Sophie Bolich

New Restaurant and Lounge Coming to Bronzeville

Mi Casa Su Cafe owner opening bar and restaurant inside former On the Bayou.

By - Aug 21st, 2023 05:24 pm
Former site of On the Bayou, 2053 N. Martin L King Jr Dr. Photo by Dave Reid.

Future site of Bronzeville Kitchen and Lounge, 2053 N. Martin L King Jr Dr. Photo by Dave Reid.

The owner and operator of Mi Casa Su Cafe is planning to extend his hospitality — and his portfolio — further into the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Paul Whigham, recently filed a license application for Bronzeville Kitchen and Lounge. The new business would open at 2053 N. Martin L King Jr Dr., the former site of On the Bayou.

An extensive menu proposed for the restaurant features breakfast, lunch and dinner options ranging from classic comfort dishes to soul food favorites. Breakfast offerings include chicken and waffles with vanilla whipped cream, maple-infused french toast with berries and a vegan breakfast melt with plant-based sausage, tomatoes, red onion, spinach and vegan cheese sauce.

For lunch, there’s a lineup of gourmet beef, turkey and plant-based burgers, plus sandwiches stuffed with parmesan chicken, fried catfish or battered shrimp. All handhelds are served with a side of crispy potato wedges. A variety of pasta dishes, soup and salad are also available.

High-end proteins shine on the dinner menu, which features indulgent options such as grilled lamb chops, crab cakes, beef tenderloin and deep fried lobster tail — all served with bread and a choice of two sides including mac and cheese, collard greens, yams and others.

For a meat-free meal, thai basil eggplant stir fry and Italian meatball alfredo are both marked as vegan.

From breakfast to dinner, the menu seamlessly blends a variety of cuisines, incorporating Jamaican, Asian and Italian flavors, as well a taste of Cajun cooking. The latter may be an homage to the restaurant’s predecessor, which served New Orleans-style dishes.

On the Bayou, now known as No Bayou, has bounced around to a number of locations within the past year. The business’s latest venture is to open a delivery-focused restaurant at Paper Table, a downtown food hall.

The upcoming business also plans to serve alcohol. Whigham expects 70% of revenue to come from food sales, with the remaining 30% from alcohol sales.

A license application also requests permission to host DJs, bands, poetry readings and karaoke.

The long and narrow, 3,750-square-foot restaurant space will include a front dining area overlooking King Drive, with additional seating and a bar located further back. Floor plans also indicate a 32-foot patio for outdoor dining.

Prairie Management & Development, Inc., a Chicago-based real estate company, owns the property. A license application lists Paul Levy, the company’s vice president, as owner of the three-story, building, originally constructed in 1885.

A liquor license for the business is pending approval by the Milwaukee Common Council.

If all goes well, the business is expected to open at the end of September. Once open, the proposed hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, according to a license application.

Another establishment by Whigham is in the works at 3428 W. Villard Ave. The upcoming restaurant, Brunch All Day Cafe, is expected to open soon in Old North Milwaukee, serving — you guessed it — all-day brunch.

Whigham did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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Categories: Food & Drink

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