Sophie Bolich
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Pomona Cider Expands Menu, Hours

Plus: Goodbye Klement's Sausage outlet; and city suspends two bars, closes convenience store.

By - Apr 23rd, 2023 11:28 am
Site of Pomona Cider Company, 2163 N. Farwell Ave. Photo taken March 3, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Pomona Cider Company, 2163 N. Farwell Ave. Photo taken March 3, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Pomona Cider Company has been pouring drinks and whipping up gourmet snacks for several weeks, following its early April grand opening on the East Side. And though it’s an obvious destination for a post-work happy hour, the cidery is taking steps to attract a wider — and more caffeinated audience.

As of Thursday, Pomona is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering Anodyne coffee with unlimited free refills, Rishi tea and free Wi-Fi.

“Come work with us in the late mornings!” the business wrote in a social media post.

Alongside its newest menu items, Pomona continues to offer an assortment of craft ciders — available by the glass or in a flight — including pear, apple ginger and apple lavender ciders, as well as hopped and oak-aged options.

Cider cocktails, beer, seltzer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are also available.

An eclectic food menu includes chocolate espresso beans, hazelnut biscotti, chips and dip, toasted focaccia with smoky salted honey butter and the ever-changing Pomona party mix.

Large, shareable plates and crepes are offered on a limited basis.

Co-owners Tom Gabert and Sawyer Purman also shared plans to introduce a brunch menu in the near future.

Pomona Cider Co., 2163 N. Farwell Ave., is open Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The kitchen operates from noon until 7 p.m.

Council Suspends Lounge 340

A longtime dispute between a tavern owner and nearby residents reached a tenuous resolution on Tuesday when the Milwaukee Common Council unanimously voted to issue a 20-day suspension to Lounge 340.

The bar, 340 W. Reservoir Ave., opened in 2019 with the intent to serve as a laid-back lounge for no more than a handful of guests at a time. But throughout the past year and a half, neighbors say they have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people inside the establishment, as well as litter, excessive noise and illegal activity associated with its patrons.

Will Meyers, who lives across the street from the lounge, said he has observed instances of drunk and reckless driving, illegal parking, carryout liquor, loitering and violent altercations between patrons — one of which resulted in a subject producing a gun, though it was never discharged.

As part of his March 7 testimony before the Licenses Committee, Meyers submitted a flash drive containing more than 800 megabytes of photo and video evidence of neighbors’ claims about the bar.

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East Side Program Boosts Budding Food Businesses

A new pop-up space at Crossroads Collective will allow up-and-coming food businesses to fine-tune their concepts in a low-stakes environment.

The Corner Pop-Up, formerly occupied by Triciclo Peru, will host vendors for two to six weeks — providing equipment, support and camaraderie from fellow entrepreneurs for the duration of the short-term stay.

Tots on the Street, the first vendor in the rotating lineup, launched on Wednesday at the East Side food hall, 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Hannah Kopplin runs the business, which started in 2019 and continues to operate a food truck, too.

The potato-centric vendor offers a range of gluten-free, stuffed tater tots including loaded baked potato tots, buffalo chicken tots, original vegan tots and Clock Shadow Creamery cheese curd tots. The Crossroads Collective pop-up will also feature bags of frozen tots for an at-home fix.

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Southside Nightclub Gets 30-Day Suspension

Diamante Negro will remain closed for one month, following a suspension issued Tuesday by the Milwaukee Common Council. The 30-day suspension, which went into effect April 18, was based on a five-item police report detailing complaints of excessive noise, loitering and gun violence.

The most severe incident noted in the report was a fatal shooting that took place on May 15, 2022, less than a block from the southside nightclub, 1900 W. Lincoln Ave. The victim, who had earlier patronized the establishment, was sitting in his car after bar close when a subject fired over 40 rounds into his car, killing him, according to a police report.

Licensee Tomas Hernandez, who opted to represent himself at a March 29 license renewal hearing, told the Licenses Committee that some of the items in the police report were true, though he also said that “some of it didn’t happen.”

“We did have an unfortunate incident outside of the establishment, but it was not a random act of violence,” Hernandez said. “From what MPD had informed us, both parties knew each other.”

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Guns, Drugs Cited As City Closes Chambers St. Store

The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to close Chambers East Food Market, a convenience store in the Harambee neighborhood.

The decision was one of the first following the swearing in of three additional members — bringing the council up to its full, 15-person membership for the first time in 17 months.

But the jovial mood that accompanied the beginning of the meeting quickly turned serious as the council turned its attention to Chamber East, which was recommended for nonrenewal based on myriad issues including loitering inside the store, illegal drug activity, public alcohol consumption and more.

The majority of pushback stemmed from a 32-minute video submitted to the licenses committee, which showed a group of people loitering inside the store while playing loud music, openly smoking marijuana, drinking from bottles of liquor, displaying bags of marijuana and waving guns — one of which had a silencer.

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Plant-Based Vendor Coming to North Avenue Food Hall

After a season of rapid change, North Avenue Market is settling back into normal operations, with plans to welcome a new vendor in the coming days.

The new addition, Plant Joy, would be the first fully vegan concept for the food hall, 5900 W. North Ave., which currently houses two cocktail bars and a cafe selling coffee, sandwiches and bakery.

Amberlea Childs, owner and head chef at Plant Joy, drastically altered her eating habits at age 36, after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She joined an integrative chemo program, which incorporated massage, nutrition, community and physical therapy. The holistic approach not only made the process more comfortable, said Childs, but also improved her culinary skills and knowledge of plant-based eating.

After her treatment and recovery, Childs resolved to share her new enthusiasm for healthy, nourishing and flavorful food with a wider audience.

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Council Bans Food Trucks On Four Blocks of Water Street

There will be no food trucks on a busy stretch of N. Water St. for the foreseeable future. It’s a stepping stone to a new regulatory framework that would govern where and how mobile vendors can operate.

The new ban, unanimously approved Tuesday by the Common Council, applies to N. Water St. from E. Knapp St. to E. Pleasant St., an area immediately north of the Water Street bar district.

“This is an area that has had an issue with what I would term as some ‘bad actors in the food truck arena,'” said Alderman Jonathan Brostoff to Public Safety & Health Committee on March 31. He said food truck operators and their patrons were generating excessive litter, smashing windows of cars, using other’s cars as their tables, using space between cars “as their toilets” and doing other “disrespectful and illegal things.” Some of the operators, said Brostoff, were disposing of grease on the sidewalk, street and directly into the sewer.

Brostoff called it a “quick fix to a larger problem.” He said quick action was necessary as the problem would worsen as it gets warmer outside. “The larger concern is citywide.”

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WHSF Hosts Taco Dinner Fundraiser

The Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation (WHSF) is hosting an all-you-can-eat taco dinner on Friday, April 28. The family-friendly event will feature raffles, live music and plenty of food — while raising funds for local students.

The event will also serve as an early celebration for Día de los Niños, which takes place April 30.

“We are particularly excited to celebrate Kids Day (Día Del Niño) with this event and hope to see families and individuals of all ages come out to support our cause,” the organization said in a news release.

All proceeds from the taco dinner will be donated to WHSF, which in turn awards scholarships to Hispanic youth that aspire to higher education. Since 1987, the foundation has raised more than $1.8 million in scholarships.

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Klement’s Sausage Outlet Closing

Klement’s Sausage Co. will close its Bay View outlet store at the end of the month, marking the end of an era for bargain meats. The final day to stock up on summer sausage, snack links, bratwurst and more will be Thursday, April 27.

The unassuming store — dimly lit and containing a handful of coolers stocked with Milwaukee-made meats — is co-located with the Klement’s factory, 2650 S. Chase Ave.

The meat purveyors announced the upcoming closure in a Facebook post last week.

“Due to manufacturing demands and the need for more space for our growing business, we have decided to use this space to meet these demands,” the company wrote. “We thank all of our loyal consumers for countless years of continued support!”

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Clarion Hotel to Reopen With New Bar, Restaurant

Clarion Hotel could soon welcome new guests after a period of closure. New management plans to reopen the shuttered hotel, 6331 S. 13th St., bringing additional lodging options to the neighborhood just west of Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

A new bar and restaurant, Cafe 94 Indian Fusion, is also slated to join the building. In addition to the full-service restaurant space, the 160-room hotel contains a pool, fitness center, dining area for continental breakfast and three private meeting rooms.

Sandeep Kumar and his business partner, Charanjeet Singh, would run the hotel, while Iqbal Ghotra and his wife, Parminder, would oversee the restaurant.

Kumar, who is based in Virginia, told Urban Milwaukee that he and Singh were recruited by previous owner, Hardeep Arora, to reopen the hotel.

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Cream City Social Eatery’s Soft Opening Is April 24

A long-awaited neighborhood restaurant and bar is approaching an opening date in the Harambee neighborhood. Cream City Social Eatery, first proposed in 2019, is set to begin its soft opening on Monday, April 24.

The upcoming restaurant at 432 E. Center St. will serve both classic American plates and globally-inspired cuisine, said Diamond Johnson, who owns the business as well as the building.

The eclectic menu will be prepared by a rotating roster of local chefs including Geoffrey Campbell of G. Campbell’s Kitchen and Catering LLC and Robert Bergeron, owner of Something Smells Good Catering.

After securing a liquor license, Johnson — a licensed bartender and service manager — said she plans to introduce a signature cocktail, the Cream City, though she’s still working on fine-tuning the recipe. The cocktail will likely make its debut at the restaurant’s grand opening, tentatively scheduled for late spring or early summer.

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Changes Coming at HoneyBee Sage on Lisbon Avenue

HoneyBee Sage is poised for change in the coming months, as the wellness-focused business continues to pursue its mission of bringing alternative healing methods to Milwaukee’s underserved communities.

The business’s flagship store, 9141 W. Lisbon Ave., will close at the end of the month, to be replaced by a wellness space. The final day to shop will be Saturday, April 29.

Owner Angela Mallett said that she plans to rent out the new wellness space to a variety of “independent healers” such as Reiki practitioners, massage therapists, yoga instructions, meditation coaches, breathwork leaders and more.

The healers would offer classes and community events in the 1,410-square-foot space. Mallett said she aims to host each healer for a “longer-term” period, but an exact time-frame has not yet been decided.

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Women-Led Businesses Launch Mentorship Program

Dana Spandet is no stranger to the complexities of entrepreneurship. The veteran chef is the founder of wood-fired pizza restaurant Flour Girl & Flame and seasonal scoop shop Everyone’s Ice Cream, as well as executive chef for Tall Guy & a Grill catering company.

Through each venture, Spandet had to navigate a tangled web of inspections, permits, financial documents and more — a daunting process even to seasoned restaurateurs.

For many first-timers, Spandet explained, opening a restaurant seems as simple as making delicious food and offering a high-quality product.

“But as you get deeper and deeper into it, it’s like oh my god, there’s permits and zoning and finances and accountants and taxes — it’s all really confusing,” she said. “It all just, at times, can feel like this really lonely island that you’re on.”

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