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Is Blind Tiger Bay View’s New Hot Spot?

Plus: A new beer garden at McKinley Marina, second location for Sticky Rice and upcoming spots to look out for.

By - Jul 24th, 2022 03:15 pm

Site of Blind Tiger. Photo taken July 14, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

Blind Tiger Speakeasy Opens In Bay View

Milwaukee is no stranger to the speakeasy.

Boasting retro classics like Shaker’s Cigar Bar and the SafeHouse, the city has long had an affinity for bars with a style or atmosphere evoking America’s Prohibition era.

Among a host of speakeasy-style establishments popping up throughout the city is Blind Tiger, which had its soft opening Friday in Bay View.

The bar serves wine, bourbon and several signature cocktails ($12) including the Blind Tiger Mule, with Jim Beam Peach Bourbon, Xante Pear Liqueur and Goslings Ginger Beer and the Ranchwater Spritz: 21 Seeds Cucumber Jalapeño Tequila, real passion fruit puree and club soda.

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Vietnamese Restaurant Planned for South Side

A new restaurant serving Vietnamese food is coming soon to the south side.

BaoBao Cuisine would be located in the Castle Manor neighborhood, 4624 S. 27th St., and could open within three months, said co-owner Tee Nguyen.

Nguyen and his wife, Tu Tran Nguyen also operate Pho Saigon in West Allis.

BaoBao would be a full service restaurant with a menu similar to Pho Saigon’s, but will include additional options like boba tea, smoothies and sandwiches. Beer and wine would also be served.

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Concession Stand at McKinley Marina Now Open

A new beer garden is now open on the lakefront, serving sandwiches, snacks and refreshments to park-goers, boat-owners and others in the Lake Park area.

Roundhouse at McKinley Marina, located along the shoreline adjacent to the Milwaukee Yacht Club, 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., will be operated by BRG Lotta Burger, an arm of The Bartolotta Restaurants.

The casual establishment is open to the public and offers counter service, an indoor/outdoor bar, social activities, lawn games and soft rock music.

“The inspiration from Roundhouse was driven by Paul and Joe Bartolotta’s desire to support Milwaukee County Parks and create a fun and useable amenity for the Milwaukee public to enjoy the lakefront,” said a press release from Bartolotta Restaurants.

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Sports Bar and Restaurant Planned for South Side

A Puerto Rican bar and grill is in the works for the Polonia neighborhood, just west of Bay View.

Santurce Sport Bar & Grill, 3010 S. 10th St., would replace the long-standing Doctor’s Inn, which closed in 2020 after more than 20 years in business.

Tucked between two houses in a residential neighborhood, visitors of the restaurant-bar can expect drinks, dancing, local DJs and traditional Puerto Rican dishes to accompany the tropical and tiki-themed decor.

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Andiamo Brings Coffee, Convenience to East Town

When choosing a name for his cafe, Adam Siegel wanted something that would evoke the electric jolt of a perfect espresso. Andiamo, Italian for “let’s go” seemed like the perfect fit.

The cafe opened just over a month ago next to its sister restaurant, Lupi & Iris. Siegel, a James Beard award-winning chef and Michael DeMichele own and operate both establishments.

The restaurant and cafe opened on the first floor of the 7Seventy7 apartment tower, 777 N. Van Buren St., which formerly housed an upscale grocery store.

Siegel and DeMichele gutted the 10,500 square-foot space in preparation for a kitchen buildout and 290-seat dining room. The building owners, Northwestern Mutual, had just one request: bring back the coffee kiosk from the old grocery store.

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Turner Hall Eatery Features Guest Chefs

Turning Tables Tavern and Eatery, a new restaurant that will be located inside of Turner Hall, is hosting a four-day brunch and dinner showcase preceding its official opening event on August 5.

The event, Who Wants to be a Restaurateur Dining Experience, is scheduled for July 20 through July 23 at Turner Hall, 1040 Vel R. Phillips Ave., and will feature eight local chefs looking to start their food business journeys.

In line with a mission of community, diversity and inclusion, event organizer Emerald Mills will feature all minority-owned businesses.

In the months leading up to the showcase, chefs underwent a training program in menu design, industry standards, marketing and entrepreneurship. The training will culminate in a one-shift launch of their restaurant concepts.

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The Rise of Lush Gourmet Popcorn

A former Riverwest tavern will soon be home to a new establishment, but this one would have a whimsical twist.

Lush Gourmet Popcorn and Lemonade, which blends elements of a bar, restaurant and store, is planned for 920 E. Locust St. and could open as soon as September, according to a recently-filed liquor license application.

Marcia Taylor started the Lush Gourmet Popcorn brand in 2014 with her original flavor, white chocolate. Since then, the brand has expanded to offer nearly 20 rotating flavors, including a line of liquor-infused popcorn, which retails at several locations throughout the area, including AXE MKE, North South Club and Ray’s Wine and Spirits in Wauwatosa. Lush Gourmet Popcorn is also a vendor at Sherman Phoenix.

Now, Taylor aims to expand to a second location.

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Bay View Sushi Restaurant To Open Soon?

Sushi Yuki, a new restaurant in Bay View, appears to be close to opening.

The long-awaited Japanese and sushi restaurant was expected for early 2020. Its opening was delayed several years, but a peek through the front window gives hints that the business is set to open soon.

External construction is complete on the sleek, all-black building. Though a room divider is blocking a full view of the inside, tables and chairs are set up and a new bar, still covered in bubble wrap, stands along the north wall of the space.

There is also a patio, lined with garden boxes and shielded by a slatted fence, taking shape behind the restaurant.

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Riverwest Filling Station Closes For Summer

The Riverwest Filling Station, a gastropub located at 701 E. Keefe Ave., announced that it will be closed for the remainder of the summer.

The closure was announced Thursday via a Facebook post that did not state a reason or a possible reopening date. The full post reads: “We will be closed to the public for the rest of the summer. Enjoy! Best to all, Bryan and Miriam.”

The business was recently closed from June 15 through June 21 while owners Bryan and Miriam Atinsky left town for vacation.

The couple opened Riverwest Filling Station in 2013 with community and social justice at the center of their business model. For nearly 10 years, the bar-restaurant has offered elevated pub fare and a rotating selection of global beers in a family-friendly setting.

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Pizza Hut Planned for Northridge

A new Pizza Hut restaurant is planned for 8301 W. Brown Deer Rd., on Milwaukee’s north side.

The international franchise, which began in 1958 with a small pizza shop in Wichita, Kansas, has more than 18,000 locations around the world — 12 of them in Milwaukee. Pizza is still its main offering, but the restaurant’s menu has expanded over the years to include a range of pastas, chicken wings, breadsticks and various desserts.

Here, all the restaurants are operated by the local franchisee, EYM Pizza of Wisconsin, a subsidiary of EYM Pizza (with locations in five states), which is itself a subsidiary of EYM Group (with a portfolio that includes locations in eight states for Denny’s, Burger King, Panera Bread and Kentucky Fried Chicken).

EYM Pizza of Wisconsin would like to soon be managing a baker’s dozen of Pizza Huts in Milwaukee, with designs on opening a new restaurant in a building that once housed a T-Mobile.

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Sherman Park Grocery Opens

Nearly 100 community members gathered in the rain Friday morning to witness the grand opening of Sherman Park Grocery, a market focused on fulfilling a need for fresh, healthy food in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

Maurice “Moe” Wince opened the store with his wife, Yashica Spears.

A realtor, Wince has owned the building, 4315 W. Fond du Lac Ave., for years. When the daycare that formerly occupied the space closed during the pandemic, he took the opportunity to make a positive change in the community.

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Sticky Rice Opens on Brady Street

The new Sticky Rice location on Brady Street is officially open for business.

The Thai-Laotian restaurant had its soft opening June 30 in the space at 707 E. Brady St., formerly occupied by The Truck Stop.

Owners Leo KingsawanKhamlae Phonisay and Teerasak Boonwatana first launched Sticky Rice in August 2020 in Riverwest. Opening a restaurant during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was no small feat, and the restaurant’s takeout-only model was integral to the its survival.

While the original Sticky Rice remains takeout only, the new location offers the option to dine in, with space for up to 50 people, said manager Salena Daniel. The restaurant is also opening with an new, expanded menu.

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Milwaukee’s First Pier Garden?

True to its nickname of “Beer City,” Milwaukee seemingly has a beer garden on every corner. But a first-of-its kind “Pier Garden” is set to open in town, located in the Historic Third Ward, with an upscale twist on the Bavarian tradition.

The Pier Garden is set to open by August 1 at the The Starling, an event space opened earlier this year by co-owners Ramsey Renno and Tyler Curran in the former SURG Restaurant Group space at 102 N. Water St. The pair also operate Milwaukee Airwaves, The Ivy House and Filament under their entity, Two Birds Event Group.

Located along the Milwaukee RiverWalk, the Pier Garden will have indoor and outdoor seating, seasonal hours and a snacking menu, according to a press release.

Craft cocktails, wine and local beer will be available, as well as a limited menu from Tall Guy and a Grill Catering, including seasonal charcuterie boards and wood-fired pizzas by Flour Girl & Flame.

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Taco John’s Planned for North Side

A new Taco John’s restaurant is in the works for Milwaukee’s Buchel Park neighborhood.

The location, 7630 W. Good Hope Rd., would be the first in the city. In May, the Mexican-inspired fast food chain announced its plan to add 10 to 12 restaurants in the Milwaukee area over the next several years.

Another location is planned for the city proper on W. Layton Ave. near Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

Taco John’s reports operating or franchising nearly 400 restaurants in 23 states, mostly concentrated in the Midwest. Wisconsin currently has 30 Taco John’s locations, with Waukesha having the closest location to Milwaukee.

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