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Joey Chestnut Crowned Qdoba World Champion

First-ever Qdoba event held in Deer District. Plus: 4 new vendors at Milwaukee food halls.

By - Apr 9th, 2023 01:55 pm
World Burrito Eating Champion belt

World Burrito Eating Champion belt. Photo by Sophie Bolich.

Professional eater Joey Chestnut added a new feather to his cap on Thursday, finishing 14.5 burritos in just 10 minutes to become Qdoba Mexican Grill’s first-ever World Burrito Eating Champion.

The midday competition, held on National Burrito Day, drew a sizeable crowd to The Beer Garden at Deer District, where spectators enjoyed live music and food samples while waiting on the main event. Qdoba hosted the first-of-its-kind competition in partnership with Major League Eating (MLE).

Chestnut and seven other contenders competed to eat as many Qdoba burritos as possible within 10 minutes. The full-sized burritos were filled with grilled adobo chicken, cilantro lime rice, black beans, three-cheese queso, roasted tomato salsa and guacamole.

Runner-up Geoff Esper ate 13.5 burritos, while Miki Sudo ate 11.25 to score third place. Nick Wehry finished 10.5 burritos for fourth place, Pat Bertoletti finished fifth with 9.25 burritos eaten and Peter Klepacz, Eric Hucke and Joe Valdez brought up the rear with 3.75 burritos each.

As the contestants downed their burritos, the crowd was eating it up — chanting Chestnut’s name and shouting encouragement throughout the heated contest.

Chestnut, who is currently ranked first in the world by Major League Eating, said his goal heading into the contest was to add another world record to his resume.

“I look forward to making Major League Eating history in the heart of Milwaukee’s Deer District,” he said in a statement.

And that he did. In addition to bragging rights, Chestnut went home with a World Burrito Eating Champion belt and a $5,000 check.

Milwaukee Bucks Unveil DAOU Lounge at Fiserv Forum

The Milwaukee Bucks, in partnership with DAOU Family Estates, recently unveiled a new private lounge at Fiserv Forum.

Featuring white leather seating, red accents and botanical decor, the luxe lounge is located near Section 103 on the arena’s main concourse. Its entrance is marked by the “DAOU Doe,” an homage to the Bucks’ logo.

In addition to a view of the action on the court, guests at the lounge can expect customizable catering services and a selection of DAOU’s award-winning wines.

Even outside the lounge, attendees will be able to purchase the company’s wine throughout each floor of the arena during events.

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MooSa’s Closes on Near West Side

MooSa’s, a fast food concept serving burgers and custard, has closed its Near West Side location. Opened in 2021, the restaurant was located at 405 N. 27th St., inside of the BP gas station at the corner W. St. Paul Ave. and N. 27th St.

As MooSa’s exits, another business is already slated to take its place. Amandeep Dhaliwal and Bhinderpal Singh would open Milwaukee Fish & Chicken at the address, with plans to serve hot meals for carryout only.

On the license application, the owners noted that they have previous experience from owning a Subway restaurant.

A menu for the restaurant features a variety of classic fast food fare including burgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, chicken wings, tenders, nuggets and fish fries. The menu shows the restaurant would also sell fried okra, fried mushrooms, biscuits, salads, ice cream and shakes.

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Two New Vendors Open at 3rd Street Market Hall

Downtown’s 3rd Street Market Hall, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., is now home to two additional vendors. Criollo Rotisserie Chicken and Smokin’ Jack’s BBQ opened in neighboring stalls earlier this week.

Criollo, a Latin American and Caribbean Creole fusion concept, launched on Tuesday, according to a representative of the business. The restaurant serves hearty, flavorful dishes such as Mexican-style grilled chicken, Puerto Rican rice and fried plantains.

An assortment of specialty dishes including Jamaican oxtail stew, Cuban ropa vieja and pork mole are available as rotating daily specials.

A full menu and schedule for daily specials is available online.

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Indeed Hosts ‘Flight Night’ For Milwaukee Day

April 14 is fast approaching, and with it, the annual Milwaukee Day celebration. Many businesses across the city are pulling out all the stops — or rather, tapping all the kegs — in anticipation of a day of hometown pride.

What began as a grassroots celebration on April 14, the date corresponding with Milwaukee’s 414 area code, became official in 2019 when Governor Tony Evers proclaimed the date a statewide holiday.

In Walker’s Point, Indeed Brewing Company will host another round of ‘Flight Night,’ featuring special small-batch infusion kegs of its own Hello, Milwaukee American lager.

‘Flight Night’ is set for Friday, April 14 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the taproom and pilot brewery, 530 S. 2nd St.

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Infinity Lounge Can Stay Open Pending Lawsuit

A lawsuit has provided a reprieve — at least temporarily — for Infinity Lounge amid a 60-day suspension issued last month by the Milwaukee Common Council.

The tavern and hookah lounge, 4001 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., which had already been closed for several weeks due to license expiration, was to remain closed until May 20, based on a six-item police report that included complaints of excessive noise, violence, litter and alleged strippers. But tavern owner Mario Spencer sued, and secured a temporary injunction Wednesday that will allow the business to continue operating for now.

“We were not surprised that the court issued the injunction to allow our client to immediately reopen,” said Attorney Michael Maistelman, who represents Spencer in the pending lawsuit. “Both the facts and the law are on our side.”

A lawsuit appealing the council’s decision was submitted Monday and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Gwen Connolly granted a temporary injunction Wednesday.

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Brew’d Burger Opens at Crossroads Collective

Amid a storm of new developments at Crossroads Collective, Brew’d Burger Shop quietly opened a vendor stand at the East Side food hall, 2238 N. Farwell Ave., earlier this week.

Led by Shannon Puetz and Yajaira Alvaréz, the burger shop fulfills the meat-centric niche left by Hot Wax upon its departure last month.

The straightforward menu features a variety of burgers including The Classic, featuring a seven-ounce patty topped with local aged cheddar and foghorn leghorn sauce; The ‘Waukee, a double-patty burger with cheese and beer-braised onions and Bucks in Six, a tray of six sliders topped with aged cheddar and bacon.

The Chilango Chorizo, a twist on the traditional burger, features a smashed chorizo patty, beer-infused cheddar cheese and a dollop of guacamole.

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Women’s Entrepreneurship Week Returns

Women’s Entrepreneurship Week (WEWmke) is set to return next month with a full slate of events in celebration of female business owners in the Milwaukee area.

The seventh annual WEWmke will take place May 8 through 12, featuring standout leaders, chefs, restaurateurs, creatives and storytellers. Throughout the week, attendees are invited to network, share and collaborate with the city’s most influential women. The event’s presenting sponsor is Summit Credit Union.

The week will also include five evening keynote events covering topics such as Milwaukee’s food and beverage industry, vital organizations and community connection. Notable participants in 2023 include Dana Spandet of Flour Girl & Flame, Katie Daly Weiss of Big White Yeti Candle Co., Tiffany Miller of Bronzeville Collective and numerous others.

In support of WEWmke and its impact, Mayor Cavalier Johnson has officially proclaimed the week of May 8 through 12 as Women’s Entrepreneurship Week.

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D.P. Dough Closes East Side Restaurant

The Milwaukee location for calzone-focused restaurant chain D.P. Dough has closed.

Michael and Georgina Styke opened the late-night restaurant in 2019 at 1515 E. North Ave., catering to nearby UW-Milwaukee students and other residents of the Lower East Side neighborhood.

Along with 32 varieties of calzones including barbecue chicken, cheeseburger and Hawaiian-inspired flavors, the fast-casual establishment sold traditional and boneless chicken wings, and sides such as tater tots and flavored breadsticks.

After four years in business, the restaurant is marked as permanently closed. Its most recent review was posted one month ago. An April 2022 license renewal application noted that the restaurant occasionally operated with reduced hours due to staffing shortages.

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Hi-Fi Cafe Seeks Community Support

Hi-Fi Cafe, a long-standing Bay View coffeehouse and restaurant, is seeking community support amid costly renovations and the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business created a GoFundMe in late March with a goal to raise $15,000. As of April 3, the cafe received 45 donations totaling $8,828. Contributions ranged from $5 to $3,500, with many accompanied by short notes of encouragement and support.

“The last few years have honestly been an incredible challenge to survive, for the cafe and us personally,” Hi-Fi Cafe owner Mary Hart told Urban Milwaukee.

Like many small businesses, the cafe struggled to stay afloat throughout the pandemic. It held a similar fundraiser in September of 2020, which raised nearly $12,000.

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New Bars and Restaurants That Opened in March

Pomona Cider Company

The long-awaited Pomona Cider Company welcomed its first customers in a series of soft openings throughout the month of March. The cidery, 2163 N. Farwell Ave., offers a variety of hard ciders and snack plates in a cozy, laid-back atmosphere with views of the Oak Leaf Trail.

A grand opening is planned for early April.

Read our earlier coverage

La Playa Mariscos Y Bar

A new bar and restaurant offering Mexican seafood dishes, drinks and entertainment is now open in the Clarke Square neighborhood. La Playa Mariscos Y Bar,  721 S. Cesar E Chavez Dr. opened in early March. The large restaurant has the space to host up to 290 guests and also offers catering and delivery services.

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Southern-Style Restaurant For Paper Table

What many people call soul food, Devonte Berry defines simply as American. He hopes his new restaurant will help diners see his perspective.

Berry’s Southern-inspired concept, Jupiter Uncle, is slated to open at the end of the month at Paper Table, 733-737 N. Milwaukee St.

“People always call it soul food, the style of food that I cook,” he said. “But that type of food is just as American as the burger or the hotdog — because it started here in America. It’s everyone’s. My goal at Jupiter Uncle is to change the mindset that we have, as if the food I cook is separate from America. It’s not. It’s all-encompassing of the American history that we have, whether it be good or bad.”

The upcoming restaurant will be Berry’s first venture into the industry, though he comes armed with decades of home-cooking experience, as well as counsel from his three grandmothers.

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North Avenue Market Unveils Super Vendor Amidst Reshuffling

Three debut vendors at North Avenue Market will combine as part of a transition period for the food hall.

Taste of Java, Sam’s Deli and A&B Desserts are merging to form 4 Corners of North Avenue Market, offering sandwiches, desserts and coffee at a single vendor stall.

“The name of the new cafe highlights the fact that North Avenue Market is the bridge between four different neighborhoods,” the company wrote in a news release. “But also, the new cafe will be serving sandwiches, desserts, coffee and community.”

The change is intended to open up space for new vendors while bringing a wider variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options to the food hall, 5900 W. North Ave. It’s also part of a series of updates planned for the market, which recently celebrated six months in business.

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