Jeramey Jannene

Celesta Closes, But New Restaurant Planned

Vegan restaurant specialized in plant-based versions of comfort foods.

By - May 20th, 2021 12:56 pm
Celesta. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Celesta. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

One of Milwaukee’s highest-rated vegan restaurants has called it quits.

Celesta chef and owner Melanie Manuel, 43, announced Thursday that she closed the Lower East Side restaurant.

“It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing some news with you today – Celesta Restaurant is now closed. Words cannot express my profound amazement for the support my team and I have received over the past five years,” wrote Manuel.

After a series of pop-ups under the name Beatrix Foods, Manuel opened Celesta in 2018 at 1978 N. Farwell Ave.

Specializing in plant-based dishes of comfort foods, the restaurant gained a loyal following.

Prior to Celesta, the space was home to Jownai Fouquet and Abu’s Jerusalem of the Gold. But it doesn’t appear it will be vacant for long.

“I am thrilled to announce that an incredible small business will be taking over the space very soon, one that will contribute great things to the neighborhood and community!” wrote Manuel.

She told Urban Milwaukee that the new restaurant would not be branded as Celesta, but would likely have some of Celesta’s items on its menu. “I am really excited for the new owners to take over the space,” said the chef.

Manuel said in the short term she would be doing small events from the space. Long-term she intends to stay in the plant-based nutrition industry.

The restaurant is expected to announce redemption instructions for outstanding gift certificates on May 21st.

No license applications are pending before the city for a new restaurant. A renewal of Celesta’s existing license is pending.

The restaurant space is located in a 1926 addition to an 1892 Queen Anne-style, three-story house.

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