Sophie Bolich

New Bar, Restaurants Coming to River Center

A 'significant milestone' in redeveloping downtown tower's Milwaukee River frontage.

By - Sep 13th, 2022 01:22 pm
Vault bar terrace. Rendering by RINKA.

Vault bar terrace. Rendering by RINKA.

The Associated Bank River Center on Monday announced a collection of new dining options planned for its downtown building.

The Milwaukee-based company F Street Hospitality would operate of a new riverfront bar, cafe and sandwich shop. The concepts, all public-facing, are expected to open in spring 2023.

A pop-up taco stand, Toro Tacos & Bowls, has already launched. The stand sets up Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the atrium. The Asian-Latin-inspired taqueria serves elote ramen bowls, cauliflower tacos with grilled corn, gochujang, pickled onions and pepitas and Korean pork tacos with hoisin, cilantro lime crema, sesame and kimchi slaw.

David Knight, senior vice president and director of real estate for Associated Bank, called the additions “a significant milestone” in the redevelopment of the River Center, 111 E. Kilbourn Ave.

“Not only are we offering new options for workers returning to the office, but our work at the River Center is also helping to revitalize use of a key piece of Milwaukee’s beautiful riverfront,” he said.

Associated Bank bought the 28-story Milwaukee Center in 2016 for $60.5 million. In August 2021 the company secured city approval to update the riverwalk segment that runs alongside the office tower, adding a new walking surface, additional lighting, planters and benches, Urban Milwaukee previously reported.

The bank, with architecture firm RINKA, also revamped the common spaces of the 373,000-square-foot building and those that connect the tower with other buildings in the complex.

The plan for the riverfront area calls for a new bar with a bank-inspired name that would occupy an all-glass patio overlooking the revamped riverwalk. Vault would feature indoor and outdoor seating options with a view of the Milwaukee River. Guests can expect a menu of handcrafted cocktails and an upscale wine list.

For on-the-go dining, KnockBox Coffee & Market would offer Stone Creek Coffee drinks, local pastries and breakfast sandwiches.

A third concept, On Rye, is a quick stop for lunch. The restaurant offers soups and sandwiches with freshly baked breads and carved-to-order pastrami and corn beef.

“F Street Hospitality is thrilled to work alongside Associated Bank to bring innovative, fresh food options to Milwaukee,” said Adam Miller, who will be managing operations for F Street at the River Center. “Between these four new concepts, there will be something for everyone and every occasion.”

In addition to operating the new bar and restaurants, F Street Hospitality will offer special events and catering for businesses within the complex, which includes The Pabst Theater, Associated Bank, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the Saint Kate arts hotel and the River Center.



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