Now Serving

Food Hall Opens Shanghai Speakeasy

Plus: New East Town cocktail parlor. And Buckley's new dining room opens.

By - Jan 9th, 2019 04:24 pm
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Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

Crossroads Collective (2238 N. Farwell Ave.) is a family-friendly hub for diverse cuisine, but it also has a special night-life trick up its sleeve. The food hall has its own speakeasy, which opened on January 3. The bar, called Shanghai, is accessible through a secret entrance in Black Cat Alley.

Shanghai boasts an intimate atmosphere with room for only about 30 people at the most. OnMilwaukee’s Matt Mueller provides a sneak peek:

Also adding to the atmosphere is the decor, comprised of retro movie posters involving Shanghai and newspaper clippings for Hollywood stars and old-school cinemas, all surrounded by warm brick and glowing vintage incandescent light bulbs. Overall, it feels like a tiny spot pulled out of the 1920s…

The drinks, however, are a little less old fashioned – though they do make a classic old fashioned, the Crossroads Co-Fashioned. The rest of the cocktail menu – ranging in price from $10 to $15 – features some new twists on retro classics, like a plummy take on a Singapore Sling called a Sling It Again, an East-meets-West version of a Manhattan called a Anna May-hattan and a bright blue mezcal beverage named Nice Try, Lao Che after the crime lord from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

Shanghai is open 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Poke Restaurant for Bay View

Bay View Commons, 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Bay View Commons, 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Plans for a new Poke restaurant in Bay View are in the works. The restaurant, called Fuji Poke, will be located at 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. The 1,800-square-foot space previously housed a Subway, which has closed (see our story below).

Urban Milwaukee reports on the new restaurant:

Fuji Poke will be operated by the same proprietors as Japanese restaurant Fujiyama, according to a representative of the Bay View Commons’ property owner. Fujiyama specializes in Sushi and Hibachi, and has locations at 2916 S. 108 St. in West Allis and 17395 W. Bluemound Rd. in Brookfield.

XO Cocktail Parlor for East Town

The XO Cocktail Parlor was originally slated for a summer opening, which didn’t happen, but the upscale bar and lounge is making progress towards opening. The bar is located at 326 E. Mason St. in the former 42 Lounge space, and will emphasize signature cocktails, small plates and a “a sophisticated lounge-style environment.”

No official opening date has been announced, but posts on the cocktail lounge’s Instagram have been providing updates on renovations. OMC’s Lori Fredrich spoke with XO’s owner, Larry Taylor, about his plans:

[H]e’s taken great pains to design a space that captures a very distinct look and feel. To do so, he’s relied on the expertise of Flux Design to assist him in bringing the space to life. That includes custom-designed furnishings and interior details including “embellishments that may or may not have been used in recent times…”

The venue, he says, will have a lounge-like vibe, featuring soft seating and cocktail height tables along with a palette of neutral warm tones and pops of red. In addition to a full bar, the venue will also feature a menu of appetizers and small plates appropriate for dinner and snacking.

XO Cocktail Parlor plans to be open 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday and 4 p.m. to bar close Thursday through Saturday.

Buckley’s Expansion Opens

Buckley’s Kiskeam Inn

Buckley’s Kiskeam Inn

The new dining room for Buckley’s Restaurant and Bar officially opens today, January 9. The expansion, located in an adjacent building at 801 N. Cass St., comes complete with a new chef, Van Luu. Luu previously served as chef at Bacchus and Locavore. Buckley’s is operated by Mike and Pam Buckley, along with their sons, Taylor and Britt.

With the expansion now open, it’s time for the original restaurant to undergo renovations. Once finished, it will become “entirely bar space.” The Journal Sentinel’s Carol Deptolla spoke with Britt Buckley about some of the changes:

In the meantime, customers can dine downstairs and upstairs in the expansion, which includes a new connector building between the two older buildings, dating to 1897 and 1922…

[The kitchen] now has two French-top ranges instead of a six-burner stove, to begin with, with a “more refined ability to control the heat on our pans,” Buckley said.

The kitchen also has a plancha, a high-heat flat-top grill; a salamander for broiling; a freezer that will allow items like granita to be added to new dishes; and an oven from Alto-Shaam replacing the previous fan oven “that gives us a lot more versatility,” Buckley said, allowing for braising, steaming, dehydrating and smoking.

Giordano’s Opening in Wisconsin

Giordano’s, the Chicago-based company known for its deep dish pizza, plans to open what you might call its first locations in Wisconsin. There actually was a Giordano’s in the Grand Ave Mall beginning in 1995, but it was gone by 2002.

So here we are some 16 years later and the company is about try again: its website lists locations in Kenosha and Madison as “coming soon.” Giordano’s currently operates restaurants in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Ohio.

The BizTimes’ Maredithe Meyer details plans for the Kenosha location:

Giordano’s is seeking approval for a 4,442-square-foot restaurant to be located at 7120 Green Bay Road in Kenosha, according to city documents.

The building would be constructed on an outlot at Southport Plaza shopping center, joining nearby restaurant chains Taco Bell, McDonald’s and HuHot Mongolian Grill.

Site plans will be reviewed by the city’s Plan Commission on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Now Closing: Subway at Bay View Commons

The Subway located at the Bay View Commons (2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) has closed.

Urban Milwaukee offers more details:

The Subway that was located inside the space has closed, and all the furnishings and equipment relating to the sandwich shop have been emptied out. Phone calls to the business’ phone number went unanswered, and the location is no longer listed on Subway’s website. The location’s food dealer license was valid until June 30, 2019.

The Subway located at 2915 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View remains open.

Now Closing: Kil@wat

Kil@wat, the restaurant located inside the InterContinental Milwaukee hotel, had its last day of business on January 8. The restaurant’s closure accompanies the hotel’s temporary closure. The InterContinental also temporarily closed on January 8, as it undergoes a rebranding orchestrated by its parent company, Marcus Hotels & Resorts.

Milwaukee Business Journal’s Sari Lesk details the rebranding components:

In November, the group announced it would rebrand the InterContinental as Saint Kate, named for the patron saint of artists Saint Catherine.

The name was chosen to reflect Marcus’ plans to turn the hotel into an independent, arts-inspired venue…

Upgrades include a new theater, a gallery space, an artist-in-residence studio, event spaces and new culinary concepts, according to Kil@Wat.

Marcus is planning a May re-opening for Saint Kate.

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One thought on “Now Serving: Food Hall Opens Shanghai Speakeasy”

  1. Ctadam12 says:

    Sounds cool 🍸

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