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Return of Coquette and Silver Spring House

Plus: two new Third War bars and McBob's plans a second place, Tusk.

By - May 2nd, 2018 03:28 pm
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Coquette Cafe. Photo by Sinead Eby.

Coquette Cafe. Photo by Sinead Eby.

Following the closure of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop (111 E. Wisconsin Ave.), Grassroots Salad Co. seized the opportunity and claimed the space in December. Fast forward a few months, and the salad and wrap shop is now officially open. Along with salads and wraps, the restaurant is serving up breakfast items such as overnight oats and Greek yogurt bowls. Additionally, Grassroots offers an array of smoothies made exclusively from fruit and juice, sans added sugar or ice.

OnMilwaukee’s Lori Fredrich details the menu’s salads and wraps:

You can choose from five curated salads or wraps, including the Santa Fe (grape tomatoes, corn, black beans, tortilla chips, cheddar and chipotle lime ranch).

There’s also the Kriti (kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, red onions, chickpeas, feta and Greek goddess dressing), the Asian (grilled chicken, chow main noodles, cucumbers, carrots, edamame and roasted peanut ginger dressing), Caesar (herbed croutons, parmesan, Caesar dressing) or the Market Cobb (hard-boiled egg, crumbled bacon, grape tomatoes, avocado, blue cheese and champagne vinaigrette).

There’s also a build-your-own option offering your choice of greens, protein, toppings and dressings. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Blue Bat Kitchen & Taquilaria

Owners Joe and Angie Sorge have been working on a new bar and restaurant to take the place of Water Buffalo (249 N. Water St.), which closed in January. Two months following its announcement in February, Blue Bat Kitchen & Taquilaria opened on April 25. Tequila lovers might think this place is paradise, as the bar and restaurant offers over 150 varieties and even 15 brands of mezcal. Blue Bat also has happy hour all day, every day.

Fredrich offers a first-glance at the fare:

Tequila also plays a part on the Blue Bat menu, which features a collection of snacks and appetizers including sweet corn hush puppies with agave caramel ($6.50) and blistered shishito peppers with a spicy peanut sauce and agave caramel ($8.75). There are salads, including one with watermelon, grilled corn, togarashi, jicama, cilantro, arugula and a mezcal vinaigrette ($9.50).

And there are signature bowls (think flavors like Korean beef, creole shrimp, Moroccan cauliflower and Bankok noodle) and eclectic street-style tacos with fillings like mezcal agave steak with red chimichurri, rajas (poblano peppers), queso fresco and cilantro ($4) and rajas, featuring black bean puree, queso fresco and a mezcal vinaigrette ($3).

Blue Bat is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Silver Spring House Reopens

The historic Silver Spring House (6655 N. Green Bay Ave.) was closed for a little over a month before being purchased by David Braeger at the end of March. On Monday, the business held a soft-opening for Glendale elected officials and 100 customers. While most of the staff has been replaced, Ilona Cheney has stayed on as bar manager and former owner Pat Connell will remain minority owner. Connell will oversee kitchen food services, and has begun by hiring a new kitchen staff.

The Journal Sentinel’s Carol Deptolla provides an update on the menu:

The restaurant will serve large hot and cold sandwiches and burgers made daily at the restaurant. The menu will also feature salads and a few entrees. Weekly specials include a Friday fish fry and Sunday brunch.

The new Silver Spring House has also partnered with Sprecher Brewery in presenting their own lager and India pale ale.

Braeger has reportedly updated the kitchen & bathrooms, and added new carpet. Private events can also be held in the two rooms that are available to rent off the main dining area.

Former Irish Pub Becomes Tied House

The Irish Pub (124 N. Water St.) closed amid a change in ownership this past December. Now, owners Melissa and Adam Weber have announced that its replacement, Tied House, will open on May 21. The name derives from the old term for bars connected to breweries; this one was once a Pabst Brewing-tied house. It’s also the couple’s first solo endeavor following their partnerships at Chicago’s Bar Takito and Takito Kitchen in Chicago. The bar will serve a wide array of drinks.

Deptolla reports on the menu:

The kitchen will prepare appetizers and sandwiches and serve brunch on the weekends. Menu items such as charcuterie and cheese plates with state products are planned, as are braised pork belly and other sandwiches, plus burgers and vegan and vegetarian menu items.

Weber said the menu, priced mainly from $9 to $14, will change seasonally. Tied House will roll out a fish fry later.

The bar will also have an outdoor patio and a second floor to host private events for up to 50 guests.

DanDan Owners to Revive Coquette Space

While Coquette Cafe (316 N. Milwaukee St.), the well-known French bistro in the Third Ward, ended its 19-year stint in February, the space will soon give new life to another restaurant. New co-owners Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite hope to have their new concept open in mid-to-late summer. The two are also the proprietors behind DanDan, EsterEv and Batches. Blair Herridge will serve as the chef de cuisine, and Matt Haase will work as the culinary director. Herridge previously worked at Goodkind, while Haase formerly served as Ardent‘s chef de cuisine. Jeff Joerres will also be partner at the new restaurant, just as he is for the other places owned by Van Rite and Jacobs.

The Milwaukee Business Journal‘s Melanie Lawder provides Jacobs’ take on the space:

The chefs were attracted to the former Coquette space because of its legacy, Jacobs said. Coquette was opened in 1999 by James Beard Award-winning chef Sanford D’Amato, whom Jacobs credits with having a major impact on the city’s dining scene.

“The space has had a ton of history,” Jacobs said. “I’m a culinary history nerd.”

The goal is to open the new establishment sometime in mid to late summer, Jacobs said. More details on the restaurant concept will be released in the coming weeks, but diners may receive a preview of what’s in store for the new dining spot if they eat at EsterEv in the near future, Jacobs said.

McBob’s Plans New Place

McBob’s Pub & Grill owner Christine McRoberts has a new restaurant up her sleeve. McRoberts is planning to open Tusk at 5513 W. North Ave., the former Hartters Bakeries’ space. McRoberts has partnered with Vennture Brew Co. (5517 W. North Ave.) and will be using the brewery’s beer and leftover ingredients in some of Tusk’s menu items. McRoberts has applied for a liquor license in order to serve Vennture beer as well.

Lawder spoke with George Wellington Jones V, who will serve as Tusk’s executive chef, about the menu:

Jones characterizes the menu as elevated pub food and small plates. Items on tap for Tusk include dishes like: pork shoulder with beer barbecue sauce, beer-battered Belgian waffle chicken fingers, full chicken wings with a beer and Sriracha marinade, deep-fried pizza, beer cheese soup and beer tempura coconut shrimp soup, among other offerings. For vegans and vegetarians, Tusk will serve up options like avocado toast, smoked cauliflower, barley and beat salad, and parmesan zucchini served with teff, greens and house-made beer vinaigrette. Gluten-free dishes will also available for diners, Jones noted.

Tusk is expected to be open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Denver Chain Plans Link for Milwaukee

A Milwaukee location for Punch Bowl Social is in the works for 2019. The Denver-based business combines a restaurant, bar and bowling alley all under one roof. So the city of beer, brats and bowling will import this sport from far away Denver? Apparently. Punch Bowl Social’s first location opened in Denver in 2012, and has since grown to 16 locations in 15 cities. Now on to Milwaukee!

While an official location has not been announced, Lawder offers her prediction:

Among the sites under discussion for Punch Bowl Social is the Milwaukee Bucks entertainment block that’s set to open east of the new Milwaukee Bucks arena. The Bucks have yet to officially announce any tenants for the block, but have noted that it will feature bars, restaurants and other tenants that will appeal to a diverse consumer base. In December, Bucks executive Alex Lasry said the first tenants aren’t likely to move into the new entertainment block until spring 2019.

Lowlands Group Has New Culinary Director

Thomas Hauck. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki courtesy of Lowlands Group.

Thomas Hauck. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki.

The company behind Milwaukee-area staples such as Cafe Hollander, Cafe Benelux, Cafe Centraal and Cafe Bavaria have added a James-Beard nominated chef to their ranks. Lowlands Group announced on May 2 that Chef Thomas Hauck has been named the group’s new culinary director. Hauck previously worked at c. 1880 for six years before it closed, during which time he accumulated a number of nominations for the “Best Chef: Midwest” category of the James Beard Foundation award.

The announcement was made via press release, part of which reads:

While Hauck will be joining the group in late May, Lowlands doesn’t anticipate making major menu changes in the immediate future. Hauck will spend his first few months learning the group’s culture, developing relationships with the culinary staff and conducting research for upcoming menus, which will include a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands in September.

Birch + Butcher Adds Saturday Brunch

Birch + Butcher (459 E. Pleasant St.) has expanded its 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday brunch to include the same hours on Saturday.

The Journal Sentinel reports:

At brunch, Birch + Butcher has dishes such as avocado toast, chocolate French toast, waffles and trout roe, rosemary biscuits with sausage and gravy, and pulled pork with roast mushrooms, egg and polenta. Prices are mostly $9 to $15…

The restaurant’s retail counter, by the way, is open every morning at 7:30 for coffee, espresso drinks, bagels and bagel breakfast sandwiches.

On-line reservations can be made here.

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