including the FerdBuchel Band, The Love Monkeys, Thomas Dietrich, Talisman, Sigmund Snopek, The Polka Kings, Austrian Express, The Squeezettes and The Milwaukee Blaskapelle.

The Maifest celebration will run April 30 to May 3. The celebration’s opening day will feature an hour of free beer from 5:30 to 6:30pm.

Beerline Café Coming

Back in November we reported that Michael Allen of Cafe’ Manna was planning to open a café at 2076 N Commerce St. in the spring. That’s now been moved back to July. The menu will serve vegetarian and vegan fare, espresso drinks, smoothies, juices and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But the menu at this point is being overshadowed by Allen’s detailed plans to make this place a local leader in recycling. You may not realize it, but the amount of waste that comes out of your typical restaurant on a daily basis is staggering. Anybody who has done some time in the service industry can explain that in detail.

To call the establishment green barely begins to capture its color. Allen is constructing the new building out of recycled materials, will be hiring specially trained chefs who know how to generate the smallest amount of food waste possible, and whatever food waste is produced will be composted.

Nor does environmentalism stop there. Not by a long shot. The building will have LED lights, metered water faucets in the bathrooms, and low-flow water nozzles. Carry-out orders will be bagged up and shipped out in recycled paper and recyclable clamshells. The environment will be totally Styrofoam free. He’s even installing tropical plants to filter the air.

Allen’s goal is to leave the smallest possible environmental footprint he can, while serving all vegetarian fare.

Lakeside Supper Club & Lounge

The former Burke’s Lakeside in Waukesha County has undergone more than a few changes in the last couple of years. It’s changed owners, changed format, had a major aesthetic overhaul, and has now changed its name. Since the departure of co-owner Sean Burke in 2010, chef Sean Valenti is now running the whole show, and has been hard at work to reinvent the restaurant.

The interior is being re-worked considerably. The color scheme has shifted to a light blue, new tables and furniture are being brought in, and the carpeting is being replaced. Valenti is also installing more TVs.

Burke still owns and operates the Milwaukee restaurant Burke’s Irish Castle.

Valenti’s envisions the new Lakeside restaurant as a “modern version of a vintage supper club,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, with a laid-back comfy atmosphere. The menu focuses especially on scratch-made dishes and seasonal fare. Main dishes range in price from $15 to $21 and include options like steak, ribs, several quality pasta dishes, or a clam bake. Small plates (in the $8 to $14 range) like sandwiches, ravioli, and tacos are also available.

The drink menu includes a wine list and 19 craft beers on tap.

The new Lakeside Supper Club is located at 37238 Valley Road in the Town of Summit. It’s expected to be open mid-May.

Pho One24

Brookfield’s Café One24 is undergoing a few changes, reports.

The coffee and sandwich shop at 2705 N. 124th Street is shifting its focus over to Vietnamese cuisine. The menu is set to include pho, bahn mi, egg rolls, and spring rolls, for starters.

We’ll report more details as they become available.

Bar Louie III?

Not long ago we reported that Brookfield Square Mall was entering the first phase of a major expansion that included adding restaurants Jason’s Deli, Blackfinn Ameripub, and Mooyah Burger. According to the Business Journal, the second phase (set to begin tentatively in 2018) will include a third location for Bar Louie. You’ll find the other two on Water Street in Milwaukee and in Bayshore Town Center in Glendale. You can never have enough Bar Louies, it seems.

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