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The Mothership Landing in Bay View

Plus: Changes in East Side sushi scene. And an East Town cocktail bar planned.

By - Mar 21st, 2019 03:40 pm
Urban Bay View will become The Mothership. Photo by Michael Horne.

Urban Bay View will become The Mothership. Photo by Michael Horne.

Kanpai 2, the sister restaurant to Kanpai (408 E. Chicago St.), opened in May 2018 following the closure of East Side restaurant Izumi’s in December 2017. Now, the owners have decided to bring in a new concept, called Maru Sushi, to their establishment at 2150 N. Prospect Ave.

The new concept and menu has been implemented to better serve the desires of area customers. OnMilwaukee’s Lori Fredrich runs through the options:

At Maru, all you can eat sushi options are available for both lunch (appetizers, classic and signature maki) and dinner (hot and cold starters, nigiri sushi and both classic and signature maki), priced at $14.95 and $25.99 respectively. The concept is family friendly as well: children age 10 and under eat for half price, while children five and under eat for free.

The caveats: in order to limit waste, customers are limited to a two-hour dining window for all-you-can-eat options. Up to two rolls can be ordered at one time and customers are asked to finish their entire order before requesting additional rolls. Leftover sushi cannot be carried out; in fact a surcharge of $1 per piece of sushi will apply to any food left uneaten.

Maru Sushi serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Dinner hours are 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Urban Bay View Closes, Mothership Hovers

While Urban Bay View (939 E. Lincoln Ave.) had its last day of business on Saint Patrick’s Day, the space may only be vacant for a few weeks. The business will be quickly transformed into a new bar, called The Mothership. Owned by Ricky Ramirez, The Mothership will have “a casual cocktail focus and an underlying sci-fi theme.” Ramirez has past experience at Transfer Pizzeria, Strange Town and The Vanguard. Urban Bay View’s former owner, Paul Jonas, will maintain ownership of the building.

Following some changes to the interior decor, Ramirez hopes to be open by Milwaukee Day on April 14 at the latest with a”non-pretentious” and “extremely affordable” drink menu, as Milwaukee Record‘s Tyler Maas reports:

Ramirez is leaving space for experimentation with cocktail creations like “Shadow Government” (a blend of mushroom tea, cacao bourbon, coconut cream, and lapsang bitters), “Colonies On The Moon” (five-spice baked pineapple puree, scarlet tea, navy strength rum, honey, and peychaud’s bitters), and “I Want To Believe” (apple cider vinegar, peach & cranberry syrup, kalamansi, tequila, and CO2). Adding to the “cold beer and other remedies” The Mothership plans to offer is the bar’s unheard of food pairing.

Inspired by his appreciation for convenience store fare he’s developed from years of touring, Ramirez plans to have a cold case stocked with gourmet takes on gas station sandwiches made by a rotating cast of Milwaukee chefs. Foxfire will start things off with options like elevated egg salad, Nashville hot chicken salad, and Bento Box snack packs they’re calling “Adult Lunchables.”

Entertainment Bar For East Town

770 N. Milwaukee St. Photo by Dave Reid.

770 N. Milwaukee St. Photo by Dave Reid.

A new cocktail bar and event space may open in the former Catch 22 Bar and Grill (770 N. Milwaukee St.) this summer. License applications have been filed for a business called The Merovingian. The Merovingian’s owner, Sean Pliss, declined to comment further on his plans.

Urban Milwaukee provides some of the application’s details:

If the licenses are approved, the new concept would diverge somewhat from that of its predecessors. The applications were applied for a business called The Merovingian, LLC, which is described as a cocktail lounge and banquet hall that can be used for weddings, receptions, corporate gatherings and other events. According to the applications, The Merovingian expects to host instrumental musicians, bands, comedy acts, DJs, magic shows, contests, karaoke and dancing by both performers and customers…

No smoking will be allowed on the premises, and there will also be an estimated 10 security personnel. The business expects to make 40 percent of its sales from alcohol sales, 10 percent from entertainment and the other 50 percent from event rental. While the application lists the age range of potential customers as all ages, it also says no one under the age of 21 will be allowed inside the building after 10 p.m. The business expects to have 50 to 350 customers per day. The 4,000-square-foot space has a maximum capacity of 350 people.

According to the license application, The Merovingian will be open from 6 2 a.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Summer Festivals Announce Dates

Multiple summer festivals have announced their dates and locations. Recently announced events include three festivals at the Summerfest grounds, one at the Marcus Center downtown and a new bloody Mary festival at Fiserv Forum.

BizTimes’ Maredithe Meyer provides information on the festivals being held at the Summerfest grounds:

Taco Fest will take place Saturday, June 22. Held in past years at Wisconsin State Fair Park, the festival includes taco tasting, cervezas, wrestling, and other entertainment. Tickets will go on sale on March 22 at the festival’s website.   

Big BBQ Fest, to be held during Labor Day weekend (August 30 to September 1), will feature barbecue, games and live entertainment. It replaces Big Gig BBQ, a similar event that took place in past years during that weekend. More details, including ticket information will be released in the coming months…

The Summerfest grounds this summer will also play host once again to Black Arts Fest MKE on Saturday, Aug. 3. The festival, which celebrates African American culture and heritage, first debuted last year. R&B trio SWV will headline the event with a performance set for 10:15 p.m. at the Miller Lite Oasis stage.

Meyer also details plans for the Fresh Coast Jazz Festival and Bloody Mary Festival:

Joining Milwaukee’s festival offerings for the first time this year is Fresh Coast Jazz Festival, taking place during Labor Day weekend at the Marcus Center grounds on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. The three-day event will feature performances from renowned and rising jazz artists including Jazz Funk Soul, Lindsey Webster and Ronnie Laws, according to its website.

The nationally-touring Bloody Mary Festival will also make a Milwaukee debut this summer, on Saturday and Sunday, June 22 and 23 at the public plaza outside Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks announced Monday.

Day passes for the Fresh Coast Jazz Festival are priced between $95 and $155, and can be purchased on the Marcus Center’s website. Tickets for the Bloody Mary Festival can be purchased here.

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