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New Burger Emporium Opens Downtown

Plus: another Third Ward Camp Bar. Phobruary returns. Kitt's Custard closing?

By - Feb 21st, 2019 01:33 pm
Burgerim. Photo from Facebook.

Burgerim. Photo from Facebook.

A new member of the Camp Bar family has come to town. The new sister bar is called Campsite 131, and a grand-opening will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 1. The bar will be located at 131 N. Jackson St., around the corner from Camp Bar Third Ward (525 E. Menomonee St.). The Camp bars, which are run by Hackbarth Hospitality Group, also have locations in Shorewood (4044 N. Oakland Ave.) and Wauwatosa (6600 W. North Ave.).

OnMilwaukee’s Lori Fredrich, who describes Campsite 131 as “just a little bit shinier” than its counterparts, takes a look at the menu:

On the beverage side, Campsite will offer a bit of something for everyone. In addition to the classic Camp Bar old fashioned (and a few new iterations), there will be a brand new menu of both cocktails and mocktails and a curated list of bottled and canned craft brews from across the state (plus Miller Lite and Coors Light, the latter of which is Co-owner Paul Hackbarth‘s go-to beverage)…

The bar will also offer ice cream drinks: a brandy Alexander and grasshopper to start, plus a selection of fun seasonal ice cream drinks in the summer.

On the food side, Campsite will maintain a similar model to Camp Bar Third Ward, offering a small menu of appetizers (think Milwaukee Pretzel Company pretzels, mozzarella sticks and other similar fare) along with a brand new offering: Cranky’s pinsa, Roman street food-style pizzas made with a unique flour blend that results in a light, airy crust with fewer calories than a traditional pizza crust. The pinsa will be offered with six topping variations including caprese and Wisconsin beer brat.

Campsite 131 will also have a larger focus on wine than the other bars. Wine will be available by the glass and bottle, and wine flights and a wine club will be incorporated later. Hackbarth Hospitality Group’s director of operations Adriana Ramirez also says a number of wine-based cocktails will be served, including a rose margarita and different variations of mimosas.

Once open, hours of operation will be 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 2 p.m. to close Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. to close Sunday.

Burgerim Opens Downtown

Burgerim, an international mini-burger chain based in California, has opened its first Wisconsin location inside the former Cousins Subs space at 1001 N. Old World Third St. The restaurant is operated by franchisees Mohammed H. Mohammed, Mohamed A. Omballi and Mohammed S. Elhassan.

The Journal Sentinel’s Carol Deptolla lists the fare:

The 3-ounce patties and fillets are sold in twos or threes, with prices starting at $7 for two burgers; three with fries and a soda are $13.

The options include beef, dry-aged beef, veggie burger, salmon, chicken, turkey, chorizo and beef merguez sausage; halal meat is available. Diners can customize their sandwiches with sauces and toppings such as a fried egg.

Sides, wings and desserts also are on the menu.

The company first announced the location in May 2018, and the restaurant was originally planned for a November 2018 opening pending the approval of its food dealer license. However, Burgerim’s license was not actually issued until February 6, 2019.

Burgerim is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant currently only offers sit-down or takeout orders, but delivery and online ordering are expected to be added in the future.

Phobruary Returns

The annual celebration known as “Phobruary” has arrived for its sixth year in Silver City. The event, held during the duration of February, focuses on the Vietnamese noodle soup dish known as pho. Restaurants offering Phobruary specials include Bamboo (3427 W. National Ave.), Thai Bar-B-Que (3417 W. National Ave.) and Vientiane Noodle Shop (3422 W. National Ave.).

Elyse McFeggan of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service dishes on the deals:

Sponsored by Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, each restaurant is offering $5 bowls of pho all February long. There is also the Phobruary challenge, where participants have the chance of winning a $25 gift certificate to Asian International Market at 3401 W. National Ave.

The challenge is to finish a $5 bowl of pho at each restaurant in one day. To participate, you should pick a restaurant to start with and order pho. After you finish your dish, send a photo of yourself with your empty bowl and your receipt to Celia Benton, economic development director at Layton Boulevard West Neighbors. She can be reached at The first three people to complete the challenge will receive a gift certificate. All other champions will win a certificate of achievement and be entered to win a gift certificate. The winner will be announced on March 1.

SURG Fundraiser for Fallen MPD Officers

A fundraiser has been planned to honor Milwaukee police officers Matthew Rittner, Charles Irvine, Jr. and Michael Michalski, who have all died in the past year. SURG restaurant group is spearheading the fundraiser, which is called MPD Fallen Heroes Fundraiser. The event will run from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 2, and will be held at SURG on the Water (102 N. Water St).

Milwaukee Business Journal’s Sari Lesk offers more:

Proceeds will benefit the family of officer Matthew Rittner, who was fatally shot in the line of duty Feb. 6…

Funds will also support travel expenses for the family of officers Charles Irvine Jr. and Michael Michalski as they travel to Washington, D.C. The names of the officers are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall.

Irvine died last year after his vehicle rolled over near an overpass during a high-speed chase with a motorist. Michalski died last year after he was shot in a home searching for a suspect.

Admission to the event costs $20 and includes refreshments and two drink tickets. A silent and live auction will sell items donated by local businesses. Food will be provided by Carnevor, Calderone Club, Umami Moto and Saz’s. More information can be found here.

Fuel Cafe Adds Solar Panels

Fuel Cafe (630 S. 5th St.) has taken a step towards going green. The Walker’s Point bar and restaurant has recently added 60 solar panels, which are expected to save the business lots of money.

BizTimes’ Maredithe Meyer reports:

Fuel’s $44,000 solar project, which began in late November and wrapped up late last month, will provide only a small amount of electricity needed to power the restaurant, but operators Mojofuco Restaurants and Toro, Toro, Toro expect a return on their investment.

By offsetting the restaurant’s previous energy usage by 7.5 percent, the newly installed solar panels will reduce operating costs by an estimated average of $4,300 per year, amounting to more than $100,000 over 30 years, according to an announcement.

Other solar-powered restaurants in Milwaukee include Bounce Milwaukee (2801 S. 5th Court) and Riverwest Co-op Grocery and Cafe (733 E. Clarke St.).

Now Closing?: Kitt’s Frozen Custard

Kitt’s Frozen Custard (7000 W. Capitol Dr.) appears to be shut down, but its future is still uncertain. While the business has appeared desolate in recent weeks, there may still be some life left in the nearly 70-year-old custard stand. Kitt’s is located in the 2nd Aldermanic District, and its alderman, Ald. Cavalier Johnson, told OnMilwaukee that as far he knows, “there is intention to reopen soon.”

OMC’s Bobby Tanzilo reports:

Some customers have noticed the business locked up tight since earlier this month and have posted about it on social media. An afternoon visit this week found the door locked and hand-written “closed” signs in the windows.

However, the phone remains in service (there is no outgoing message), and there are neither posts to the Kitt’s Facebook page and Twitter feed – though neither has been updated in years – nor updates to restaurant review sites like Yelp that say it is closed.

Along with custard, Kitt’s also served burgers, barbecue sandwiches, chili dogs and other dishes. The stand originally opened in 1950, and was run by father and son Harry and John Kittredge. John’s son, Eugene, began running the business in 1979. The stand was eventually sold to Ray “Butch” Rydz, who has operated it since.

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