Michael Holloway
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Stone Creek Temporarily Closes In Response to Coronavirus

Plus: New restaurants announce plans to open later this year.

By - Mar 15th, 2020 01:18 pm
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Stone Creek Coffee - Downer Ave. Photo by Dave Reid.

Stone Creek Coffee – Downer Ave. Photo by Dave Reid.

As the United States moves to slow the spread of coronavirus and in turn hopefully save lives and reduce the strain on the country’s medical system, for the foreseeable future we expect this column to become a weekly update dominated by what is temporarily closed.

Stone Creek Coffee is the biggest group of cafes or restaurants to close, but it likely won’t be the last. The Milwaukee-based company operates 12 cafes in the area and one in Illinois. It will close its doors to in-person retail at 5 p.m. Monday, but will continue to fulfill online orders. Stone Creek has pledged to continue to pay all of its employees.

Stone Creek joins Press Waffles, Yo Factory, Lakefront Brewery, Good City Brewing‘s Deer District location, Sprecher Brewing Co. and The Highbury Pub in closing. A number of businesses have begun scaling back hours and virtually all large events have been canceled.

If you want to support your favorite restaurant or bar, the most immediately impactful thing you can likely do is purchase a gift card, it provides liquidity to the business in the short run and you can redeem it in the future when the pandemic ends. If you want to speed up when that future arrives, please stay home if you’re able.

Explorium Opening Milwaukee Brewpub

Greendale-based brewpub Explorium Brewpub is opening a second location in Milwaukee. The new brewery and restaurant will be located in the Pritzlaff Building at the southwest corner of N. Plankinton Ave. and W. St. Paul Ave. Graham Kilmer has more information:

“The Pritzlaff Building is in an ideal venue for our brewery-restaurant and having on-site parking, an outside patio space, and being right on The Hop streetcar route really just makes this the perfect spot for us,” Mike Doble, owner of Explorium, said in a statement. “I’m extremely excited to return to the neighborhood where I worked for several years.”

The brewery’s current location is located in the first floor of Southridge Mall.

The new location will not be just a taproom. It will have specialty food items and cocktails, with brunch on the weekends. Fans of the brewery can expect most of the same beer and food that its Greendale location has. And there will be plenty of beer produced on site. The new location will have a 10-barrel brewhouse with cellar tanks and 24 house-made beers on tap according to the press release. The location will be open seven days a week.

Southern Restaurant To Open In Base of Huron Building

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant focusing on Southern food and traditions, will open in the first floor of the Huron Building located at 511 N. Broadway. Urban Milwaukee’s own Jeramey Jannene reports

The restaurant will occupy approximately 5,000 square feet in the base of the 11-story building. Law firm Husch Blackwell will serve as the anchor tenant in the building’s upper floors. The building is currently under construction at the northwest corner of the intersection of N. Broadway and E. Clybourn St.

“Tupelo Honey is a revival of Southern food and traditions rooted in the Carolina Mountains we call home,” says the restaurant’s website. Founded in Asheville, NC in 2000, the Milwaukee restaurant would be the restaurant’s 18th location. A press release announcing the deal says it is “scheduled to open in late 2020/early 2021.”

The menu is focused on scratch-made food and cocktails. The restaurant will serve brunch, lunch and dinner. An outdoor patio is planned.

Brady St. Boasts Mexican Ice Cream Shop

You now have another option to satisfy that sweet tooth on the Lower East Side. Graham Kilmer reports on the opening of Jona’s Pit Stop:

In a small, unassuming building, across the street from Glorioso’s Appetito, Julisa Marin recently opened Jona’s Pit Stop at 1023 E. Brady St. It’s a Mexican ice cream shop, so it serves the frozen dessert with brighter colors and more vivid flavors, Marin tells Urban Milwaukee.

It’s her first business. And, despite the long hours, she’s enjoying it. The freedom that comes with being your own boss pairs nicely with being a mother, Marin says. Not to mention, the cool things Jona’s is doing with ice cream.

Jona’s has a menu, but will serve you ice cream however you want it, she says. Want a banana split with three different kinds of ice cream? You got it. Want a banana smoothie with cinnamon? Coming right up.

Everything is prepared right in front of you. And Marin wants you to have exactly what you want. “You’re the one eating it,” she notes.

Stella Van Beuren Rolls Out New Spring Menu

Stella Van Buren, the Italian restaurant with a residency at the Westin Hotel (550 N. Van Buren St.), is rolling out its new spring menu in time to impress during the lead-up to the Democratic National Convention. Chef Zach Espinosa has been the head of the kitchen for two years now, and believes that the restaurant is beginning to establish an identity. OnMilwaukee’s Lori Fredrich has a sneak peek at what to expect:

Among the new offerings on the lunch and dinner menus are numerous mouthwatering appetizers, including crab and artichoke bruschetta featuring shaved red onions, roasted tomatoes and fresh crab on a bed of bernaise sauce ($12).

Among the offerings featuring Stella’s freshly made pasta, you’ll find a variety of options from housemade baked lasagne ($19) to new dishes like vodka marinara featuring rigatoni served with spicy lamb sausage, broccolini and pecorino romano ($21) and pancetta gemelli with marinated artichokes, asparagus, pancetta, spinach, aged provolone and buerre monte ($19).

“Beyond that,” says Espinosa, “It’s about the steak.”

He points to the Chef’s Select Cut, an offering which changes out every couple of weeks and varies from choice cuts of lamb to various presentations of beef with average pricing between $30 and $60.

 …there’s officially a brand new brunch menu showcasing items like quinoa cakes and poached eggs with parmesan, spinach and arrabiata sauce ($11); a rosemary ham and fontina omelette ($13); and more healthful-minded options like the quinoa power bowl featuring a mix of quinoa, kale and cabbage with almonds, goat cheese and a red wine vinaigrette. It’s topped with a whole sliced avocado and a poached egg ($11).

Stella Van Buren is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with lunch service beginning at 11 a.m. and dinner service after 5 p.m. Happy hour takes place Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Brunch is available Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the dining room and until 4 p.m. in the bar.

Cudahy Burger Joint Shuts Down After Four Years

On March 14, Cudahy Burger Joint (4905 S. Packard Ave.) will permanently close its doors. Husband and wife owners Jay Mulloy and Erin Hanratty decided to close the popular restaurant due to “health reasons.” according to a Facebook post by the restaurant’s official Facebook page. The post also hinted towards a “new and exciting” restaurant that is already set to take over the space.

Meet Wisconsin’s James Beard Semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation recently released the names of the semifinalists for its 30th Annual James Beards Awards and four Milwaukee chef’s made the cut. See my article from earlier this week for the full list of top-notch chefs.

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