Sophie Bolich

New Restaurant Replacing Riverfront Pizza

The pizzeria quietly closed last week after nearly 20 years in business. Sea Fire Brasserie plans to replace it.

By - Feb 19th, 2024 11:09 am
Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill. Photo taken Sept. 1, 2023 by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

After nearly two decades of dishing up wood-fired pizza Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill is closed. The restaurant, 509. E. Erie St., held its final service on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

The Historic Third Ward space won’t be vacant for long. A new restaurant is already slated to replace it.

Riverfront owner Arturo Napoles Carrera announced the closure in an online post. “It is with much appreciation for the twenty years we have been serving up deliciousness for Milwaukee, that we have decided to close the doors to Riverfront Pizzeria,” he wrote. “What an exciting adventure it has been watching the Third Ward turn into an amazing piece of history and vibrant food culture!”

Sea Fire Brasserie

In the wake of the closure, a new restaurant is planning to take over the Riverfront space. On Friday, license applications were filed for Sea Fire Brasserie, the latest concept from Shannon Rowell.

A brasserie, the French term for brewery, typically operates as a casual establishment offering beer and other beverages accompanied by simple foods.

Rowell, along with her partner, chef Ramsés Alvaréz, previously operated Brew’d Burger Shop at Zocalo and Crossroads Collective.

As work on the Sea Fire progresses, Alvarez continues to make progress on his own ventures. The chef is in the process of launching a Latin-Asian fusion concept, Dia Bom, at Lincoln Warehouse. He also operates a private chef business, Brasserie des artes.

Sea Fire Brasserie is expected to open in April, according to the license application, and is set to begin its three-year lease in June. The restaurant is requesting permits for live music including instrumental musicians, bands, dancing and DJs.

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

Riverfront Pizzeria

Riverfront Pizzeria was originally operated by Rich Loch and his sister, Brenda Regenfelder. The siblings launched the pizzeria in 2006 with help from their parents, Kathleen and Richard Loch, the owners of Ricardo’s Pizza in Greendale.

Carrera joined the restaurant as a chef partner and, in 2017, bought out the siblings. He continued to operate the restaurant with his own family until its closure.

The restaurant offered both Milwaukee-style and wood-fired pizza. The former was thin-crusted and sliced into squares, while the latter was chewy and slightly charred from a 90-second blast in the round-bellied pizza oven — visible through the front window to passersby.

In addition to 20 varieties of pizza, including Thai chicken, margherita and Hawaiian pies, the restaurant offered fried calamari, soups, salads, seafood tacos and pasta dishes, along with a handful of Italian sandwiches including chicken parmesan and meatball. The restaurant also served brunch — an eclectic selection of American, Italian and Mexican dishes ranging from breakfast pizza to chilaquiles.

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Categories: Food & Drink

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