Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette, the highly anticipated Walker’s Point restaurant, has officially opened for curbside pick-up in their new home at 135 E. National Ave.
And that means a slew of new things to try for breakfast, brunch, sunny day picnics and... well, just about any occasion you can think of to enjoy a chewy New York style bagel or any number of accompanying noshes.
The venue officially opened on Thursday, May 14 after a trial run offering curbside bagel boxes for Mother’s Day brunch.
"We sold out of everything that we’d prepared, and we learned a lot about how we want to operate during these times," says Ben Nerenhausen, who operates Allie Boy’s with his wife Staci Lopez. "It’s still a bit of a dance for us right now, but we’re slowly developing a rhythm that works for us."
The two chefs hoped to open Allie Boy’s in March; but their debut was delayed in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which slowed necessary inspection and licensing processes. However, following a series of pop-ups at nearby Laughing Taco, the owners achieved occupancy and decided to take the leap and open for carry-out.
It was a very different debut than they’d anticipated, Nerenhausen admits.
"But there I was, staring down all these to-go boxes and thinking: ‘Wow, I never thought I’d have to deal with this.’" he says. "We’ve put off purchases of things like plates and such, all in favor of buying things to accommodate to go service. After all, this might be our mode of operation for some time. We’re fortunate that our operation is well suited to the carry-out format."
Bagels, noshes & more
On the menu, guests will find a variety of options, from hand-rolled bagels in flavors like plain, everything and pumpernickel (six for $14) and myriad smears, from house-cultured onion butter to flavored cream cheeses (including a cream cheese labneh hybrid with spring herbs) and housemade jam ($3-5)..
There are also "noshes" like Boston bibb salad ($7); matzoh ball soup ($8) and "The Big Latke Waffle," a griddled waffle-style potato pancake served with applesauce and sour cream ($8).
There are also bagel sandwiches, including classics like house-cured lox with tomato, onion, capers, labneh and spring herb schmear; smoked pastrami-style brisket with horseradish sauerkraut and French onion schmear; and spicy avocado with egg featuring sprouts, pickled green tomatoes, Hook’s Triple Play cheese and Yemeni zhoug pesto (priced $10-$13).
Nerenhausen says that they expect to be able to increase their menu in the coming weeks to include more bagel flavors, along with an evolving selection of new offerings including perfect picnic snacks like chopped chicken livers with bagel chips; house creme fraiche parfaits with seasonal herb pistou and trout roe served with house fried salt and vinegar chips.
He also expects to roll out a small selection of beer, wine and bubbles to augment their current coffee and tea offerings.
"In some ways, opening this way is a bit of a blessing," he adds. "Had we opened before the pandemic, it would have been tough. But we’ve made use of this time to really get all of our ducks in a row, take pause and get all of our processes down. And I feel much more ready now than I would have felt before."
Allie Boy’s is open for curbside pick-up daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. View the menu and order online.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.