By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 22, 2011 at 2:37 PM

The restaurant formally known as Ryan Braun's Waterfront will reopen with a new name, look and menu before the Brewers' opening day, according to the restaurant's new owners.

The Third Ward eatery at 102 N. Water St. will reopen under the name Ryan Braun's Graffito, according to a press release from the SURG Group which operates Carnevor, Umami Moto, Charro and other properties and which purchased the Water Street restaurant after it closed late last year.

"Once we decided on an innovative and fun Italian dining experience, we felt it was important to select a name that represented the new direction of the restaurant," said SURG owner Mike Polaski.

"The word 'graffito' can be traced back to ancient Rome where markings were left in tombs and catacombs, leaving lasting impressions of the culture from that era. We felt Ryan Braun's Graffito will give dinners an indication of the ambience and menu they can expect at the restaurant."

Executive Chef Dominic Zumpano's menu will showcase a wide range of Italian cuisine and feature the best available artisan products, as well as locally raised cattle and grown produce. Zumpano's kitchen will produce homemade breads, pastas, sauces and seasonings and SURG pastry chef Kurt Fogel will create a dessert menu exclusive to RBG, according to the release.

The restaurant has also undergone an interior redesign with exposed brick, distressed woods and other materials. The restaurant's popular patio should reopen by May, the release said.

Gift cards from the old restaurant will be honored when it reopens.