Now Serving: City’s First Cat Cafe Opens » Urban Milwaukee
Now Serving

City’s First Cat Cafe Opens

Plus: Good City Brewing lands in the Live Block and three city eateries expand in the burbs.

By - Jun 6th, 2018 01:40 pm
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Katy McHugh, Owner of SIP & PURR. Photo by Ryan Peschman.

Katy McHugh, Owner of Sip & Purr. Photo by Ryan Peschman.

Just two years after opening a brewery and restaurant on the East Side, Good City Brewing (2108 N. Farwell Ave.) has been named as the first anchor tenant for the Live Block entertainment center at the new Bucks arena. The Milwaukee Bucks announced on May 31 that Good City will open a new facility on the corner of 4th St. and Juneau Ave. The space includes a two-story taproom and an 11,000-square-feet brewery.

Urban Milwaukee’s Jeramey Jannene reports on the brewery’s plans:

Good City’s Live Block space won’t be just for show. The company intends to use the space to brew sour and small-batch beers. The brewery needs a dedicated space to brew sour beers because of the unique yeast cultures used.

“It’s in some ways a no-brainer for us, and in other ways incredibly complex,” said Dan Katt. Good City was founded by Andy JonesDavid Dupee and Katt. The first floor will include a 24 taps and a wood-fired oven kitchen led by brewery chef Guy Davies. The second floor will include an event space and outdoor patio seating. Combined capacity is 550.

The still-unnamed arena is slated to open this summer, while the Live Block (including Good City) are expected to open in spring.

Now Open: Sip & Purr Cat Cafe

Just as promised, June 1 brought East Side cat lovers a new way to interact with some feline friends. The city’s first cat cafe, Sip & Purr, is now open. Patrons can order food and drinks in Sip & Purr’s cafe, which comes complete with a viewing window overlooking the separate “cat lounge.” The lounge has room for 10 to 12 humans to hang out with 10 to 15 cats, all of which are adoptable through Lakeland Animal Shelter. The limited space creates a demand for reservations, which can be made here.

Milwaukee Business Journal’s Melanie Lawder spoke with owner Katy McHugh about the cafe’s unique offerings:

According to McHugh, Sip & Purr differs from most other cat cafes in that it has a full-service kitchen, where the eatery’s pastries, small plates and desserts are all made in-house. Savory eats include items like a cheese board, a warm brie tart, caprese salad and other shareables. For something sweet, guests can nibble on various cakes, pies, brownies and cookies.

Wine, craft beer and mixed drinks are available from the cafe’s bar. And those who aren’t imbibing can grab a drink from Sip & Purr’s nonalcoholic beverage menu, which includes coffee made from Ruby Coffee Roaster beans, espresso drinks and Twig’s soda, among other offerings. The proceeds of the sales are reinvested into the cafe’s furry friends, McHugh noted.

For those questioning the logistics and potential sanitary issues, Sip & Purr’s cafe is separate from the lounge. Cats are never allowed in the cafe and will not be near where food is prepared. The cafe located at 2021 E. Ivanhoe Pl. is opened 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Little Cancun for Bay View

A Franklin restaurant will be dipping its toes in the Milwaukee dining scene. A second location for Little Cancun is headed for 3040 S. Delaware Ave. While the space was most recently occupied by R&D Pub in 2016, it was once home to another Mexican restaurant, Hector’s South, until 2013.

Milwaukee Record’s Tyler Maas observed the building’s renovations:

A look at the property’s interior reveals extensive renovations. Based on the current condition, it appears Little Cancun won’t be ready for a few months, but Bay View residents can take comfort in knowing another Mexican restaurant will eventually be coming to the neighborhood’s southern edge.

Donut Squad for Waukesha

Owners Bobby Kaid and Moe Dakwar have been steadily growing their specialty donut shop business since the first Donut Squad (2264 N. Prospect Ave.) location opened last June. In the fall, the UW-Milwaukee alumni partnered with Kaid’s brother and Fro Zone (1320 E. Brady St.) owner, Mike Kaid, to bring a joint donut and ice cream shop to Brookfield Square mall. The concept was revisited in the spring when a second location opened at Southridge Mall, and now the duo have plans to open a fourth shop. The new business will be the second stand alone Donut Squad location, and will open in Waukesha at 308 W. Broadway. Tentative plans are to have the shop open by the end of summer.

Lawder has this take on Donut Squad’s history:

Donut Squad was born out of an obsession by Kaid and Dakwar to bring quality doughnuts to students on UWM’s campus. During the course of their studies, the two entrepreneurs — who grew up together in Franklin — would constantly be on the lookout for exceptional doughnuts in between classes…

So, without telling any of their family members, the longtime friends quietly hatched plans to open a doughnut shop of their own, using their parents’ basements as a laboratory to fry up doughnuts and work out the kinks of their recipes.

They opened their Prospect Avenue shop on National Doughnut Day last June and have since attracted a base of customers who frequently eat up the business’ daily stock of doughnuts, which include varieties like cereal, s’mores and strawberry shortcake. All of Donut Squad’s items, which range from $1.89 for a traditional doughnut to $4.29 for an ice cream one, are fried up every day, Kaid said.

Cafe Corazon for Mequon

The greater Milwaukee area will soon have not one, not two, but three Cafe Corazon locations to choose from. The restaurant’s newest installment is slated to open at the Mequon Public Market at Spur 16. Cafe Corazon will debut alongside Beans & Barley, Purple Door, Anodyne Coffee Co. and St. Paul Fishing Co. when the development opens in fall. The Cafe’s predecessors in Riverwest (3129 N. Bremen St.) and Bay View (2394 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) opened in 2009 and 2016, respectively.

OMC’s Matt Mueller provides portions of the announcement via press release:

“We are very excited to have been invited to be part of the Mequon Public Market and believe this project is going to be go great for the community,” said Corazon co-owner Wendy Mireles

“I am so excited about the incredible group of restaurants that have come together to be a part of the Mequon Public Market at Spur 16. Café Corazon is the perfect addition to this group and our community,” said Jenni Vetter, chief operating officer at Shaffer Development, the group behind the new Mequon venue, in the release. “The Market is now 100 percent committed for all available spaces within the 10,000-square-foot of this historic building.

Rice n Roll for Wauwatosa

The East Side sushi spot Rice n Roll could be expanding its reach outside of Milwaukee. A proposal for a location at 7484 W. State St. has been submitted to the City of Wauwatosa and will go before the community affairs committee on June 12. If approved, Rice n Roll would be one of the first tenants for the State Street Station, along with Orange Theory Fitness.

BizTimes’ Maredithe Meyer writes more about the family business:

Sibling duo Tammy and JJ Lert, with their cousin Tony Kora opened Rice n Roll in 2015 at 1952 N. Farwell Ave. The restaurant serves Thai dishes and sushi rolls made with seasonal ingredients, according to its website. Neither the Lerts nor Kora were immediately available for comment.

Rice n Roll’s new location would maintain its original concept, offering its current menu, which includes a selection of beer and wine. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Rice n Roll will offer outdoor seating and both take-out and delivery services.

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