Sophie Bolich
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Iron Grate BBQ Will Close Nov. 20

Plus: Brunch at Lazy Susan and a celebration of diverse breweries at The Sugar Maple.

By - Nov 13th, 2022 11:28 am
Site of Iron Grate BBQ Co. Photo taken Nov. 9, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

Site of Iron Grate BBQ Co. Photo taken Nov. 9, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

Iron Grate BBQ Co. will serve its last batch of smoked meats, sandwiches and sides on Nov. 20.

In a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, owner Aaron Patin announced that the southside meat emporium, also known as the home of the Milwaukee Rib, will close after eight years in business.

“I am fulfilled with joy of what we were able to accomplish in an old Boy Blue stand,” Patin said within the lengthy post, which included a quote by French chef Marie-Antione Careme. He continued, “Iron Grate grew beyond everything I had dreamed. Cooking and sharing for everyone has been the utmost rewarding experience. I have led wonderfully dedicated people… Thank you for letting us be a place for you to gather and letting us in your homes.”

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Brunches Return to Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan, a casual fine-dining restaurant in the Bay View neighborhood, will re-launch its brunch program Sunday, Nov. 13, after a 2.5-year hiatus.

Lazy Susan is located at 2378 S. Howell Ave., just off bustling Kinnickinnic Avenue.

Bringing back the Sunday morning meal was both a financial decision and an answer to customers who have been requesting the change, according to AJ Dixon, chef and owner at Lazy Susan.

After nearly three years in the shadow of the pandemic, Dixon said the restaurant will return to full capacity this week. Additional staff have also been hired to round out the soon-to-be extended schedule.

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Beer Fest Features Six BIPOC Breweries

Milwaukee, home to more than 25 craft breweries, is an obvious standout in the world of small-scale, traditional and experimental brewing methods. Even so, the city’s ever-expanding and evolving craft beer scene is consistently lacking in one area — diversity.

In response to the underrepresentation, The Sugar Maple and Radio Milwaukee‘s Tarik Moody will partner with six Black- and Brown-owned breweries from across the Midwest for a beer fest entitled Brown, Black & Brews: The 5th Ingredient.

The event is set for Saturday, Dec. 3 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave.

Representatives from Illinois-based Brewer’s Kitchen, Funkytown Brewery, Azadi Brewing and Moors Brewing Company; Indiana-based 18th Street Brewery; and Milwaukee’s Soul Brew Kombucha, will pour samples and share stories at the event, where attendees will be encouraged to look beyond the components of traditional beer — water, yeast, grain and hops — and consider a fifth: culture.

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Brother’s Backyard Barbeque is Open

A new barbeque spot is now serving slow-smoked meats at its southside location, 3530 W. National Ave.

Best friends Christopher Patton and Michael Hester opened Brother’s Backyard Barbeque in early November, serving a straightforward menu of ribs, chicken, turkey and brisket, served solo or as a dinner plate, which comes with two sides.

Hester and Patton both formerly worked in sales, but recently departed from the 9 to 5 in order to focus full-time on the business. The two are already looking ahead, with plans to expand the business to a food truck.

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After License Debate, Downtown Bar Offers Up New Thursday Specials

Red, White and Blue is rolling out a new list of specials ahead of the weekend.

While the self-described “Milwaukee’s party bar” will no longer run its popular All You Can Drink (AYCD) special, there are still plenty of great deals in store for patrons, according to RWB owner Jake Dehne.

“I think I’m being very competitive and working hard to make sure that customers are happy also,” Dehne said in an interview.

Thursday night, or as it’s known at RWB, “The Weekend Pregame 2.0,” now includes a $10 cup for customers with a college ID ($15 without a college ID). The special includes five $1 refills, which are tracked via a wristband with tabs. When customers purchase a drink, the bartender removes one tab.

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The Spice House Introduces Spice Bar and Scent Experience

Every at-home cook can appreciate the welcome aroma of gently toasted spices, the sharp bite of chili flakes or a perfectly balanced seasoning blend. Now, customers at The Spice House will be able to experience all of these and more right in the store.

The spice, herb and extract purveyor recently introduced The Scent Experience and Spice Bar, two new programs designed to take customers on a “sensory journey” through a collection of the store’s signature offerings.

Twenty different spices and blends will be featured in The Scent Experience, which will educate customers on the nuances between varieties of paprika (Hungarian, smoked sweet), Thyme (Mediterranean, French), Oregano (Mexican, Greek) and Curry (Vadouvan, sweet). The experience will also offer insight into scent-forward spices like coriander, cumin, Hawaiian smoked salt, tellicherry, Italian herb and Herbes de Provence.

The Spice Bar program will call on another sense, taste, to further enhance the experience. A rotating assortment of four different spices will be available each month for sampling. In October, the Spice Bar offered a taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto‘s signature collaboration with The Spice House, including Black Garlic Ramen Pepper, Sichuan Chile BBQ Rub, Yuzu Kosho, and Shichimi Togarashi.

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Paper Plane Pizza is Now Open

Paper Plane Pizza officially touched down at 3rd Street Market Hall on Saturday, making its Milwaukee debut as the food hall’s newest vendor.

Everything is mise en place at the long-awaited slice shop, which originally opened as a food truck and counter-service restaurant in Chicago.

After cutting their teeth at Michelin-star restaurants and navigating the fast-paced landscape of bar ownership, co-owners Dustin Drankiewicz and Milos Stevanovic embarked on their latest venture with simplicity top of mind.

“This was our way to kind of slow everything down and just take it back to simplicity,” Drankiewicz said.

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Tostada by Maranta is Closed

Tostada by Maranta, a mobile food operation known for its flavorful, farm-to-table tostadas and refreshing aguas frescas, will close after a little over a year in business.

A project of Maranta Plant Shop, the Bronzeville-based food truck made its debut in August 2021, serving customers from a sleek, black trailer parked on King Drive outside of the plant shop at 1739 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Tostada also traveled to local events and offered catering services.

With chef Dominique Alvarado at the helm, the restaurant offered a variety of vegan and meat-based tostadas, a Mexican dish consisting of a toasted corn tortilla piled with various toppings.

The business, which last renewed its license in May, announced the closure in a social media post Tuesday afternoon, which racked up more than 200 likes and nearly a dozen comments within minutes — a testament to the popularity of the food trailer.

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New Bar and Event Space For South Side

A new lounge and event space on the near South Side would combine food and drink with relaxing music, TV and dancing.

Waterfall Lounge and Event, a project of Sharita Lee, is expected to open in the coming months at 107 E. Mitchell St., across the street from the Milwaukee County Transit KK Station, in the city’s Clock Tower Acres neighborhood.

The business would open within a 14,622-square-foot building, which also houses The Foundry Tattoo Company and La Mexicana bar and restaurant. Another business, Chill & Puff Hookah Lounge, applied for an occupancy permit in early 2021 but never opened. The second floor of the building contains residential apartments.

Lee, who paid $8,000 for the business, plans to open the place on Dec. 10, according to a liquor license application. The application also notes that Lee is not planning any construction or commercial alterations to the space.

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Twisted Cafe Temporarily Closes After Burglary

Twisted Cafe, an American fusion restaurant and hookah lounge in the Lower East Side neighborhood, is closed until further notice following a break-in and burglary that occurred last Wednesday, Nov. 2. Twisted Cafe is located at 1505 N. Farwell Ave.

Owner Melissa Latavong, who opened the cafe in December 2021, said that the thieves took the cash register, bottles of liquor, a garbage can and the point-of-sale (POS) system from the restaurant.

The latter is what’s preventing Latavong from reopening. Without it, she said, the restaurant is unable to keep track of orders or accept payments from customers.

Latavong is working with her insurance company and said she hopes to welcome back customers by Wednesday, but it will depend on when the new POS system arrives.

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Saz’s Plans Outdoor Event Venue

Not every vacant lot in the booming Walker’s Point neighborhood is due to house an apartment building.

One such lot, 822 S. 2nd St., could soon house an outdoor event venue.

Saz’s Hospitality Group has a pending zoning variance request to expand its South Second venue, 838 S. 2nd St., onto the property.

The 14,280-square-foot lot would gain a two-story, open-air structure with a bar on the first level and a deck on the second. Approximately half of the lot would contain a fenced-in patio. The northern half of the lot would become a 17-stall parking structure.

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We Took the Free Riverwest Brewery Shuttle Bus. Here’s How it Went.

One of the more common forms of mass transit in Milwaukee is the party bus, which comes in many iterations ranging from the yellow box you rode to grade school to the extravagant coaches rock stars use for concert tours. Some of Milwaukee’s larger taverns (and even some neighborhood ones) operate their own fleets, ferrying their customers to a sports game or music festival, betting that the regulars will return to home base after the festivities to down another couple quick ones. We’ve got pedal taverns, where you can drink and bike your way to bars, and even a paddle tavern, where you can do the same by boat traveling to shoreline saloons.

Milwaukee now has a new addition to the transit system.

The Riverwest Brewery Syndicate offers a free Saturday bus shuttle service to the five breweries now operating in the neighborhood.

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