By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 01, 2022 at 1:04 PM

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A tropical breeze is moving in on Brady Street, bringing refreshing frozen drinks to the space at 1316 E. Brady St., which formerly housed Fro-Zone and Uncommon Goods.

Concoctions, the longtime frozen drink brand which has operated for over 10 years (primarily as a mobile beverage truck at festivals), is bringing its menu of frozen drinks (both non-alcoholic and spiked), along with a small menu of handheld Jamaican specialties to the popular East Side corridor later this spring, with hope for an opening sometime in May.

Behind the brand is Hyacinth Nembhardt, a native of New York who got her start in finance and radio. She launched Concoctions in 2007, running it largely as a mobile operation, which served up refreshing frozen drinks at a variety of local events and festivals.

In 2020, she took the business to a new level when she partnered with local Jamaican restaurant Uppa Yard to launch a brick-and-mortar location for the business. More recently, Nembhardt has been hard at work establishing Tropic MKE, a tropical island-inspired bar and lounge slated to open later this month on Water Street.

Cocktails, mocktails & snacks

Nembhardt says the Brady Street location will be a small, casual, counter service establishment where guests can order both non-alcoholic or spiked frozen drinks, as well as handheld Jamaican patties, savory filled turnovers baked inside a flaky shell.

Patties will feature fillings like curried beef, chicken or vegetables with onion, garlic and scotch bonnet peppers ($4 each or two for $7).

Drinks – which can be ordered non-alcoholic or spiked – will include beverages on the rocks, including Concoctions famous Jamaican rum punch (rum optional); Rude Boy with ginger and lime (vodka optional); and the Frap House with iced cappuccino, whipped cream and toffee (Kahlua optional).

Frozen concoctions will include neon margaritas (lime, blue raspberry or sour apple with or without tequila); Lava Flow with strawberry and coconut (plus optional Malibu); a peach daiquiri with D’USSE cognac; and sweet treats like Sexual Chocolate, hot chocolate with Ghiradelli chocolate, whipped cream and marshmallows (also available spiked).

Seating will be available at a few high-top tables inside the venue, as well as on Concoctions sidewalk patio during the summer months. But guests can also take their food and drinks to go.

Nembhardt says she can’t wait to be a part of the bustling scene on Brady, a location she says reminds her of her hometown.

“When I walk down that street, it reminds me of New York,” says Nembhardt. “And that’s part of what attracted me to the area. And the building provides a small space that’s just perfect for what we’re doing.”

Follow Concoctions on Facebook and Instagram.

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.