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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, July 25, 2014

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Can you still taste the red wine and homemade sauce?
Can you still taste the red wine and homemade sauce?
Great Downtown steaks.
Great Downtown steaks.

Seven Milwaukee restaurants that I really miss

For the fifth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2011."

As Dining Month comes to an end here at OnMilwaukee.com, I wanted to reflect a bit on some of the restaurants that I miss. Places that have closed, moved on or evolved into other entities.

I'm fascinated by the restaurant industry. The marketing, economics and passion of it are all creative and ever-changing. Milwaukee's blessed with an abundance of variety in our restaurants. Some may even argue that the area is over served with restaurants. Either way, the restaurant circle of life is a fluid and fun one. There's always opportunity and hungry mouths.

Here a few places that have closed, and that I still think about today.

Barclay Cafe – I love breakfast, and Barclay Gallery & Garden Café, 158 S. Barclay St. in the Fifth Ward, was a favorite. It closed in 2008, and I still miss the atmosphere and their Big City omelets.

The original Jacques – I really miss the character of Jacques' original location in Walker's Point. The front bar area was perfect for a Sunday breakfast, and the dining area was cozy and comfortable.

The Social - Who doesn't miss the original Social location? Kevin Sloan's establishment, which ceased operations in late 2008 at 114 E. Pittsburgh St. was a true gem. Amazing food, awesome atmosphere and hip in a way that wasn't too hip. Just right.  Sadly, its larger space (now Stack*d) never had the same vibe.  

Albanese's on Keefe – The sauce, the pasta, the wine, the waitstaff, the music. Oh, I miss you so much Albanese's on Keefe. Albanese's on Keefe was a throwback, traditional Italian family-style place. It was the perfect first date spot and a place where you always felt at home.

Butch's Clock Steakhouse – Chef-owner Butch Schettle closed his Butch's Clock Steak House and Martini Bar, 800 N. Plankinton Ave. in March of 2009. It was always meant to be a short term (five-year) second location for Butch, but as much as I love the old school nature of his original spot at 555 N. James Lovell St. I do miss the eating at the bar at the Downtown Butch's. Butch does steaks right and this spot was a good one.

African Hut – Remember African Hut on Old World 3rd Street? I'll admit that I only dined there about five times, but it was always fun and flavorful And, the owners were friendly and tempting with their amazing variety of African beers.

The Brown Bottle Home of one of Milwaukee's best fish fries and beer clubs, The Brown Bottle Pub, 221 W. Galena St., in Schlitz Park, closed in 2004.   Bobby Tanzilo summed it up well in his 2004 post, "The building formerly housed the Schlitz Brewing Company's tasting room, which opened in 1938. The hand-carved woodwork and the old photos were meant to conjure up the atmosphere of a 19th century European tavern. It is rumored that the stately oak used for the interior was rescued from European estates and castles."  Simply a great place.

Which Milwaukee area restaurants do you miss?  Use the Talkbacks to tell us. 

Talkbacks

TReed | April 22, 2014 at 10:48 a.m. (report)

I adored Africa Hut. I went there every month or more. I wish I knew where they went! I brought it up in class the other day, I have such fond memories.

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ladybug613 | Nov. 12, 2011 at 8:25 a.m. (report)

I miss the coffee trader!

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RJ | Nov. 10, 2011 at 10:58 p.m. (report)

I miss Pizza Man, as well as Mekato's, Oz Pies, African Hut, and couple of others....

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cgodfrey | Nov. 6, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (report)

Gil's on Downer. Did Gil ever open a new restaurant?

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LLS | Oct. 27, 2011 at 2:28 p.m. (report)

I miss Pizza Man...the atmosphere, the wine, the bbq pork pizza, and of course that delicious garlic cheese bread.

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