Jeramey Jannene

Bavette Moving to Former Swig Space

Third Ward restaurant and butcher shop will move around corner to bigger space on Broadway.

By - Nov 10th, 2021 05:26 pm
Swig. Photo taken by Sinead Eby.

Swig. Photo taken by Sinead Eby.

Bavette La Boucherie is on the move.

The restaurant and full-service butcher owned and operated by Karen Bell has outgrown its current space at 330 E. Menomonee St. in the Historic Third Ward.

“We are excited to announce that we are moving, albeit not far, to a new space around the corner with a bigger and better kitchen and expanded retail section in early 2022,” announced the restaurant on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.

Bavette will take over approximately 3,000 square feet of space at 217 N. Broadway that was most recently occupied by Swig. The small plates restaurant closed in 2018 after 15 years.

Bell’s business will occupy a slightly smaller space than Swig did as the former private dining room on the second floor is now leased to another tenant, but the new home will still give Bavette approximately 1,000 more square feet than its old space.

“The main thing is the kitchen,” said Bell, noting the limitations of her current space, in an interview with Urban Milwaukee. “It wasn’t designed to be a restaurant, but it has become a restaurant.”

With her lease set to expire, Bell explored possible options, including building out a full kitchen hood. The Menomonee Street space relies on a ventless hood which Bell said limits flexibility.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Bell of making everything work in the current space. But she’s succeeded. Bell is a four-time James Beard Foundation award nominee for “Best Chef Midwest” and the restaurant is highly regarded locally.

Before opening Bavette in 2013, Bell also worked in Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, Caracas and ran her own restaurant in Madrid, Spain.

Built in 1913, the building where Bavette will now reside is historically known for its use as the Edward Rohnert Coffee Roasting Factory. But for several decades it has been home to The Design Office of Catherine and James Donnelly (located above the street level), with the husband-and-wife team owning the property since 1998.

The relocation is expected to occur in early 2022.

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