Last week I finally had lunch at City Winery in Chicago.Â Itâ€™s a project done by Phillip Katz, a former Milwaukeean who owns Project Development LLC.Â It was founded, though, in New Yorkâ€™s Soho neighborhood by Michael Dorf, another Milwaukee native who founded, then sold, NYCâ€™s legendary club The Knitting Factory.Â
The location (one of seven in the country; a second Chicago outpost is located on the city's riverwalk) â€“ in the West Loop at 1200 W. Randolph St. â€“ seats 300 and is spacious, beautifully designed and features a fully operational winery, restaurant with outdoor patio, concert venue and event space.Â The 30,000-square foot location is super cool with its old brick and timber construction and funky, but not too funky, design. Perfect, I thought, for Milwaukee.Â
(PHOTO: Bobby Tanzilo)
As we look at the growth in and around Downtown, I think a place like City Winery could do well. Itâ€™s unique, large and creates an experience thatâ€™s missing in our market.Â
With seemingly new cranes popping up daily and transactions cranking and banking at the speed of sound, Milwaukeeâ€™s in a development boon. Yet, have we really asked the questions: What do we need?Â What do we want in a restaurant or bar? Whatâ€™s missing?Â What works for the 25-50 demographic these days?
I want to know your thoughts. Whatâ€™s missing in Downtown Milwaukee?ÂRead more...