Brady Street Won’t Get Camp Bar
Owner backs off from plan to put bar in old hardware store building. So what will take its place?
When my colleague Jeramey Jannene reported on Dominion Properties’s different projects, including the acquisition of the building at 1234 E. Brady Street formerly owned by the now closed Brady Street Hardware, he said that Dominion’s Mike O’Connor was “seeking a restaurant tenant for the first floor.” The very next day, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel confirmed that O’Connor had plans to set up Camp Bar, a neighborhood tavern successful in its locations on 6600 W North Ave. in Wauwatosa and 4044 N Oakland Ave. in Shorewood.
But the plan to add another bar to Brady Street caused a huge backlash from the community; O’Connor told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Brady Street business owners and residents “basically expressed it would happen over their dead bodies.” The Brady Street Area Association along with Alderman Nik Kovac opposed the plan, saying Brady Street already has plenty of bars and they wanted to use the space for daytime retail.
Paul Hackbarth, owner of Camp Bar, later clarified the kerfuffle in a tweet sent to Jeff Sherman of OnMilwaukee. He said that he was approached by Dominion and asked if they would like to set up “camp” on Brady Street. He thought it would be a good opportunity to research the market, so he accepted Dominion’s offer. But due to the opposition, he’s reconsidered.
“Obviously Brady St. isn’t ready for more Bar/Restaurants,” said Hackbarth. “In order to keep the peace… we decided not to pursue the project after the BID reported back the feelings of the neighborhood and local business. If Brady St. ever decides it is ready for Camp we will obviously reconsider.”
Does Brady Street need another bar? If not, what kind of business should move into the space? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Back in March we reported that a new and cutely-named tiki bar, Wauwatiki, was coming to Wauwatosa. OnMilwaukee reported last Wednesday that after numerous delays, the Polynesian-themed bar and restaurant located at 6502 W. North Ave. will officially move forward.
The project is headed by a collaboration between Panagiotis (Peter) Panagos, owner of Hotch at 1813 E. Kenilworth St.; James Findlay, former owner of Ugly’s at 1125 N. Old World 3rd St.; and Jason Growel, owner of the Eastsider at 1732 E. North Ave. The project is being partially funded by a $100,000 forgivable loan administered by the Community Development Authority in Wauwatosa. Groundbreaking will commence shortly after the building closes on Sept. 16th. Flux design will be converting the building into its tiki motif, complete with a tiki statue that doubles as a chair.
The menu will feature a mix of authentic Polynesian and American foods, including signature burgers, Caribbean jerk wings, coconut shrimp and plantains. Rum-based drinks as well as beer, wine and cocktails will make up most of the drinks menu. Panagos told OnMilwaukee they are even considering barreling and aging their own rum in house.
“We’re really aiming to stay true to the idea of pub food, but take it a step further,” Panagos told OnMilwaukee. “The idea is that the quality of the food will match the cocktails.”
Corvina Wine Co.
A wine bar in ‘Stallis? Yep, the Corvina Wine Co. is getting ready to expand its wine shop at 6038 W. Lincoln Ave., which already holds wine tastings. Owners and brothers Joe LaSusa and Frank LaSusa will add a wine bar at the back of the building, where their Sicilian great-grandfather used to live, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. A warm-weather wine garden will also be added.
The shop emphasizes wines from small producers with an emphasis on Italian wines, which the great grandfather would surely approve. The brothers opened in the shop in November 2012 and hope to open the wine bar and wine garden this fall.
Corvina is now open from 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, but those hours would expand to 11 p.m. or midnight when construction of the wine bar is completed. Cheese and charcuterie plates may also be served.
Story Hill BKC
Story Hill BKC, located on 5100 W. Bluemound Rd., has made some significant changes starting today, including new hours, a new lunch menu, and more drinks. Dan Sidner, co-owner of Black Shoe Hospitality which owns Story Hill BKC as well as Maxie’s Southern Comfort and Blue’s Egg, told OnMilwaukee that he made the changes due to customer demand.
The restaurant will now be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with lunch served between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can look forward to a brunch from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. respectively. It will be closed Mondays.
Breakfast crepes and shakshouka as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads will adorn the new lunch menu, along with flatbreads with a variety of toppings, said chef and co-owner Joe Muench. An edible happy hour will allow patrons to sample options such as the Story Hill burger, Connie’s chicken salad, chicken meatballs, and more.
A variety of craft tap cocktails, additional tap lines, and more wines have also been added, from classics like the whiskey old fashioned to more adventurous creations like Mother’s Little Helper (cold-brewed Valentine coffee, vodka and chocolate liqueur). A new happy hour will accompany the expanded drink menu and is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Refuge Smoothie, one of Milwaukee’s fines proprietor of “deliciously healthy” smoothies, is going to add new menu items of both the smoothie and non-smoothie variety. The new items are being accompanied by the rebranding to Refuge Café, owner Josh Janis told the Milwaukee Business Journal.
In addition to new smoothies, locations will have new breakfast and lunch options, including the “avocado bar,” which fills avocados with sandwich fillings. Most of the ingredients will be organic, fresh, and local.
Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World
Native Milwaukeeans might not view their favorite foods as weird, but one man’s deep-fried cheese curds is another man’s mealworms, and apparently Milwaukee food is weird enough to catch the attention of former host of Bizarre Foods Andrew Zimmern.
Zimmern traveled to Milwaukee in August for an episode of his show Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. During his visit, he sampled duck blood soup at Polonez in St. Francis and tripe and tongue tacos at El Rey market.
According to OnMilwaukee, the episode premiered yesterday at 8 p.m. In case you missed it, you can catch it on Sept. 8 at 11 p.m., Sept. 14 at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m., Sept. 22 at 11:30 p.m. and Oct. 11 at 11:30 p.m. By then we should all know the episode by heart.
Full Belly Fall Fest
Mark your calendars for Sept. 16, because that’s the day you can travel to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino at 5:30 p.m. to sample the dishes of over 20 different Milwaukee restaurants at the Full Belly Fall Fest. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the event benefits hunger-relief charity Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. The event will also feature ice sculpting, a silent auction and a people’s choice award.
Tickets are $35 at the door, but you can get them for $30 if you order in advance on the event’s website.
Private restaurant owners are getting a new ally from our friends in Illinois. Suits + Tables, a year-old Chicago startup that deals with corporate booking services, is expanding to Milwaukee.
Suits + Tables allows companies to send free proposals to reserve private tables and event spaces while it takes a cut of the venues’ final payment. It is also developing a software program to streamline the process.
Director of venue relations Kathy Pirogova told the Milwaukee Business Journal that the company has already partnered with 22 different local venues. Milwaukee’s Bartolotta Restaurant Group, Hotel Metro, Casablanca, Braise, Grain Exchange and more have already signed up with the service. The startup also has set its sights set on Indianapolis.
Now Closing: The Chancery
The Chancery on 4624 S. 27th St. closed on Sept. 5 after 33 years of business. According to OnMilwaukee, The DeRosa Corporation, the owners and operators of all Chancery locations as well as its three Jose’s Blue Sombrero restaurants and Parkside 23 in Brookfield, will be selling the building in order to “put these assets back into the business for ongoing and future development opportunities,” they said in a news release.
The company is also selling its Chancery at 207 Gas Light Dr. in Racine. It will be sold to Graves Hospitality Corporation of Minneapolis, owner of the Harbourwalk Hotel Racine. “The business has become more seasonal at this location and the hotel will be able to utilize the property more effectively with its conference business,” said The DeRosa Corporation owner, chairman and CEO Joe DeRosa.
“In the meantime, we invite our customers to visit us at one of our other eight locations,” he added.
Four other Chancery locations remain open in this metro area: 7615 W State St., Wauwatosa; Mequon Pavilions, 11046 N Port Washington Rd, Mequon; 2100 East Moorland Boulevard, Waukesha and 11900 108th St., Pleasant Prairie. A location on Downer Ave., Milwaukee, closed in 2007.
Now Closing: Refuge Smoothie
The new change in the menu and rebranding comes with the closing of Refuge Smoothie’s location at 2328 N. Farwell Ave. Plenty of other locations remain open, however, including the restaurant’s recent expansions into the BMO Harris Bradley Center and Milwaukee Athletic Club. And word on the street is that the company is in talks of getting a location near the UW-Milwaukee campus.