By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 15, 2024 at 10:02 AM

Lowlands Group has announced plans for major renovations this spring at their landmark eatery, Café Benelux, 346 N. Broadway, known for its Belgian bier, popular Bloody Marys, inspired fare and expansive rooftop.

To accommodate the changes, Cafe Benelux will be closed beginning Feb. 26, with a proposed reopening date in early April. 

Rendering by THREE SIXTY

Some might remember the first iteration of Cafe Benelux, which debuted in 2011, complete with a restaurant and accompanying market. Things have certainly changed since then, including a fairly extensive refresh in March of 2017.  But the renovations planned for the space this spring promise to be the most extensive of them all. 

The upgrades will be completed with the help of Rev Pop and THREE SIXTY, the design and build firm which has been part of the Cafe’s DNA from the beginning. Founders Brian Polster and Rob Binter designed and built the grab-and-go cases in the original Benelux market; they later replaced them with additional booth seating. The team also worked with Lowlands on the design for the addition of The Map Room and an expansion of their server station years later.

Rendering of Cafe Benelux
Rendering by THREE SIXTY

Guests can expect a reimagined bar featuring with expanded seating, bigger and better television screens and a new and improved host stand area.

Renovations will also include the addition of more booths, including a VIP booth that can accommodate larger groups.

Cafe Benelux rendering More booths, VIP booth
Rendering by THREE SIXTY

Menu changes

The food and beverage menu will also see changes. While staple food offerings will remain, several new additions are expected. Meanwhile, on the beverage side, guests can look forward to wines on tap as well as a revamped cocktail menu.

And yes, there will be more bier. Three new tap towers will be installed, two of which will be exclusive to Cafe Benelux. In fact, a Duvel tower and a three-tap Chimay tower will be the the first of their kind in the State of Wisconsin.

During construction, which will take place Feb. 26 through early April, there will be no dine-in, carry-out or catering services. Guests are welcome to patronize nearby cafes including Centraal Grand Café & Tappery in Bay View or Café Hollander on Downer Ave.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.