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Santurce Opens on South Side

Bar-restaurant offers Puerto Rican fare. Plus: the new Falcon Bowl, the end of Sobelman's at Marquette and Meat on the Street closes.

By - May 7th, 2023 01:40 pm
Site of Santurce Sport Bar & Grill, 3010 S 10th St. Photo courtesy of Santurce Sport Bar & Grill.

Site of Santurce Sport Bar & Grill, 3010 S 10th St. Photo courtesy of Santurce Sport Bar & Grill.

A new bar and restaurant serving authentic Puerto Rican cuisine is now open in the southside neighborhood of Polonia.

Santurce Sport Bar & Grill, 3010 S. 10th St., welcomed its its first guests for a soft opening on Friday, May 5, offering a limited food and drink menu from 11 a.m. until midnight.

The soft opening will continue until May 19, when the business plans to celebrate its grand opening.

Industry veteran Brenda Caraballo is the force behind the bar and restaurant, which will serve traditional Puerto Rican dishes including pernil (slow-cooked pork) arroz con gandules and more, as well as domestic and imported beer, seltzers and cocktails.

“Brenda enjoys giving people a taste of her extraordinary cooking skills, and she’s even more thrilled to announce that you all can finally come and dine in!” the family wrote in a social media post. “We are ready to welcome you all to our small business establishment!”

With the help of family and friends, Caraballo spent more than two years transforming the southside building — formerly a tavern called Doctor’s Inn — into its current state. Caraballo’s daughter, Rosemary Perez, is the building owner.

The completed building has a newly-rebuilt facade, entrance ramp and a new awning, while the interior has been redesigned and decorated with a rustic tiki theme. The project also included a kitchen build-out.

Caraballo named the restaurant in honor of her hometown, Santurce, Puerto Rico. The family-friendly establishment welcomes guests of all ages, and invites feedback from patrons during its soft opening phase.

Santurce Sport Bar & Grill is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Troubled Corner Store Can Reopen, Will Get New Hearing

A troubled convenience store in the Harambee neighborhood can reopen, despite a unanimous vote by the Milwaukee Common Council to close the business.

Chamber East Food Market has been closed since April 21, following the expiration of its license and the council’s April 18 decision to recommend nonrenewal based on myriad issues including loitering inside the store, illegal drug activity, firearms, public alcohol consumption and more.

In the days after the meeting, attorney Michael Maistelman, who represents store owner Davinderjit Kaur, filed a lawsuit appealing the council’s decision. As of May 5, the store has secured a temporary injunction that allows it to resume operations — at least for now.

During the council’s consideration of the license, much of its concern stemmed from a 32-minute submitted video, 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.

Read the full article

Milwaukee’s First Dumpling Fest Scheduled For June 4

Join ElevAsian in capping off Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month with the city’s first-ever Dumpling Fest. Scheduled for June 4, the event will feature dumplings from all over the world, crafted by some of Milwaukee’s most notable chefs.

From Polish pierogies to Chinese xiao long bao, dumplings come in all shapes, sizes and flavors, with nearly every culture contributing a unique version of the filled, dough-wrapped snack.

Dumpling Fest will celebrate them all, offering samples from a variety of Milwaukee eateries, as well as entertainment, giveaways and a marketplace highlighting Asian vendors.

Participating businesses include Asian Cuisine Quyen, Curry & Momo House, DanDan, Dumpling House, Heaven’s Table BBQ, Hot Dish Pantry, Phat Dumpling, Semolina MKE, The Diplomat, The Original and Troublemakers’ Cocina.

Read the full article

Outpost Names New Leader

After 35 years as general manager at Outpost Natural Foods, Pam Mehnert is preparing to retire from the position next month. On Thursday, the organic-focused grocery store group announced Ray Simpkins as her successor.

“As general manager of Outpost, Simpkins will take the helm of one of the country’s leading natural foods co-ops during a time of renewed growth amidst a crowded retail food marketplace,” the co-op said in a news release.

Simpkins, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and an MBA from Strayer University, brings more than two decades of retail experience to the new role, having most recently served as district manager for Dollar General, where he was responsible for a network of locations. He has also worked as a store manager for The Home Depot, club manager for Sam’s Club and store director for Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

“After a nationwide search, we are thrilled to have found a general manager who brings such a rich background and extensive experience in grocery retail,” said Ashley Fisher, president of the board of directors for Outpost, in a statement. “Ray is an energetic team leader with a passion for customer service. We’re excited to watch him excel at Outpost.”

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Creperie Opens in Riverwest

After a winter of hard preparation, Seven Swans Creperie has officially opened in Riverwest.

The cafe, 808 E. Chambers St., quietly began its soft opening on Saturday, April 22, offering fresh crepes and a cozy ambiance to fortunate passersby who stumbled upon the newly-opened business.

A smiling Kate Bryan, owner of the business, took orders at the counter while the kitchen crew ferried plates of sweet and savory-filled crepes throughout the dining area.

Despite the hail storm that accompanied its debut, the cafe’s opening menu offers a welcome taste of spring, incorporating seasonal ingredients such as rhubarb and microgreens.

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Sensory Activity Center Planned For North Side

A new activity center with an emphasis on sensory experiences is slated to open on the North Side, catering to children and young adults with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The new business, called Puzzles, would feature a variety of rooms with different lighting, textures and visuals to engage, entertain and even soothe those who visit.

Sensory play — activity that involves some or all of the five senses — has been shown to help build children’s fine motor skills and emotional regulation.

“It helps kids to blow off steam,” said owner Monique Britton.

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Lulu Cafe Hosts Fundraiser Brunch

Bay View‘s Lulu Cafe & Bar is hosting a special brunch service this weekend to raise funds for Zach Schnitzler, a long-time employee who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The restaurant, 2265 S. Howell Ave., typically closed on Sundays, will offer a buffet-style, all-you-can-eat meal from 11 a.m. to noon, followed by a trivia competition and all-day raffle.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Schnitzler and his wife, Sharon, to help the couple pay for medical bills and other expenses.

Schnitzler, a line cook, has worked on and off at Lulu for more than a decade. In addition to his industry work, Schnitzler is an artist and a musician, as well as a treasured member of the community, said Cameryne Roberts, co-owner of Lulu Cafe.

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Vliet Street Bowling Alley To Reopen

Sanders Super Bowl, a long-standing bowling alley located along the Vliet Street Corridor, is slated to reopen with a new name and owner.

Barry Henley would open Barry’s Senior Bowling at 3827 W. Vliet St., bringing family-friendly entertainment, food and alcoholic drinks to the neighborhood.

Originally opened by Freddie Sanders in 1968, Sanders Super Bowl operated for decades in the neighborhood before its closure amid the pandemic. Sanders continued as owner until his retirement at age 80. At the time, he was one of just two African American bowling alley owners in the state, according to an interview with the Near West Side Partners.

Stephan Lesure took over the business from Sanders in 2018.

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European Food Store Opening Near Washington Park

Milwaukee’s food scene is as diverse as its population — with specialty markets to match. Mexican, Polish and Asian grocery stores abound in the city, but where is one to go when a craving for ketchup crisps, beans on toast or Jammie Dodgers strikes?

The answer, starting May 6, is O’Malley’s. The European food store, 5423 W. Vliet St., focuses on Irish and British staples that are otherwise difficult to find in the states.

Gerard Campbell, who is originally from Northern Ireland, runs the store along with his wife, Colleen O’Malley-Campbell, and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Orla.

“It’s not just about the treats up there,” said O’Malley-Campbell, gesturing at a shelf filled with gummy candies. “It’s real, home-cooking items that people want to have.”

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Sobelman’s To Close Marquette University Location

This year’s graduating class won’t be alone in departing from the Marquette University campus at the end of May.

Sobelman’s bar and restaurant will permanently close at the end of the semester, the university confirmed. Owners David and Melanie Sobelman opted not to renew their lease at the university-owned building, 1601 W. Wells St.

At this time, the university has not shared any plans for the future of the 2,367-square-foot space.

The final day of the semester at Marquette is Friday, May 12.

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Meat on the Street Closes Operations

After nearly a decade in operation and a recent move to Milwaukee Public Museum, Meat on the Street abruptly closed earlier this week.

Owners Matthew and Alexa Alfaro shared the news in a Tuesday morning social media post.

“We want to thank the Milwaukee community for nine incredible years of support, friendship, and unforgettable experiences,” the Alfaros wrote. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we were able to grow from a food truck to a thriving business thanks to your unwavering support.”

The Alfaros, who are siblings as well as business partners, launched the Filipino street food business in 2014 as an homage to their Filipino culture.

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Riverwest’s Falcon Bowl Will Get Upgrades

The new operators at Falcon Bowl on Tuesday revealed plans for a series of enhancements to the 140-year-old establishment, located at 801-803 E. Clarke St., in Riverwest.

Changes will include aesthetic improvements — with a mid-century modern theme — as well as practical additions such as air conditioning, a website and upgraded registers with the ability to process credit card payments.

The bar will maintain its “everyman feel,” operators Daniel Gnadt, William Desing and Russell Grabczyk assured patrons — just with a bit more style. The three are leasing the bar and bowling alley from from Riverwest Investment Cooperative, which purchased the place in 2002.

“We love what the Falcon Bowl represents and its place in the Riverwest neighborhood,” Gnadt said. “We’re embracing its history and authenticity and are actually using the bowling alley as our design template.”

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13 New Bars and Restaurants Opened in April

Seven Swans Creperie

After finding success at its flagship location in Kansas City, Missouri, Seven Swans Creperie opened its Milwaukee location at 808 E. Chambers St. on April 22. Despite snow, hail and rain, dozens of customers turned up on opening day to sample the restaurant’s cozy breakfast and brunch crepes.

Read our earlier coverage

Atwood HWY BBQ Company

A new barbeque-focused concept is now open at Crossroads Collective, fulfilling the vacancy left by meat-centric Hot Wax. Atwood HWY BBQ Company joined the food hall, 2238 N. Farwell Ave., in late April, serving a variety of slow-smoked brisket, wings, ribs, sandwiches, sides, drinks and desserts.

Read our earlier coverage

Read the full article

Wing Zone Returning to Milwaukee

Wing Zone, a fast-casual restaurant specializing in chicken wings, is poised to rejoin the local market with its first Milwaukee location since 2010.

The upcoming restaurant is planned for 138 E. Capitol Dr., near Outpost Natural Foods.

Franchisee Matt Schroeder said he aims to open the restaurant in mid-September, with another location in Wauwatosa to follow in October. Schroeder, who was previously a franchisee for a “major pizza chain,” said he plans to open at least three Wing Zone restaurants in the Milwaukee area in the coming years.

“I believe in the brand and the vision that they have, as far as the product that they offer, the convenience and the flavor,” Schroeder said of the Wing Zone brand, adding that he feels there’s a need for additional wing options in the Milwaukee marketplace.

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El Rey Celebrating 45 Years

El Rey, the family-owned Hispanic supermarket chain, will soon celebrate its 45th year in business.

On May 13, the company will commemorate the anniversary with a community-wide celebration featuring giveaways, cake, live music and more. Events will take place at all four El Rey locations.

“I could never have imagined this,” said co-owner Ernesto Villarreal in a statement. “It took a lot of determination and work. It is thanks to the clients that have supported us since the beginning and that continue with us that we are here today.”

A live mariachi band will perform from noon until 3 p.m., with cake cutting to take place at 1 p.m. and a piñata break for children aged 10 and younger at 3 p.m.

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