By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jan 16, 2024 at 1:02 PM

There’s a new bakery and cafe slated to open this summer at the R1VER campus, located on the northwest corner of 1st and Becher Streets in Bay View.

Casera Cafe & Bakery is the name of the new eatery, which will exemplify its name by offering housemade, hearty, comforting dishes that “feel like a warm embrace from home.” The new venue will occupy the 4200 square foot street retail space below the Tribute Apartments with an interior designed by Rinka Architects. 

“It will be a place we’d want to go eat if we were in the neighborhood,”  notes George Herrera, who will operate Casera with his wife, Karen. “We want customers to feel welcome and leave feeling like they’ve had something truly special, worth the time and effort.”

The Herreras are also owners of Sugar & Flour Bakery & Cafe, which they opened in 2021 at 5721 Broad St. in Greendale. In turn, their new Bay View restaurant will pay homage to their collective years of experience in the industry. George worked his way through the ranks and spent years as the executive chef for Hyatt Hotels in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Buffalo, New York; and Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Karen as a self-taught baker who parlayed her talents into operations for Sugar & Flour Bakery.

According to the Herreras, Casera will focus on housemade offerings including hand-kneaded dough and hand-sliced bread, along with a menu that reflects the love and hard work they have invested in their hospitality endeavors.

“We are thrilled to welcome George and Karen to the R1VER development and the neighborhood,” notes Michelle Herro, Director of Real Estate Finance & Project Management for Becher Development, which developed and leases R1VER.

“We were looking for a unique, high-quality, neighborhood café for this ideal corner anchor location in the development, and the Herreras and their vision is the exact fit.”

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.