By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jan 04, 2023 at 12:01 PM

Black Shoe Hospitality, the restaurant group behind Maxie’s, Blue’s Egg, Buttermint Finer Dining and Cocktails and Story Hill BKC, has announced two internal promotions for two executive chef positions.

Eric Holcomb, who served previously as executive chef at Story Hill BKC, has been promoted to the role of executive chef at Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails, 4195 N. Oakland Ave., a restaurant which made its debut in January of 2022.  Holcomb who joined Black Shoe Hospitality when Story Hill BKC opened in 2014, worked his way up at the restaurant from line cook to sous chef, taking on the executive chef role in June of 2021.  

“We are thrilled to have Chef Holcomb join us at Buttermint,” noted Black Shoe co-owner and Chef Joe Muench in a release about the changes.. “His creativity and passion for culinary excellence make him the perfect fit to lead our team in Shorewood."

In the wake of Holcomb’s departure, former Story Hill BKC Sous Chef James Sanders has been promoted to executive chef for the restaurant. Hired as a line cook in Nov. of 2015, he worked his way through the ranks earning the title of sous chef in fall of 2018. His promotion is a testament to his skill, creativity and deep understanding of the restaurant's vision and cuisine.

“At Black Shoe there is nothing we do that is more satisfying than providing a place for the

growth of our outstanding team members,” noted Black Shoe co-owner Dan Sidner. “Both James and Eric exemplify what is best about our restaurants on a day-to-day basis.”

These culinary leadership changes will not only allow Holcomb and Sanders to further hone their talents, but the promotions will allow Muench, who has spent much of his time leading the kitchen at Buttermint,  to focus his energy on the vision for Black Shoe Hospitality as a whole. 

Guests can look forward to menus which reflect both chefs’ creativity and expertise as the year moves forward.

Reservations for both Story Hill BKC and Buttermint can be made online via OpenTable or by calling the restaurants directly.

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.