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Three New Restaurants Coming

In Downtown, Walker's Point, East Side. Plus: new Bay View wine bar.

By - Oct 23rd, 2018 02:40 pm
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Future home of Crab It Your Way, 823 N. 2nd St.

Future home of Crab It Your Way, 823 N. 2nd St. Photo from Google.

A new Cajun-style seafood restaurant has plans to open Downtown — and to serve beverages that vaporize.

Owner of Crab It Your Way Devonzell Hollingsworth is aiming to open the new venue sometime in November, to be located inside Chalet at the River at 823 N. 2nd St.

Besides traditional Cajun-style options, and a fine dining atmosphere, the new place will boast eccentric drinks like liquor served with dry ice and other alcoholic beverages that will vaporize.

Sari Lesk of the Milwaukee Business Journal offers more on Hollingsworth’s plans:

He said he doesn’t have a background in restaurants but knows “what good food should taste like.”

“Every time I eat seafood anywhere here, it’s always done the same,” he said. “It’s boiled, and they bring the butter. It’s kind of boring. I’m bringing in some fun: new flavors and new ideas.”

Crab It Your Way will likely be open regularly for lunch and dinner service — more information will be released as the restaurant develops.

c.1880 Becomes Don’s Diner

After planning to open on September 25 as reported in an earlier Urban Milwaukee article, Don’s Diner is finally slated to open this Friday, October 26 according to a recent news release.

The new restaurant and tavern is located at the former site of c.1880 at 1100 S. 1st St. and is operated by StandEatDrink Hospitality Group.

The original business license application was filed by Aaron Gersonde, partner of StandEatDrink and grandson of Don Gersonde, who the restaurant is named after. Don is described as a World War II veteran and former Milwaukee police captain.

The restaurant will offer a diner-style lineup of breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as drinks ranging from house-made milkshakes to cocktails.

Lesk has more:

“It will be that enjoyable and affordable neighborhood diner where you always feel welcome,” according to a news release. “Catch it anytime, as it will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner items all day long, seven days a week”…

Examples of menu items include “piggies in a blanket” — a stack of pancakes with bacon cooked in — and “meatballs and truffle,” the release says.

Once open, Don’s Diner will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

New East Side Restaurant and Bar

1932 E. Kenilworth Pl. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

1932 E. Kenilworth Pl. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

A new restaurant and bar named Merge is planning to open sometime in November at the former space of Yokohama.

The name was chosen because the place will merge a restaurant and bar. It will be located at 1932 E. Kenilworth Pl. and operated under owners Jongsoo Kim and Choonghoon Lee. Kim and Lee are already known for operating other popular venues in Milwaukee: Kim currently co-owns Kanpai Izakaya and Kanpai 2 and Lee currently co-owns Char’d.

Other operators include the general manager Hank Kim and bar manager Patrick Kapple.

The restaurant and bar will not offer full meals, but smaller snacks like bar food with a Korean-style twist along with a sizable cocktail menu.

Urban Milwaukee’s Jennifer Rick reports more:

The menu will have 6 to 8 items made from scratch, including wings, fried dumplings and different versions of corn dogs. As for drinks, Kapple says there will be no table service, and a counter service will be available for ordering food. Jongsoo Kim mentioned that Merge’s food will be substantially different from their other restaurants, and that the snack concept is intended to prevent competition with Kanpai 2, located down the street. Kapple says the drink menu will not necessarily have craft cocktails but will still be a “nice cocktail menu.”

The city of Milwaukee is set to review the tavern license application today and, if approved, could allow for an early November opening. However, due to probable delays with renovating the space, the owners say a mid-November opening would be optimistic.

Once open, Merge will operate from 4:00 p.m. daily with the bar closing at midnight during weekdays and either 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Voyager Wine Bar Now Open

A new wine bar in Bay View named Voyager is now open, offering a range of wines from around the world.

The wine bar is located 422 E. Lincoln Ave., the former space of one of the few locations of Refuge Cafe around the city. The space was renovated over the summer and is now owned by Jordan Burich and Micah Buck, former employees at DanDan in the Third Ward.

Voyager holds a range of wines from mostly small producers in the United States and Europe, serving glasses, carafes or whole bottles at fair prices.

Carol Deptolla of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more info:

…bottles range from $19 to $42 on the current list, and glasses start at $6.

Customers will find bottles like the sparkling Rosato Pet-Nat from Channing Daughters on Long Island, N.Y., and the Castrillo del Duero Tempranillo from Alfredo Maestro in Spain’s Ribera del Duero…

It also pours some beer and hard cider; although the focus is on wine and a brief rotating list of cocktails, the owners have said they want to have something for everyone.

The wine bar will also offer a small variety of snacks to complement the main lineup of drinks, including cheese, charcuterie, marinated olives and spiced nuts.

Voyager will operate from noon to 8:00 p.m. Sundays, 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 3:00 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

The Vanguard Gets Funny

Vanguard. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Vanguard. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Bay View cocktail bar and sausage joint The Vanguard will transform into a pop-up comedy club on Halloween night named “The Punchline”.

The bar, located at 2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., has been known to shake up its menu regularly, whether it be special holiday themes or completely transforming into a Chinese-style restaurant for a day, which it did last year in late October.

The event will offer a lineup of Milwaukee comedians as well as festivities like a special burger menu and punch bowl concoctions.

Tyler Maas of Milwaukee Record reports more:

“I think people get confused by our Halloween events,” Vanguard co-owner Chris Schulist says. “Our idea behind them is, if the people behind Vanguard were to open another place with a totally different concept, what would it be? Kind of like our dream bar and restaurant”…

And there’s sure to be a surprise or two along the way. Schulist tells us patrons are encouraged to dress as their favorite comedians “or, honestly, just dress ’80s.”

The Vanguard will spice up the holiday season with their temporary comedy club next Wednesday night, October 31st.

New Ownership for Riverfront Pizza

With the retirement of current owner Brenda Regenfelder, Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill in the Third Ward will see changes come Summer 2019.

The pizzeria, located at 509 E. Erie St., was recently purchased by executive chef Arturo Napoles who joined the business just two years ago. Although Napoles acknowledges that the restaurant is doing well, minor changes in the atmosphere of the restaurant as well as installing a new wood-fired pizza oven are in mind for the future.

Maredithe Meyer of BizTimes has more:

“We are doing well, but of course, we want to do even better,” Napoles said…

Upgrades to the menu will include more seafood dishes and lighter options such as salads, Napoles said, as diners are looking for fresher, healthier meals…

Napoles also plans to work with more Milwaukee-based breweries and vendors to offer a better variety of locally sourced food and beverages.

Changes will start to take effect sometime in November after the transition is complete, Napoles notes.

Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill operates from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sundays.

Now Closing: D14 Brewery and Pub

D14 Brewery and Pub.

D14 Brewery and Pub.

D14 Brewery & Pub, located at 2273 S. Howell Ave. in Bay View, will be closing after this Friday, October 26th.

Owner Matt McCulloch announced the planned closing last week in a Facebook post. On the bright side, the same post was preceded by an announcement of a new sour beer on tap named Final Hour Sour, perhaps showing the bar plans to go out with a bang.

Urban Milwaukee’s Jennifer Rick has more details:

According to the post, D14 Brewery will close before the end of the month. “To say it breaks my heart…is an understatement,” says McCulloch. “I won’t get into all the why’s, except to say it is simply time to move on.”

McCulloch opened the brewery in September 2014, naming it after the aldermanic district it resides in, District 14.

A closing party was held on Saturday, October 20th; however, the venue will remain open until after this Friday, the 26th.

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