By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Sep 14, 2022 at 5:45 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

Last year the "Wisconsin Restaurant Cookbook" – created in partnership with OnMilwaukee, WWBIC (Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation), Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market – sold enough copies to present 19 grants to Wisconsin restaurants in an effort to assist them in bouncing back from the challenges of the pandemic.

However, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, the teams from all three organizations were honored to distribute a final $5,000 grant to yet another local restaurant, Arepa’s Place, located at Brookfield Square Mall. Like so many restaurants across the nation, this small family-owned restaurant boldly faced the challenges of the pandemic and is in the process of recovering financially. 

Arepa’s Place, which specializes in Venezuelan fare, opened its doors in the Brookfield Square food court in 2019. Owners Yrvil Perez and Yelena Yustiz are natives of Barquisimeto in the Venezuelan state of Lara, and their food – which includes traditional made-to-order arepas – pays homage to their homeland, which in recent years has been plagued by political and economic crises, including shortages of food, water and medicine.

The surprise grant presentation commemorated the 20th grant and completion of The Wisconsin Restaurant Cookbook program, which provided a combined $100,000 in grant funds to restaurants in Wisconsin. 

The full list of grant recipients included: 

  1. Cafe Sonder, 305 E. Chicago Ave., Minocqua
  2. Ca’Lucchenzo, 6030 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
  3. Chit Chaat, 550 State St., Racine
  4. Dam Chicken, 300 S. Spring St., Beaver Dam
  5. Gobblers Knob Supper Club, 101 N. Military Rd., Stockbridge
  6. Gus’ Deli, 813 S. 60th St., West Allis
  7. Hi Point Steakhouse, 6900 County Rd. HHH, Ridgeway
  8. Hue Vietnamese Restaurant, 2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee
  9. Kawa Japanese Restaurant,  325 W. Silver Spring Dr., Milwaukee
  10. Layman Brewing, 6001 W. Madison St, West Allis
  11. Luna's Mexican Restaurant, 4048 S. Packard Ave., St Francis
  12. Pizzeria Scotty, 9022 W. Oklahoma Ave., West Allis
  13. Rice N Roll Bistro, 1952 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee
  14. Skal Public House, 209 E Main St., Mount Horeb
  15. Taqwa’s Bakery & Restaurant, 4651 S. 27th St., Greenfield
  16. The Cozzy Corner, 111 N. Walnut St., Appleton
  17. Trouble and Sons Pizzeria, 133 E. Silver Spring Dr., Whitefish Bay
  18. Whisk Bakery & Coffee, 633 N. 8th St., Sheboygan
  19. Wild Roots Restaurant, 6807 W. Becher St., West Allis
  20. Arepa’s Place, 95 N. Moorland Rd., Brookfield
Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.