The sun was shining yesterday on Riverwest, both literally and figuratively. That's because the doors officially swung open at The Daily Bird in its new home at 818 E. Center St. [Read the backstory of this remarkable cafe].
The coffee shop, operated by Dan Zwart, made its official debut at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 2, greeting an excited group of regulars with a welcome caffeine buzz. a whole lot of positive energy, and four walls painted unmistakeably yellow.
The inaugural menu at the cafe includes a full complement of coffee drinks made with Anodyne Coffee (from drip coffee and espresso to cortados, lattes and mochas), plus tea offerings from Rishi Tea, hot chocolate and matcha. There are also vegan bakery items like seasonal muffins, banana bread and bagels made by Elena Laurant of HoneyBear Baked Goods.
Moving forward, Laurant will expand the menu to include heartier breakfast items and eventually lunch options, including things like grab-and-go sandwiches. An ice cream case will also be added in the months ahead, which will be filled with selections from Scratch Ice Cream.
Look around the cafe, and you'll find a treasure trove of positive messages like "You are loved" and plentiful reminders to take one day at a time, "Do nice things" and bring a "PMA" (positive mental attitude) to every day.
And, just in case you didn't catch the drift, there's also some good, general everyday advice right above the espresso machine that we'd all benefit from following.
And yes, there's a nod to the past. For those who haunted the former Fuel Cafe during the late grunge era and beyond, there's a momento left on the ceiling of a foregone era of strong coffee, lousy service and an angsty, art-filled cafe that won't soon be forgotten.
The Daily Bird is open Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
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.