The Ice Bars Cometh
150 blocks of ice weighing 23 tons will create three ice bars in Third Ward.
An outdoor event during January in Milwaukee might seem completely insane. But the cold apparently doesn’t bother the folks at St. Paul Fish Company (400 N. Water St.), nor did it bother customers last year. Following a successful debut last winter, the Public Market vendor is bringing the ice bar back, with a couple of additions. This year’s Toast to Winter event will feature similar bars at Cafe Benelux (346 N. Broadway) and The Wicked Hop (345 N. Broadway).
Beginning on Gallery Night on Friday, Jan. 19, the three different ice bars – crafted out of 150 blocks of ice, weighing 23 tons – will open on the corner of Broadway and St. Paul Avenue in the Third Ward, all crafted by Guinness World Record holder Max Zuleta of Art Below Zero. Each bar will have a different unique ice feature, as St. Paul Fish Company will host a dynamic ice wall, Cafe Benelux will showcase both a 3-D lion Bloody Mary ice luge as well as an ice bier wall, and The Wicked Hop will contain an “elegant beer-serving cow.”
Weather permitting, the festivities will begin at 5 p.m. on Jan. 19. Some of the portions will be going to different charities. Cafe Benelux and St. Paul Fish Company will support the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee and the Fisher House Foundation, respectively. The Wicked Hop will benefit both the ALS Association and Wisconsin Humane Society.
Construction of St. Paul Fish Company’s 2017 ice bar:
New Soul Food Restaurant on Silver Spring
Fans of comfort food have a new option for grub on the go. Shake N’ Bake American Soul Kitchen (3432 W. Silver Spring Dr.) exclusively offers carryout food in the style of home-cooked American cuisine. Co-owners Danicha Brown and Vishalla Davis are also Shake N’ Bakes cooks. Davis previously worked as the chef for Dee’s Elegance (7420 W. Villard Ave.) in Valhalla.
Much of the menu was derived from food Brown and Davis have been cooking for their friends and family for years. Brown and Davis spoke with Alexandria Bursiek and Neighborhood News Service about the restaurant’s fare:
Brown learned how to cook from her grandmother, Birdell Locks, and her great grandmother, Laura Grayson, both now deceased. She grew up eating soul food, which is what inspired the dishes on the Shake N’ Bake menu. It includes items such as chicken and waffles, fried okra and cheese fries. She said that the dishes are comfort food meant to encourage people to “relax and have a good time.” Brown now gets cooking tips from her mother, Denise Pernell, and other family members…
Although the focus of the kitchen is American cuisine, on Sundays Brown and Davis plan to offer dishes from various cultures, serving food buffet style and providing dishes that are off menu. Customers will be able to select a number of premade sides, and pair it with a made-to- order main course.
Brown and Davis are currently leasing their venue, but hope to expand to a larger space in the future. Shake N’ Bake is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Snack Boys Official Opening Date
Snack Boys Snack Bar (814 S. 2nd St.) was slated to make its debut in Walker’s Point by the end of 2017. The revised plan: the bar and restaurant will be open for business before the end of the month. According to a post on Snack Boy’s Instagram account, the new bar and restaurant will open on Jan. 17. The announcement surfaced on Jan. 3, with a message reading “Tell yo frands.” As previously reported, the proprietors are “industry veterans” John Revord and Chef Mitch Ciohon (both of Boone & Crocket and Gypsy Taco), and Chef Shay Linkus (The Vanguard).
The restaurant is, in fact, based loosely on the popular Canadian concept of a “snack bar,” a casual eatery where diners can gather to enjoy drinks and an assemblage of finger foods – think pintxos and cicchetti – rather than composed entrees, and where it’s reasonable to grab a bite at any time of the day, including those peckish hours both before and after the traditional dinner hour.
… the restaurant will offer a bevy of single-serving plates, imaginative cocktails and a healthy serving of tongue-in-cheek fun. We’re not sure exactly what will be on the restaurant’s inaugural menu; but rest assured there will be plenty of great, imaginative food and drink, a whole lot more of Burt Reynolds than you thought you needed to see and (knowing Ciohon, Linkus and Revord) a number of delightful surprises.
Tentative hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and there could possibly be a late night menu served after 11 p.m.
Sip & Purr Coming to the East Side
Last week, an excited post from Sip & Purr Cafe’s twitter account promised that the venue for Milwaukee’s first cat cafe would soon be revealed. Now, the “PURRfect space” has been announced. Sip & Purr Cat Cafe will occupy 2021 E. Ivanhoe Pl., which previously housed East Side Gallery & Framing.
Sip & Purr was conceived by owner Katy McHugh during a stay in Amsterdam where a particularly friendly cat at a café inspired her to start her own cat café back home. Sip & Purr will serve food, coffee, and wine in a bar area separated from the cats. Worried about getting attached to the furry felines? Not a problem. All cats at Sip & Purr will be available for adoption courtesy of a partnership with Lakeland Animal Shelter. All cats are ready for adoption, and have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and medically tested and treated.
Sip & Purr is slated to open in summer 2018.
New Nomad in Old La Fuente
The former La Fuente at 625 S. 5th St. has scored a new occupant. Nomad World Pub owner Mike Eitel plans on having a pop-up bar up and running by May. The bar will be called Nomad Nacional. It will be a Latin twist on the existing Nomad World Pub, which has called Brady Street home for 23 years.
The pop-up…is intended as a temporary spot to host events for the 2018 FIFA World Cup (June 14-July 15). Current plans are for the pop-up to stay open until November 2018.
The Fifth Street location will feature an outdoor fan zone, a stage for live entertainment, a jumbotron and an area designated for food trucks. But that’s not all, people. The pop-up will have an operating kitchen (come on, it used to be La Fuente!) serving lunch, dinner and late-night eats.
Now Closing: Peking House Chinese Restaurant & Bar
According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, Peking House has shut its doors. The downtown Chinese restaurant was owned by husband and wife team Jessica Liang and Wei Piang. The couple opened Peking House in 2014.
As of Thursday morning, the decor and furniture were cleared out of the restaurant space at 780 N. Jefferson St. The eatery, located a block away from Cathedral Square, served lunch and dinner and offered a buffet, takeout and delivery.
In a phone call with the Milwaukee Business Journal, Liang confirmed the closure of the restaurant, but declined to further comment…
Water Buffalo Closing, Reopening
Water Buffalo (249 N. Water St.) in the Third Ward permanently closed following New Year’s Eve festivities. Owners Joe and Angie Sorge hope to open a new concept by spring. The two are also co-founders of Hospitality Democracy, which operates Swig, Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts and AJ Bombers.
Fredrich has some details:
Details for the new concept are still under wraps, but co-founder Angie Sorge says that the location will be redesigned with the help of the folks from FLUX Design to take further advantage of its location on the riverfront. It will also strive to better serve the needs of increasingly savvy Milwaukee diners.
“We will be sharing more information soon,” she says. “Ultimately, when we reopen this spring, you’ll find a new space, a better street presence and fantastic food and beverages.”