Sophie Bolich

Bridgewater Modern Grill Opening Soon

Benson's Group plans October grand opening for the 'longest riverfront patio in the area.'

By - Aug 31st, 2022 01:21 pm
Bridgewater Modern Grill, 2011 S. 1st St. Photo taken Aug. 30, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Bridgewater Modern Grill, 2011 S. 1st St. Photo taken Aug. 30, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

The Bridgewater Modern Grill, a project of Benson’s Restaurant Group, has announced key staff members and plans for a mid-October opening.

The restaurant, 2011 S. 1st St., is set to open its dining room and extensive patio in the 6,000-square-foot space at ground level of the new Tribute Apartments in the River One (or R1ver) development.

Rik Acken will act as the general manager, the group announced in a press release Monday. A long-time employee of Benson’s, Acken was previously general manager at Swig, Water Buffalo, Smoke Shack and Onesto.

“Rik is an essential member of our Benson’s restaurant team and there is no better person to lead our newest restaurant than him,” said Chris Adams, executive vice president at Benson’s Restaurant Group, in a statement. “The Bridgewater will be like nothing our Milwaukee area community has seen from us before. With the longest riverfront patio in the area, 10 boat slips, the oak-fed Jade grill and a robust wine program, we’re creating a truly unique experience that we know our community will love in just a few shorts months when we open.”

The restaurant will take full advantage of its riverfront location with a 241-foot patio and green space, plus 10 boat slips with direct restaurant service.

Even as patio season comes to a close, the Bridgewater’s three-season heated patio will allow guests to dine al fresco least another month after its opening. The 80-seat patio will have a laid-back ambiance accentuated by soft seating, fire tables and an indoor/outdoor bar with cocktail service.

Bridgewater’s menu centers on the restaurant’s custom, oak-fed Jade Grill—which was referenced many times in several press releases from the restaurant—while incorporating locally-sourced ingredients from Rocket Baby Bakery, Hundred Acre Farms, BelGioioso Cheese, Greige Patisserie, Mushroom Mike LLC, Valentine Coffee Roasters, Best Burn Firewood, Strauss Meats, Great Lakes Distillery, Eagle Park Brewing Company and others.

On the menu, guests can expect wood-fired fish, steaks, ribs, rotisserie chicken and hearty salads.

Steve Gustafson will lead the kitchen in partnership with Benson’s corporate executive chef Alex Sazama.

“We’re taking carefully sourced ingredients and enhancing them with heat, flame, and coals,” Sazama said. “The dishes are classic, refined and, of course, delicious. I know that Steve’s skill as a chef and a leader will create an incredible experience for our Bridgewater guests.”

Aside from the patio, the main dining room seats 165 including a 30-person private dining room and booths with a view of the restaurant’s open kitchen.

A lawn overlooking the new riverwalk segment includes 1,300 square feet of space and can hold up to 100 people for outdoor activities and private events.

The restaurant has been in the works since January and is part of a $100 million redevelopment project led by Michels Corp. in the northwest corner of the Bay View neighborhood. The project has seen the rise of an eight-story office building and the five-story, 95-unit Tribute Apartments. Retail shops, more office buildings, a hotel and an underground parking garage are also planned for the six-acre site.

While some positions have been filled, the restaurant is still seeking an assistant manager, onsite events manager, servers, bartenders, line cooks, food runners and more. Those interested can apply via the restaurant’s website.


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Categories: Food & Drink

One thought on “Bridgewater Modern Grill Opening Soon”

  1. MilwMike1 says:

    Would that make Tim Michels their landlord?

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