By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Nov 22, 2017 at 10:33 AM

Early this summer, we reported that BV 3001 Restaurant and Lounge would be moving into the former Pastiche space at 3001 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. However, those plans have since fallen through, leaving the vacant restaurant open to a new tenant.

That tenant is Charmice Dodson, who has proposed a restaurant called Belli’s Bistro & Spirits, a casual bar and restaurant which will offer guests comforting American style cuisine, cocktails and a variety of live entertainment.

"I’m really hoping to create a relaxed, comfortable and inviting neighborhood restaurant where people can enjoy a great meal," notes Dodson, a longtime home cook who says the restaurant will serve dishes inspired by recipes passed down to her by her grandmother Orie Bell Dodson, the namesake for the restaurant.

"My grandmother -- who we called Bell -- spent her life cooking for her North Side Milwaukee community," says Dodson. "She was always helping families that couldn’t afford regular meals, and I learned so much from her. So many of the recipes we’ll serve are based on dishes she made that I’ve brought my own twist to over the years."

Although the menu is still in development, Dodson says she’ll be hiring an established chef to execute Belli’s Bistro and Spirits menu, which will feature comfort food staples like fried chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits along with more upscale entrees like pan-seared salmon and peppercorn steak. Meanwhile the bar will serve a selection of both classic and specialty cocktails.

Meanwhile, the upstairs portion of the restaurant, which formerly held the Pastiche wine shop, will be used as a venue for poetry readings, karaoke and private events. 

Dodson says that, if all goes well, she hopes to have her new venture up and running by January of 2018.

Watch OnMilwaukee for additional details as they develop.

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.