By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Nov 12, 2021 at 11:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

If you haven’t gotten a chance to visit the schmancy new Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen at 320 E. Clybourn St., consider this your formal invitation. [Need more convincing? Just take a peek at their digs here.]

After all, the new Downtown distillery and eatery has just launched lunch service. And, beginning this weekend, there will also be bottomless Door County Cherry Vodka “mimosas” and a menu of new brunch items to savor.

Central Standard Crafthouse dining roomX

Lunch date?

Whether it’s a weekday client lunch or a mid-day meal with your gal pals on a day off, Central Standard has an offering to fit the bill, with mid-day service Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There are house favorites like seasonal butternut squash or corn soups ($8), hummus with housemade tortilla chips ($10) and the Standard Salad, a tasty combination of baby lettuce and herbs tossed with housemade green goddess dressing ($9). You can even up your vegetable quotient with a shareable house veggie tray featuring plenty of fresh vegetables and dill dip ($15).

Of course, that’s not the only way to split the lunch bill. Guests can also enjoy classics like the Hughes Cheeseburger (named for co-founder Evan Hughes), featuring a four-ounce Carlisle beef patty topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle and Evan’s special sauce ($16 with house-cut fries).

Hughes burger
Hughes Cheeseburger (Photo: Central Standard)

Love that citrus-forward house green goddess dressing? Try it out on the green sandwich, which is bursting with braised greens, roasted mushrooms, blue cheese and green goddess dressing ($11 with house-cut fries). Or pretend it’s nearly the weekend and order up a fried perch sandwich topped with tartar sauce, dill, radishes and coleslaw ($13 with house-cut fries).

Let's brunch!

Of course, starting Nov. 14, you can also head to Central Standard for the most leisurely meal of the week, complete with brunch drinks, every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday Funday probably includes at least one cocktail from Central Standard's menu. But if you'd like, you can also go all in with bottomless Door County Cherry Vodka “mimosas," a tasty riff on the classic screwdriver featuring the housemade cherry vodka, orange juice and seltzer garnished with a fresh orange slice. Juice, milk or a cup of freshly made Vennture Brew Co. coffee are also available.

Pair your choice of beverage up with standards like eggs, potatoes and a toasted English muffin ($9); a veggie omelet with seasonal vegetables and cheese ($12) and biscuits and gravy with a side of eggs ($12). There’s also a classic chicken and biscuit sandwich featuring a chicken patty served up on a homemade biscuit with spicy honey and Red Cabin Bourbon compound butter ($13). 

Chicken biscuit sandwich
Chicken Sando (Photo: Central Standard)

Of course, you can also delve into signature plates like chicken and waffles, featuring seared airline chicken breast served up on a Nueske’s bacon and chive waffle kicked up with Sourced in Nature maple syrup aged in Central Standard rye barrels and Red Cabin Bourbon compound butter to round things out ($15). Or warm up with Central Standard hash featuring herbed potatoes, Hook’s Swiss, arugula, Red Cabin bourbon caramelized onions and 24-hour braised beef topped with two poached eggs ($12). 

Central Standard Hash
Central Standard Hash (Photo: Central Standard)

You can also delve into chilaquiles made with house tortilla chips and topped with roasted salsa roja, tomatillo salsa, sunny side eggs and Farm Happy cilantro micro greens ($12); or a crab benedict topped with Farm Happy Farms spinach, hollandaise and herbed potatoes ($18).

Prefer to keep things light? There's also a brunch-worthy kale salad featuring Farm Happy winter kale, Door County cherries, toasted cashews and champagne vinaigrette ($9; add eggs for +$3).

Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (lunch menu served until 4 p.m., with dinner starting at 5 p.m.), Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 1 a.m. (lunch menu served until 4 p.m., with dinner starting at 5 p.m.) and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. (brunch served until 4 p.m.)

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.