Black Sheep, a full service bar, restaurant and wine tap, opened today at 4 p.m. at 216 S. 2nd St., in Walker's Point.
We stopped by hours before the big opening and got a sneak peek from co-owner James Valona. His sister, Jessica, is another partner in the venture, along with three others.
The space – which held a printing company long ago – is stunning yet comfortable with high ceilings and lots of light. Valona describes the decor as monochromatic and says they were going for an industrial-modern theme with lots of metal, wood and a splash of purple.
"We tried to reuse as many materials as possible," says Valona.
Local artist Jonathan Warobick created large sheep portraits in different mediums and the bathrooms boast about a dozen sassy, sheep pin-ups.
The house cocktail, not surprisingly, is called the Black Sheep.
"Everybody thinks they’re a black sheep at one time or another and they all try to be one with society and then realize as they get older that what they found to be so ‘off’ about themselves is what makes them great today," he says.
Black Sheep features two self-dispensing wine taps at different temperatures to accommodate both red and white wines. Glasses of wine can be purchased by the "taste," half glass or full glass.
All of the bottles are from small-batch wineries and will rotate. Occasionally, proceeds from a bottle of wine will go to a not-for-profit organization.
"The dispensers remove a lot of the pretentiousness and nervousness about wine," says Valona.
The food menu is upscale bar fare along with a large variety of hot dogs, from the simple to the exotic.
"We have hot dogs taken to another level," says Valona.
Prior to opening Black Sheep, Valona worked in management at the Iron Horse Hotel. Jessica is a self-taught chef who tended bar at Crazy Water and managed Houlihan’s and Sticks & Stones in Brookfield.
Most importantly, Valona says he wants all people to feel comfortable at Black Sheep.
"No matter who you are or what you look like, we want you to feel welcome here," he says.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.