Sophie Bolich

Lush Gourmet Popcorn Opening in Riverwest

Two-day grand opening ceremony to begin with Sept. 22 ribbon-cutting.

By - Sep 5th, 2023 04:01 pm
Site of Lush Gourmet Popcorn, 920 E. Locust St. Photo taken Aug. 30, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Lush Gourmet Popcorn, 920 E. Locust St. Photo taken Aug. 30, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Not much can beat a simple bowl of popcorn loaded with butter and salt, but Marcia and Marc Taylor tried anyway.

The brother-sister team began producing flavor-infused popcorn back in 2014, creating more than 30 variations — and a business — along the way. What started as a pop-up and wholesale operation grew to include a vendor stall at Sherman Phoenix Marketplace in 2018.

Now, Lush Gourmet Popcorn is gearing up for the grand opening of its first standalone location, which will replace the longstanding Klinger’s East at 920 E. Locust St. The former Riverwest tavern closed in June 2022.

Opening weekend is set to kick off Friday, Sept. 22 with an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting, for which Mayor Cavalier Johnson will be in attendance. Later that day, Lush will host happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., offering specialty cocktails, snacks and performances from local DJs. The festivities will continue the following day, Saturday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The latest location for Lush Gourmet Popcorn will feature three distinct elements — a retail space, a popcorn and lemonade factory and a tasting room — with the intent of providing “an immersive experience for popcorn aficionados, local food enthusiasts and Milwaukee natives,” the Taylors said in a news release.

In the retail space, customers can expect to browse through a variety of packaged Lush popcorn, available in flavors such as Wisconsin cheddar, maple bourbon and white chocolate. The business also offers several vegan options and a line of liquor-infused popcorn.

A few steps further and guests will be able to see where the sausage — or rather, popcorn and lemonade — is made, at the popcorn and lemonade factory. In addition to its nearly three dozen popcorn flavors, Lush will offer a variety of fruit-infused lemonades.

The final element, a tasting room, will feature a selection of popcorn flavors to enjoy on-site, as well as cocktails and other snacks.

Lush Gourmet Popcorn occupies the first floor of a 6,322-square-foot building. Since announcing plans for the new business last summer, the siblings have completed a number of aesthetic updates to the structure — namely, replacing the former green awning and trim with black, as well as painting over the previously tan siding on the east side of the building’s facade.

Inside, the Taylors are looking to feature work from a local artist, and released a call for submissions in late August. Interested parties can inquire at

The grand opening festivities are free and open to the public. Regular hours of operation for the new location will be announced at a later date. Until then, Lush will post updates to its website and social media pages.

In the meantime, Lush Gourmet Popcorn can be purchased Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave. The business also makes regular appearances at area farmers markets including South Shore Farmers Market and Tosa Farmers Market.


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Categories: Food & Drink

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