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Pilot Project Offers Oktoberfest Dinner

Plus: A burger restaurant for Bay View, Smokin' Jack's new location and Dia Bom heads to South Side.

By - Oct 1st, 2023 12:11 pm
Menu items from Pilot Project. Photo taken November 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Menu items from Pilot Project. Photo taken November 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

For its first Oktoberfest in Milwaukee, Pilot Project is putting its own spin on the celebration, with plans to host an autumnal dinner that’s equal parts innovative and approachable — in other words, a meal you’d want to have a beer with.

And attendees will. The five-course dinner, prepared by chef Ryan Gill, will be accompanied by seasonal beers from the brewery’s incubated brands, including Azadi Brewing, Funkytown Brewery and Brewer’s Kitchen.

The Oktoberfest dinner will take place on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m., at 1128 N. 9th St. Tickets, $75 before tax and fees, are available for purchase online.

A menu for the upcoming dinner has not yet been publicized, but will be posted in the coming days.

Riverfront Pizza Is a Waterside Respite

If you have come to Lakeshore State Park from the Third Ward on Erie Street, then you have traversed past the Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill. I mention this because the restaurant is a fine place to start and finish a stroll around the park. On a warm fall day, it is also a prime site for a meal on the patio that faces the river where you will be entertained by an endless stream of barges, kayaks, and an assortment of pleasure boats.

Friends and I enjoyed two noon meals under umbrellas where we enjoyed watching pedestrians stroll past our table as well as a mighty tugboat slowly moving a barge downriver.

Unfortunately, the wood-fired pizza was temporarily unavailable, likely due to the late summer heat. However, there were more than enough pizza choices which they list as MKE Style Pizza to satisfy your appetite. If you can imagine it, you will likely find it among the many pizza choices on the menu, and if you don’t find what you want, ask, because there are endless possibilities here.

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Asian-Latin Fusion Restaurant To Open On South Side

Ramses Alvarez is bidding farewell to Farwell Avenue. The chef will leave his vendor stalls at Crossroads Collective in order to transition his Asian-Latin fusion concept, Dia Bom, into a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Brew’d Burger Shop, co-founded by Alvarez, will also close. The final day of service for both restaurants will be Saturday, Sept. 30.

“We are immensely grateful for the support and love we have received from our patrons and partners throughout our time at Crossroads Collective,” Alvarez said in a statement. “This transition represents an exciting opportunity for us to grow and evolve as a restaurant, and we are eager to share our culinary vision on a larger scale.”

Dia Bom is headed to a space within the Harbor District’s Lincoln Warehouse, 2018 S. 1st St., where it’s slated to replace MOR Bakery. The allergy-friendly bake shop is currently seeking a new location.

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Blind Tiger Announces Closing Date

Blind Tiger will leave its speakeasy-style space on Bay View‘s main drag — but not before one last party. A two-day farewell event, set for Sept. 29 and 30, guarantees the bar will go out not with a bang, but with a roar.

Owner Marcos Ramos-Garcia announced the upcoming closure in a Thursday morning newsletter to customers. “It has been 3 amazing years here in Bay View, but it is now time for our final Roar,” he wrote. 

The festivities will kick off Friday with DJ NuStylez at the helm. The longtime turntablist is a staple in the Milwaukee scene and beyond; he played the opening set for Lil Wayne at the rapper’s Madison show in April.

The bar will open its doors at 9 p.m. on Saturday for its final evening of service. Jay B. Fresh will act as host and DJ for the night.

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Weekend Sale at Urban Milwaukee: The Store!

This weekend, we’re holding a big sale for Urban Milwaukee members!

To show our appreciation to our  members who support us and love Milwaukee, we are offering a gift to all Urban Milwaukee members: 20% off everything at Urban Milwaukee: The Store this weekend, starting on Friday, Sept. 29.

Our sister business oozes Milwaukee pride.

Clothing, puzzles, drinkware, magnets, candles, pins, buttons, books, etc., etc., etc.; it’s all there for you.

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Buffalo Boss Celebrates Grand Opening

Taj Pearsall was all smiles Thursday afternoon as he cut the ribbon for his new restaurant, Buffalo Boss. The chicken-focused eatery, located along busy 27th Street, is the second Milwaukee location for the chain, which also has operations in Brooklyn and Orlando.

The building, 540 N. 27th St., with its block-letter signage and gleaming windows, looked much different just one year ago. “This property has been vacant and blighted for probably the last 20 years,” said Alderman Robert Bauman at the grand opening ceremony.

He commended Pearsall for restoring the structure, which was boarded up for more than a decade.

“We wanted to put something here that’s going to be long-lasting, sustainable and that the community could be proud of,” Pearsall said in a previous statement. “It checks off all the boxes for us.”

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Indeed Introducing THC Gummies to Taproom

Indeed Brewing Company is going green — but not in the way you might think. The brewery, known for its craft beers, recently introduced a new experience to its Walker’s Point taproom: THC.

Packages of Two Good THC Goodies are now available for purchase in the taproom, 530 S. 2nd St. The gummies, flavored with dried lavender and lemon peel, contain two milligrams each of full-spectrum, hemp-derived THC and broad-spectrum CBD.

The mix provides a gentle buzz — ideal for non beer-drinkers or those avoiding alcohol, said Ryan Bandy, director of experience for Indeed.

“It’s just a really cool option,” he said, noting that the two-milligram concentration is a good starting point for most newcomers. “If you want more, you can always have more than one.”

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Smokin’ Jack’s BBQ Adding Northwest Side Location

Smokin’ Jack’s BBQ is sparking new growth on the Northwest Side. The barbecue concept plans to open its first stand-alone restaurant at 6807 W. Brown Deer Rd., according to a license application.

Similar to its existing location within 3rd Street Market Hall, the upcoming restaurant will operate as a counter-service establishment, offering slow-smoked meats, sandwiches and sides for carryout only. It will also be cashless.

Smokin’ Jack’s BBQ got its start amid the early days of the pandemic, operating as a ghost kitchen out of Waukesha’s Point Burger Bar. From there, owner Jack Holt acquired a food truck and began serving at Jazz in the Park and other local events. The restaurant also has a catering department.

Before delving into barbecue, Holt spent more than two decades in the restaurant industry, working a variety of management positions at establishments including Mo’s, A Place For SteaksWard’s House of PrimePoint Burger Bar and MECCA Sports Bar and Grill.

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West Side’s Triciclo Peru Is Closed

A Near West Side destination for inventive empanadas and pisco cocktails is no more. Mario Diaz Herrera‘s Triciclo Peru abruptly shuttered last week with no explanation.

The Vliet Street restaurant, which won a 2020 Mayor’s Design Award, operated for nearly four years in the Martin Drive neighborhood, until its recent closure.

The chef and his former spouse, Amy Narr, started Triciclo as a mobile concept in 2017, operating out of a miniature, hatchback food trailer. The operation, according to Diaz Herrera, originated as an homage to working-class Peruvians.

For the following two years, Triciclo continued to pound the pavement at a variety of Milwaukee area farmers markets, street festivals, beer gardens and private events, garnering a loyal following with its authentic empanadas, which featured traditional fillings enveloped in a flaky crust.

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New Burger Restaurant for Bay View

A Utah-based burger chain is expanding to Milwaukee, with plans to open its first Wisconsin location at 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., in Bay View.

Patty Shack would bring an additional quick-service option to the neighborhood, serving hand-formed burger patties and crispy, skin-on fries. Customers can also expect a heaping portion of friendly customer service, according to franchisees Desmond and Kaylynn Jimerson.

“We’re going to make sure that all of our employees are very customer-oriented,” Desmond Jimerson said. “That’s our number one priority.”

Milwaukee may seem like a big leap for the growing chain, which operates two locations in Utah, but the origin story stretches over several years. While living in Utah, Desmond Jimerson, a 27-year industry veteran, became acquainted with Patty Shack co-founder Justin Newbold through previous jobs in the restaurant sector. The pair were even neighbors at one time. But eventually, life took him elsewhere. Specifically to Texas, where he met Kaylynn.

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Lush Gourmet Popcorn Opens in Riverwest

Lush Popcorn officially opened its doors in the Riverwest neighborhood on Sept. 22., celebrating the culmination of nearly a decade of growth. The new brick-and-mortar business, 920 E. Locust St. is the first standalone location for owners Marcia and Marc Taylor, who first launched Lush in 2014.

While the day marked the beginning of a new chapter for the business, it also celebrated the journey it took to get this far — as well as the people who helped along the way.

A crowd of approximately 45 attendees included key players from each stage of the business: Parents who nurtured the Taylor siblings’ early passion for entrepreneurship; friends who encouraged the pair to start selling their popcorn creations; representatives from The Dolphin Pool, which awarded funding to help the business grow; fellow Sherman Phoenix Marketplace tenants: and finally, Riverwest business owners and residents who came to support the newest addition to the neighborhood.

“It’s awesome to see it come full circle in terms of making sure that we’re staying grounded in the community where we work and live, and making sure we have an impact here,” said Marcia Taylor, who addressed the grand opening crowd from the front steps of the new business.

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Heaven’s Table Is Paradise for BBQ Fans

If you were a fan of Heaven’s Table BBQ as I was when they had a small place in the Crossroads Collective food hall on Farwell, then you will want to visit their brick-and-mortar restaurant at 5507 W. North Ave. It’s small, just six window-facing stools if you want to dine-in, or, if weather permits, you can have your BBQ at one of the outside tables. Most of their business is carryout and after two visits to this BBQ joint, I can attest to a steady stream of customers leaving with full bags. It’s popular with barbeque aficionados and now I know why.

In December it will be two years since they relocated from Crossroads and expanded the menu. Recently they added a weekend brunch that includes the usual pancakes and egg dishes plus a rice bowl, grits, and a choice of their BBQ meats. Other weekend specials include Smoked Salmon on Friday, Smoked Jerk Turkey Leg on Saturday, and “Weekend Only” Greens.

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Interval Coffee Opening King Drive Operation

Interval, a local coffee company, will relocate its roasting and packaging operations from the city’s West Side to the heart of the Bronzeville neighborhood.

The company is leasing a 15,700-square-foot building at 2976 N. Martin Luther King Jr Dr., where it will focus on roasting beans for its two Milwaukee cafes, as well as expanding e-commerce and wholesale operations. Production at the new location will be under a new brand name, Neighborly Coffee Roasters.

Developer Ryan Pattee, whose investment group purchased the building earlier this year, said he’s excited to welcome a local business into the neighborhood. Bronzeville has seen growth through a number of recent projects including a mixed-use library development being constructed across the street.

“They’ve got a really good momentum going,” Pattee said of the neighborhood. “And we’re glad to be a part of it.”

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Sustainability-Focused Flower Shop Opening in Bronzeville

414loral is putting down roots in a new location. The flower business, which recently relocated to the Bronzeville neighborhood, will welcome guests into its new space, 1739 N. Martin Luther King Jr Dr., at a Sept. 23 soft opening.

The King Drive storefront was most recently home to Maranta Plant Shop, which closed in June.

Saturday’s soft opening party, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., promises “all the cozy fall vibes,” with activities including a build-your-own bouquet bar, on-site acupressure and seasonal coffee drinks.

Those who complete a mini-scavenger hunt — clues are posted to 414loral’s social media — will be eligible for a special discount at the soft opening.

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