By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 28, 2023 at 2:03 PM

After nearly two years as a vendor at Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave., Dia Bom is getting ready to launch its very own brick and mortar restaurant.

The fusion concept launched by Chef Ramses Alvarez and partner Shannon Putz has been serving up a menu of creative fusion-style kushiyaki (Japanese style meat and vegetable skewers), tacos, bao, desserts and more at the East Side food hall since January of 2022.

“We’ve loved our time at Crossroads, but it’s time to move on and open our own restaurant,” Alvarez says, noting that Dia Boms last day of service at Crossroads Collective will be Sunday, Sept. 29.

“We are immensely grateful for the support and love we have received from our patrons and partners throughout our time at Crossroads Collective,” says Alvarez. “This transition represents an exciting opportunity for us to grow and evolve as a restaurant and we are eager to share our culinary vision on a larger scale.”

The move comes on the heels of a year of transition for the food hall, which has benefited from the conversion of Ivanhoe Place into a pedestrian plaza and has implemented a successful pop-up program to keep the food hall offerings fresh and ever-changing.

“We’re proud to see several successful vendors taking their business to the next level,” says Paige Hammond, general manager of Crossroads Collective. “On the whole, these transitions give us an opportunity to keep things fresh at the food hall while we provide a launch pad for the city’s next favorite restaurants.”

An announcement regarding a new vendor for the Dia Bom space is expected to be released soon.

But first, a ghost kitchen

In an effort to retain employees and maintain continuity for the concept, Alvarez says the business will transition temporarily to a delivery-only model before reopening in a new location at 2018 S. 1st St. That’s the space on the northern side of the Lincoln Warehouse where Mor Bakery will continue to operate through the end of 2023.

“While renovations are completed on the restaurant, we will be using a commercial kitchen on the third floor of the warehouse to offer our Dia Bom menu for delivery,” says Alvarez, who notes that the kitchen will also serve as the home base for his private chef business.

The “ghost kitchen” version of Dia Bom is expected to be up and running by mid-to-late October, with delivery available through all major delivery services. Alvarez says they will be promoting their delivery for patrons of area bars, including Component and New Barons Beer Cooperative, both of which are in the Lincoln Warehouse.

The menu for the delivery-only restaurant will be very similar to the one served at Crossroads Collective, with options like Korean shortrib and jerk chicken kushiyaki, charred broccoli in mole, lobster enchilada rangoon and globally inspired rice bowls.

A dual concept restaurant

Dia Bom, which is expected to open sometime in early 2024, will feature an expanded menu which will be revised to include both appetizers and a heavier focus on entrees. 

Alvarez says that he is also planning to establish a concept-within-a-concept (much like the Dandan/EsterEv model) with a Korean Steakhouse concept occupying the back portion of the restaurant. Guests can expect higher end offerings, plus a selection of soju, the Korean distilled alcoholic beverage commonly served alongside meats.

Alvarez says that – after working for other for the majority of his career – he’s very much looking forward to establishing his own restaurant.

“We are very excited,” he says. “I’ve opened at least seven restaurants for other people, but this will be the first time opening my own.”

Follow @DiaBomMKE on social for updates throughout the transition.

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.