Sophie Bolich

Ruby’s Bagels Plans Westside Location

The bagel shop, a longtime vendor at Zocalo Food Park, is poised for big growth.

By - May 2nd, 2024 10:16 am
Site of Whiskey Haze, 5513 W. North Ave., Photo taken June 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Whiskey Haze, 5513 W. North Ave., Photo taken June 1, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Since its launch as a food truck in 2019, Ruby’s Bagels has quickly climbed the ranks as one of the city’s most notable bagel purveyors. Soon, fans of the business will have another location to love.

Ruby’s Bagels is planning to expand its Milwaukee footprint with a brick-and-mortar location at 5513 W. North Ave., the former site of Whiskey Haze.

Owner Daniela “Ruby” Varela announced the development on social media last week, touting the location’s proximity to Wauwatosa; the building is situated just over four blocks from the city’s western border.

The new, 3,968-square-foot space will merge the business’s baking and retail operations, providing a full kitchen to accommodate bagel-making, as well as a public-facing cafe and dining area.

In a license application for the upcoming business, Varela noted plans to customize the space with bakery cases, a coffee bar and new ovens.

A proposed menu for the brick-and-mortar location features an assortment of hand-rolled bagels in flavors like plain, everything, sesame, rosemary sea salt, poppy seed and cinnamon cranberry. The bagels can be paired with various flavors of cream cheese and add-ons including eggs, bacon, capers and guava jam.

Ruby’s also serves bagel sandwiches such as the classic bacon, egg and cheese and full lox, which features a bagel of choice topped with cream cheese, Acme Nova lox, tomato, capers, red onion and fresh dill.

Drinks such as cold brew, pour-over coffee and juice will also be available.

Ruby’s Bagels aims to continue a long history of bakery operations at the North Avenue building. Before Whisky Haze and its predecessor, Tusk, the structure was home for four decades to Hartter’s European Fine Pastries.

Originally constructed in the 1920s, the building is now owned by an affiliate of Prodigal Properties LLC.

Plans for the new location emerged after a previous proposal fell through. Varela in March 2023 moved to purchase a vacant, city-owned building at 1107 W. Oklahoma Ave. to house her bakery and cafe, but the project never came to fruition; the southside building would have required a full kitchen build-out and other costly alterations.

Ruby’s Bagels has not yet announced an opening date for the upcoming location; however, the business posts regular updates to its Instagram page.

A license application for the business is pending before the Milwaukee Common Council. The proposed hours of operation for the brick-and-mortar business are Wednesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ruby’s Bagels has not indicated plans to cease operations at Zocalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St., where it operates Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Varela did not respond to multiple requests for comment by the time of publication.

Ruby's Bagels food truck. Photo taken September 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Ruby’s Bagels food truck. Photo taken September 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

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Categories: Food & Drink

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