Sophie Bolich
Grand Openings

New Bars and Restaurants That Opened in February

The return of Maria's Pizza, a new oyster bar, Oaxacan restaurant and six others.

By - Mar 4th, 2024 05:31 pm
Site of Maria's Pizza, 5025 W. Forest Home Ave. Photo taken Dec. 12, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Maria’s Pizza, 5025 W. Forest Home Ave. Photo taken Dec. 12, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Maria’s Pizza

Maria’s Pizza reopened on Feb. 14 to overwhelming enthusiasm from neighbors, who have been waiting to get their fix since June 2022. New owners Brian and Jennifer Francis are easing into operations, offering takeout only for the time being.

The transition to new ownership brings changes to the longtime pizzeria, though its thin-crust pies will remain unchanged. The restaurant, previously cash-only, now accepts credit card payments. Once the dining room reopens, alcohol will be served for the first time in Maria’s Pizza history.

Read our earlier coverage


The restaurant at Bay View‘s The White House completed its transition into SAGE, a fine dining establishment, welcoming its first customers on Feb. 5.

Led by Allison Meinhardtthe restaurant’s seasonal menu is capitalizing on the final days of winter with cozy dishes such as tempura mushrooms and gochujang-spiked macaroni and cheese.

Read our earlier coverage

Kuumba Juice and Coffee

A new cafe and restaurant is now open in Harambee, just off the Beerline Trail. Kuumba Juice and Coffee opened in early February within the Connector Building. The building, which also contains space for events and coworking, is part of a larger project to activate the area on and around the Beerline.

Kuumba Juice and Coffee offers Anodyne coffee and espresso, tea and cold-pressed juices, along with soup, salads and sandwiches.

Read our earlier coverage

La Ventanita

A new restaurant serving Puerto Rican cuisine is now open on the South Side, in the former home of Damascus Gate.

La Ventanita recently opened in the building, 807 W. Historic Mitchell St., offering a variety of breakfast dishes, plus meat skewers, tostones, arroz con gandules and other Puerto Rican dishes.

Read our earlier coverage

Weekend Grub at Dior’s Gallery

The Southern brunch buffet is back in action at Dior’s Gallery . After taking a brief hiatus to acquire her restaurant license, Danielle Eastern held a grand reopening celebration for the popular brunch, which takes place every weekend at 10855 W. Park Pl.

The meal, crafted by chef Zeb Allenregularly features an expansive range of dishes — from smothered pork chops and fried chicken to butter biscuits and waffles.

Read our earlier coverage

Del Valle Oaxaqueño and La Casa Del Pan 2

A new bakery and restaurant is now in operation at the former Lopez Bakery, which closed in January after 50 years in business.

Brothers HeladioEfrenSilverio and Bulmaro Garcia opened a second location for their business, La Casa Del Pan, in late February. They also expanded the concept with a new restaurant, Del Valle Oaxaqueño.

Heladio’s wife, Miriam, heads up the restaurant side of the business, preparing a variety of authentic dishes including tlayudas, mole Oaxaqueño, tamales Oaxaqueños, tacos, tortas and more.

Read our earlier coverage

Shuckers Crab Shack & Oyster Bar

A second concept from Albert Yee has officially arrived at 3rd Street Market Hall. The chef, who also operates Wok Downtown, launched a new seafood-focused restaurant, Shuckers Crab Shack & Oyster Bar, at the food hall in February.

Shuckers offers freshly-shucked oysters, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes and more.

Read our earlier coverage

The Barrel Room

3rd Street Market Hall recently unveiled its newest concept, The Barrel Room, featuring a collection of bourbon, scotch, tequila and more. The new addition, announced in a surprise social media post last week, joins The City Fountain, Strange Town Bottle Shop and 3rd St. Market Bar as alcohol purveyors in the food hall.

Read more about The Barrel Room

Mad Chicken

A new location for Mad Chicken recently opened its doors at 7424 W. Appleton Ave., joining two other Milwaukee locations for the chicken chain.

Mad Chicken sells chicken tenders, wings, sandwiches, wraps, bowls and salads. Side options include waffle fries, onion rings, mac and cheese, coleslaw, mozzarella sticks and fried pickles.

Read our earlier coverage

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Categories: Food & Drink

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