Beginning in mid-July, Muskego will be able to kick back and enjoy a gorgeous lakeside view while enjoying dinner at The Bass Bay Brewhouse at S79-W15851 Aud Mar Dr.
The Brewhouse has been in the works for some time. In fact, when we caught up with Ryan Oschmann, former owner of The Eatery on Farwell, last September to chat with him about plans for reinvigorating the Aud-Mar Supper Club, he elaborated on plans to establish the Brewhouse on the Aud-Mar property.
Those plans are finally coming to fruition, thanks to a partnership between Oschmann, his mother Laurie Oschmann and two of Oschmann’s colleagues: Andy Meinen, a childhood friend and owner of Jimmy John’s shops in Delafield and Muskego, and Chef Kurt Fogle, long-time friend and renowned executive pastry chef for SURG restaurant group.
Fogle, who spent the past five years focusing on pastry and desserts at SURG while balancing a full-time teaching position at MATC, says he’s eager to take on the challenge of pulling together the Bass Bay menu, which will feature affordable supper club and American-style fare. It’s a mission he almost views as a calling.
"I want to help make sure that this style of food doesn’t fall to the wayside," he says. "The idea of this kind of place, this kind of food, it’s Wisconsin. And it’s about transporting people back to that time when restaurants like this were the norm."
As a result, he’ll be preserving a number of Aud-Mar classics, like the Oysters Rockefeller, Cod Oscar, the classic Friday fish fry (complete with potato pancakes, apple sauce and marble rye) and clam chowder. Additional dishes will include pan roasted chicken, salmon with spaetzel and salad and a riff on The Eatery’s chicken fried chicken.
But, he’ll also be making improvements along the way. Fogle’s work has always showcased an intimate knowledge of the way food works, and that element won’t be lost in his approach to the menu.
For example, Fogle has been working for years to perfect fried chicken, and the results of his labor will show in the Southern style fried chicken sandwich with pickles and mayonnaise. He’s also researched ways to maintain a crisp crunch on the exterior of fried fish – even when reheated at home – aspiring to what he calls "the best version of a fish fry." And the same technology employed for the fish will be applied to fried cheese curds and onion rings.
Fogle says he has been holding off on the dessert menu – though he says he’s toying with the idea of creating desserts based on the flavors of classic after-dinner drinks.
Licensure for the brewery aspect of the restaurant is on hold until the remodel for the downstairs restaurant is completed. But, Oschmann says that they are focusing on perfecting a core of house beers – like the Hazelnut Brown Ale, which was served at last year’s Aud-Mar Fall Festival, along with a Black IPA, IPA, wheat beer and an amber ale – all of which will be brewed onsite by Fogle’s brother-in-law, Dan Sterling.
The newly renovated Aud-Mar Banquet hall, located above the Bass Bay Brewhouse, will continue to operate as a full-service events space, hosting parties and weddings. Meanwhile, the Bass Bay Brewhouse will start off serving dinner Wednesday through Friday evenings, as well as Sunday brunch, in the Aud-Mar Banquets space.
Once renovation is completed on the lower level of the building – likely in late August – the restaurant will move into its permanent space.
Watch OnMilwaukee.com for more details – and an official opening date – as they develop.
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.