Korean, Caribbean, and Campfires!
Plus: new taproom for East Side and new McBobb's spins off, Tusk, on West Side.
The much-anticipated East Side Korean wing bar Merge officially opens today, November 27.
The new restaurant and bar combo located at 1932 E. Kenilworth Pl. features a modern, artistic look on the interior of the space which was once Yokohama — a ramen restaurant which closed in February after less than a year of business.
The venue serves a variety of drinks like craft beer and cocktails, as well as food options ranging from burgers to tacos and of course the main feature: Korean fried chicken wings.
The wings come in groupings from 8 to 36 wings and a choice of three sauces: soy garlic, honey mustard, sweet and spicy and volcano…
Equally as good is the Korean fried cauliflower, a vegetarian option prepared in the same fashion as the wings ($7)…
On the side you can get loaded fries topped with items like kimchi, cheese, Sriracha and scallions or beef or pork bulgogi ($6)…
There are also sandwiches, including the Merge Burger featuring a ⅓-pound patty, lettuce, tomato, red onions, American cheese, house pickles, Gochujang Merge sauce on a Pretzilla bun ($9); the KFC burger featuring Korean fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, red onions, house pickles and garlic aioli ($9)…
The kitchen at Merge operates from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Sundays. The bar remains open until midnight on weeknights and 1:00 a.m. on weekends.
New Eastern Caribbean-Style Restaurant
New restaurant Jewels Caribbean just opened its doors to the public on Saturday.
Located at 2230 N. Martin Luther King Dr., the restaurant features a selection of Eastern Caribbean cuisines based off flavors from Trinidad, Saint Lucia, and other nearby islands.
Owner and operator of the new family-owned restaurant, Lennora Jules, takes inspiration from her parents Lucile and Selo, who are both originally from the island of Saint Lucia. Her sister Natasha Jules contributes, too, serving as the day-to-day operator.
The venue transforms what was once a retail space into a vibrant, colorful decor meant to mimic the feel of the Eastern Caribbean.
Fredrich reports more:
“What we really wanted was to create a really inviting atmosphere,” notes Natasha Jules of the space. “Ultimately, we wanted it to be the type of place where we would like to go”…
There are salads, including a tropical mango salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, mango, red onions and balsamic vinaigrette ($8.95) and a creamy kale salad with kale, red onions, raisins and sunflower seeds…
There’s also stewed, curried or jerk chicken served with rice and peas, steamed vegetables and ground provisions, a savory combination of starchy vegetables including yucca, taro, cassava, green bananas and plantains ($12.95); Caribbean stewed pork served alongside cabbage and carrots, plantains and boiled green plantains ($15.95)…
On top of regular lunch and dinner service, Jewels Caribbean also offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Jewels Caribbean operates from 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. The bar regularly operates until close, also serving tapas all day until 10:00 p.m.
Owner of McBob’s Opens New Restaurant
Tusk, located at 5513 W. North Ave., is just a few blocks away from McBob’s, at 4919 W. North Ave.
The new restaurant’s name is reportedly inspired by McRoberts’ love for elephants; her collection of elephant art will eventually be housed within the new venue as well.
Tusk’s menu focuses on a variety of fresh and house-made items, as well as sharable plates to accommodate a more family friendly experience. At the bar, craft cocktails and a selection of wines can also be found.
He said dishes on the menu can be shared, although there also are items like ramen expressly for one. (Components such as mushroom broth and bacon dashi are made from scratch at the restaurant)…
“I wanted to make it so you can come in with your friends and family, and nobody has to worry about not being able to eat,” he said…
At the bar, Pattie Ford, formerly of Juniper 61 in Wauwatosa, said she wanted to focus on fresh ingredients and infusions, such as mango, pineapple and jalapeño in tequila.
Tusk’s kitchen is open for dinner from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The bar will operate later until close. Tusk also offers takeout and private party options.
Hacienda Beer Co. to Open Taproom
Hacienda Beer Co. made a Facebook announcement last week about its plans to open a new taproom on the East Side.
The company aims to open the taproom some time next year to be located at 2018 E. North Ave., former location of G-Daddy’s BBC which closed in the Spring of 2017.
Hacienda launched earlier this year as the experimental wing of Door County Brewing Co.
The brewery’s goal is to open the Milwaukee taproom in May of 2019. Beer for the Milwaukee taproom will come from Door County Brewing Co.’s 15-barrel brew house located in Baileys Harbor.
Some of Door County Brewing Co.’s more experimental brews may be moved under the Hacienda label.
Camping-Themed Restaurant Coming
Finally, an eatery that brings the joys of camping in the Wisconsin wilderness within the comfort of an inn.
The full name of this proposed Muskego restaurant and bar, Outside Inn with Bacon, just received a funding boost from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. to help the project get launched.
Co-owner of the new restaurant David Dayler, who also co-owns the Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon in Brookfield, is aiming to set up the prospective venue in Muskego’s Parkland Towne Center.
“We want it to be a dining and gathering experience where people go simply for the enjoyment of the quality of the food, the camaraderie, the atmosphere, the ability to feel like you’re outdoors even in the middle of the worst blizzard or snowstorm or windstorm or whatever God-awful weather Wisconsin’s presenting at the time,” he said…
“It should be a really neat concept visually,” Dayler said. “Hopefully it brings that same kind of feeling that you feel when you’re sitting around a campfire sharing stories and hanging out with friends. That was the idea. We wanted an ambience where people just feel, ‘Man, it’s fun to hang out here.’”
The menu is slated to include your typical campground meals, such as smoked pork chops, rotisserie chicken, vegetable medley in tin foil and more.
An exact opening date has been delayed according to Daylor and will be held off until there is more confidence to make an announcement.
Christmas Pop-Up Bar For Walker’s Point
A national Christmas pop-up event named Miracle will be hosted this year by the Tin Widow in Walker’s Point.
Located at 703 S. 2nd St., the cocktail bar is housing the annual pop-up bar with a variety of seasonal drinks and will put aside a portion of sales to charity.
The event officially began on Black Friday and will last until Christmas Eve, occurring during the bar’s normal hours: from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. every night besides Fridays and Saturdays, where the bar closes at 2:30 a.m. instead.
Deptolla has more details:
The Tin Widow will be done up in Christmas decorations that fit the bar’s aesthetic, after the staff scoured local resale shops. “We always joke that it feels like your grandparents’ basement in 1978,” owner Sam Berman said…
Some of the pop-up cocktails (all $12):
- Snowball Old Fashioned (butterscotch rye, spiced brown sugar, wormwood bitters, lemon zest)
- And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (reposado tequila, pear brandy, mezcal, spiced brown sugar, lime, egg white, club soda, Angostura bitters, cinnamon)
- Christmas Carol Barrel (aged rum, aquavit, amaro, pumpkin-pie flavors, lemon, Angostura bitters)…
Christmas-themed glassware will also be for sale; part of the proceeds goes towards the global charity Action Against Hunger.
Since the bar has a small capacity, Berman hopes customers will be patient with the large crowds that are expected.
More information on the national pop-up event Miracle can be found on the event website.
If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.