Michael Holloway
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AsianRican Restaurant For South Side

Plus: Downtown gets new vegan place, new pizza place, Odd Duck returns. Nite Owl reopens, new Irish pub planned.

By - Apr 4th, 2022 02:51 pm
Future home of AsianRican Foods, 3300 W. Lincoln Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Future home of AsianRican Foods, 3300 W. Lincoln Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A pop-up restaurant that marries Asian and Puerto Rican cuisines will soon have a permanent location on Milwaukee’s South Side. AsianRican Foods, which has been operating out of Snifters in Walker’s Point at 606 S. 5th St. since December, will set up shop at 3300 W. Lincoln Ave. — the former site of Junior’s Cocktail Lounge. AsianRican Foods hopes to open in mid-April. Carol Deptolla reports:

(Owner Julie) Valcarcel plans to add some traditional Asian dishes, such as papaya salad and pho, to the menu, as well as Puerto Rican roast pork.

AsianRican serves dishes such as pepper steak, Puerto Rican rice, pinchos, fried rice, egg rolls and alcapurrias. It’s a nod both to the popularity of Chinese food in Puerto Rico and the backgrounds of Valcarcel and her husband (she is Lao and he is Puerto Rican).

Besides returning to catering with the new menu, AsianRican will begin selling its sauces bottled to take home, such as teriyaki and the sofrito that flavors its Puerto Rican dishes. It’s been something customers have been asking for, Valcarcel said.

Nite Owl Drive-In Reopens

While the weather in Wisconsin tends to play tricks this time of year, there’s one sure way to tell that spring is officially here — when Nite Owl drive-in opens its doors for the season. For the unaware, Nite Owl is a venerable diner now in its 74th season located near the airport at 830 E Layton Ave. It’s a classic burger joint featuring all of the classics — fries, shakes and malts. But the catch is that Nite Owl only has a limited supply of burgers each day. Nite Owl is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., so get there early if you’re looking to enjoy a Milwaukee staple served since 1948. 

New Vegan Vendor For 3rd Street Market Hall

A new vendor specializing in plant-based foods and smoothies will open April 6 at the 3rd Street Market Hall in Downtown. Called Make Waves, the stall is part of the Playing in the Plants Restaurant Collective, which includes Milwaukee Public Market’s On the Bus and the pop-up Sugar Cube Donuts. Deptolla reports:

Besides wraps, bowls and boba, the menu lists smoothies (like the Creamy Current, made with cold brew, matcha or chai plus frozen banana, Wisconsin maple syrup and oat milk) and toast (such as avocado toast with pickled onions, pickled radish and plant-based ricotta, or garlic-basil hummus toast with chickpea croutons and cherry tomato).

The açaí “Wave Bowls” include a build-your-own option, with a bar of creamy super-food bases and toppings to pick from, or diners can choose combinations like the Berry Breeze: a blue coconut base with maple granola, acai, blueberries, strawberries, almond, toasted coconut and maple drizzle.

Prices range from $7 and $8 for wraps and toasts to $10 for the bowls. Note that 3rd Street Market Hall is cashless.

Odd Duck Reopens at New Location

The popular tapas-style restaurant that made its name in the Bay View neighborhood has officially reopened at a new location in Walker’s Point, taking advantage of a larger space located at 939 S. 2nd St. — the former home of Meraki. While much of what Milwaukeeans have come to love about Odd Duck will stay the same, there are some changes as well. Deptolla breaks down what’s new at the Walker’s Point location:

    • The bar now will open at 3 p.m. instead of 4. Dinner service still starts at 5 p.m. The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Saturdays.
    • High-top tables in the lounge will be open to diners dropping in without reservations.
    • At the bottom of each list of small plates (“animal” and “vegetable”) is a larger-portioned plate.
    • A “raw” section has been added to the menu, where customers will find oysters and crudo.
    • House charcuterie offerings are expanded, with items such as mortadella and duck ham.
    • And at dessert, two additions: Chloe Kwiat, previously an Odd Duck line cook, has been promoted to pastry chef. And Odd Duck now has a soft-serve machine, which will be put to use daily, said co-owner Melissa Buchholz.

Pizza Pub Near Fiserv Forum Planned

A pub focusing on personal-sized pizzas is in the works at a historical building at 322 W. State St., near Fiserv Forum. Named State Street Pizza Pub, the pub will be set up to handle large crowds brought to the area by concerts and sports games — the personal-sized pizzas will take less than 10 minutes to make. If all goes according to plan, State Street Pizza Pub could open in May. Jeramey Jannene reports:

The strategy is designed to take advantage of the crowds that attend events at Fiserv ForumTurner Hall or the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, each of which is only a block away.

But the (owners Jake Dehne and Seth Dehne) and operating partner James Sanchez also are hoping the sixteen 60-inch televisions and beer menu gives people a reason to linger. “It’s a sports bar with a focus on beer and we are going to have wings also,” said Dehne.

The business will have a “clean, modern twist” on traditional sports bar decor. But it’s a building that is loaded with history. The three-story structure was designed by Charles Kirchhoff, Jr. for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company as a company-owned tavern.

Lucky Clover Irish Pub Coming to Old World Third Bar District

And speaking of Jake Dehne, the night-life veteran is leading another venture — this one in the Old World Third Bar District. The Lucky Clover, a bar featuring both Irish-influenced drink and food menus, will fill in the space adjacent to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart at 1048 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., which was formerly occupied by Uber Tap Room. The bar is currently awaiting a liquor license approval before the Common Council. Jannene reports:

“We are going to focus on a new twist of a fun Irish concept,” said Dehne. “Basically what it will be is a great happy hour place before events.”

There are plenty of events in the neighborhood to cater to, the location is a block east of Fiserv Forum and also near Turner Hall, the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Miller High Life Theatre.

“Late night, it will complement the street’s nightlife,” said Dehne. But it won’t be directly connected to the block’s nightlife hub, RWB. Dehne said he will seek to develop each place with its own identity and could later explore options for interior connections, including a moving bookcase.

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