Seems that restaurants in Milwaukee are in a bit of a flux these days.
Holiday House, 525 E. Menomonee St., recently shut its doors due to owner Joe Volpe’s health complications, and Room 434, 434 S. 2nd St., closed down its school room themed hangout, leaving Volpe’s staff focused on V-Bar, 703 S. 2nd St., and the former 434’s owner Kevin Sloan watching over his main baby, The Social, 114 E. Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, rumor has it that The Moct, 240 E. Pittsburgh Ave., will add a light noshing menu to complement their cocktails in the evenings, and Bobby Head of Centanni is working on a new project, Soho 7, to open in October on the corners of Buffalo and Broadway.
At 184 N. Broadway, an odd little place strangely named Penthouse (its on the first floor) has opened its piano bar and seems to be the antithesis of Centanni, with white chairs and interior and old black and white flicks playing on the walls.
On the other side of town, Joey’s, 1601 N. Jackson St., which supposedly catered to a Sinatra visit back in the day, has gone dark, and Node Coffee Shop is morphing into La Piazza -- “The Meeting Place.”
The Riverfront remains active with a Fratello’s -- a Wisconsin-based restaurant group pseudo chain -- and Hinterland brewery getting ready to take off on North Water and Erie Streets, while in Cudahy, Lopez Bakery just closed one of its locations.
All this continues to evolve as more and more chain restaurants are eyeing up the Milwaukee landscape. Let’s hope the fittest independent business owners survive.
Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.
The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.
Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to OnMilwaukee.com.