By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Oct 08, 2015 at 11:27 AM

For the ninth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2015."

A unique partnership will bring both a coffee shop and a barbecue restaurant to Milwaukee’s South Side later this fall.

Hawthorne Coffee Roasters will soon have its first cafe on the southside of Milwaukee, thanks to a strategic move into a new 8,000-square foot facility at 4177 S. Howell Ave.

Approximately 4,000 square feet of space will be dedicated to the new cafe, which will seat about 45 customers. A large central bar will pull the space together.

The cafe menu will focus on manually brewed coffee and espresso-based drinks, along with a limited menu of locally baked breakfast items.

But the Hawthorne Cafe won't be your average coffee shop. Beginning in the afternoon each day, the cafe will transition from coffee shop to a fast casual restaurant, thanks to a partnership between Hawthorne Coffee and chef-owner Aaron Patin, who plans to launch Iron Grate BBQ Co. in the space.

Patin, who worked for a number of years as executive chef for SURG Restaurant Group, also launched the kitchen and bakery program at Stone Creek Coffee Roasters. Most recently, he has worked as a chef at the James Beard award nominated restaurant, Ardent.

Over the years, he’s developed a passion for both butchery and smoked meats – both concepts that will come together neatly with the Iron Grate BBQ concept.

Meats will be smoked out-of-doors in a wood-fired smoker located on the patio of the new facility. The smoker, named Edna, was hand built by a friend of Patin’s using 90 percent recycled materials.

The menu at Iron Grate will focus on the southern concept of "meat and three," offering guests a choice of meat – including BBQ beef, pulled pork and hot links – along with the choice of three side dishes. Options for sides will include southern favorites like grits, braised greens, smoked tomato mac & cheese, bourbon baked beans and cole slaw.

Patin will also launch "Milwaukee ribs" – a unique cut of pork comprised of spare ribs cut in half with some pork belly attached. Racks will be shorter than average – about 5-6 bones per rack – but the proportion of meat to bone will be far greater, with the ribs measuring about 3 inches thick. All meats, including the ribs, will be dry rubbed with a vinegar-based house sauce served on the side.

Patin says a single order of "meat and three" will cost about $15, with a Milwaukee rib plate running just over $20. Combos will be available with meat and sides in portions for four, eight and twelve people – making it easy to pre-order and carry out. Meat will also be available for purchase by the pound.

The Hawthorne Coffee Roasters Café is targeted to open by early November, with Iron Grate BBQ Co. opening shortly thereafter.

Hawthorne Coffee plans to serve Tuesday-Sunday from 6am-noon.

Iron Grate BBQ will begin by serving guests from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, expanding as needed to accommodate demand.

Watch OnMilwaukee for more 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.