Graham Kilmer

Sisu Cafe Opening In Bay View

Coffee house, cafe and bakery with breakfast and lunch items, soups, salads.

By - Jun 1st, 2022 08:40 pm
2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo taken June 1, 2022 by Jeramey Jannene.

2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo taken June 1, 2022 by Jeramey Jannene.

The owners of Sabrosa Café and Gallery are opening a new cafe on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. that will cater to the morning commuters to and from Bay View.

Sisu Cafe, at 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., will be a coffee house, cafe and bakery, with items priced to allow for customers to make visiting part of their daily routine, said Francisco Sanchez, who owns the business along with his partner John Ruben Piirainen. There will be outdoor seating, and french doors that will be installed to face Kinnickinnic Avenue and an awning.

The restaurant will have breakfast and lunch items, soups, salads, and will be open seven days a week. Some breakfast items include a vegetarian breakfast pasty, chorizo and eggs tacos, a carne asada breakfast burrito and a blueberry icelandic yogurt parfait. Some of the lunch offerings include a chicken croquette sandwich, a vegetable muffuletta and a crispy BBQ cod sandwich. It will also offer fresh breakfast pastries and other baked goods from Sabrosa’s bakery department.

Like Sabrosa, Sanchez said Sisu Cafe will continue a focus on fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.

“Sunday is gonna be special at Sisu,” Sanchez said. There will be a seated brunch service, with a slower pace of service and dining than the grab-and-go service planned for the rest of the week, he said.

The theme for the restaurant, Sanchez said, will be driven by Nordic and Finnish elements as an homage to his partner, Piirainen, who is Finnish. The cafe’s name, Sisu, is a Finnish word used to describe the determination and resilience that is held up as the national character of Finnish people. Sanchez said he picked the name, thinking “how appropriate for these times that we just went through.”

Several things drew Sanchez to the location for the business, the first being the space itself. Sisu Cafe will open in the restaurant previously occupied by Taco Stop MKE, and it had access to 70 parking spots, making it perfect for a business that caters to morning commuters and the mid-day lunch rush. Upon his initial visit to the space, Sanchez said, “I was like, ‘Ok, let’s make a deal right now’.”

Another attraction for the location was all the development that has occurred at the north end of Bay View. Sisu will be right across the street from the KinetiK apartments, and Zillman Park, which is being redesigned as a new public space. Sanchez is on the committee reviewing the final designs for the park and he said it will become a plaza and community hub for Bay View.

Sanchez said he’s already cooking up a marketing strategy to encourage patrons to visit Sisu for a morning coffee, then head to the South Shore farmer’s market before “circling back to Sabrosa.”

Sanchez is planning to open the cafe sometime between late June and early July.

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