Sophie Bolich

Pat’s Niche Pub and Grub is Closed

Howell Avenue restaurant known for fish fries and vintage decor closed earlier this fall.

By - Dec 5th, 2022 04:16 pm
3954-3956 S. Howell Ave., Pat's Niche Pub and Grub. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

3954-3956 S. Howell Ave., Pat’s Niche Pub and Grub. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Pat’s Niche Pub and Grub, a southside destination for Friday night fish fries, is permanently closed.

The restaurant first opened its doors in November 2019 inside the former Ho Ho’s Chinese restaurant, 3954-3956 S. Howell Ave. Approximately two months ago, the business quietly changed its Facebook status to reflect the closure.

During its three years in business, Pat’s served comfort food classics such as meatloaf, fried chicken, wings and homemade chili, with a side of kitschy Midwestern charm. It featured retro decor, vintage booths and beer served in Mason jars.

The restaurant’s owner and namesake was 80-year-old Patsy Smith-James. A seasoned restaurateur, Smith-James has owned several Milwaukee-area bars and restaurants since 1975. She currently owns Pat’s Oak Manor, a bar, restaurant and catering company in South Milwaukee, as well as Bodega Nightclub & Lounge (formerly District on Water), at 628 N. Water St.

A current liquor license lists Smith-James as the sole owner of the Bodega Nightclub, though she stated in an interview that fellow restaurateurs Sal and David Safina are partners in the business, handling social media and publicity.

Following Pat’s closure, a new restaurant is set to take over the space on Howell Avenue early next year. Kristine Gomez Delatorre plans to open Precious Vibes, a bar and restaurant.

City records indicate that Bean Chiw owns the -square-foot, two-story building, which is located in the Tippecanoe neighborhood, just south of Bay View. Precious Vibes would occupy 1,364

The new business is expected to launch Jan. 1 2023, with plans to be open daily from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m.

Smith-James did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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