A new day is dawning for Bosley on Brady, 815 E. Brady St., which is slated to reopen this summer with a brand new identity.
The new restaurant, which will be called The Diplomat, will offer a seasonal menu focused on small, shareable plates. And those plates will be created by Chef Dane Baldwin, a seasoned chef with a broad range of experiences in kitchens across the city.
Baldwin, who left his most recent post as head chef for Mr. B’s Steakhouse in Brookfield in February, has a resume that includes Harbor House and Bacchus, as well as Carnevor, Dancing Ganesha, Barossa and Gil’s Cafe among others. He’ll operate the restaurant with the support of partner and developer Joshua Jeffers, who purchased Bosley from former owner Michele Green last year.
Jeffers says the decision to reopen the restaurant as an entirely new concept was one of necessity.
"What that space really needs is a true owner-operator," he says. "It’s not a huge space. It’s really meant to be a more intimate, neighborhood restaurant. And it needs someone who’s there every day. And I think Dane is the right person."
He notes that the journey to find the right fit was one that he didn’t take lightly.
"I spent a lot of time trying to find the right operator for this space," he says. "And I have a tremendous respect for what Michele Green was able to accomplish. So, I wanted to find someone who could really carry that torch. We were introduced through a mutual friend, and I could tell right away that he had the right perspective and handle on what’s going on on Brady. He has the energy and the passion for it."
Jeffers says that, in the coming months, the space will see a number of changes, though most will be cosmetic. Updates will include new flooring, lighting and finishes. However, Jeffers says he has turned over the bulk of the remainder to Baldwin, who he says will envision and enact the concept from the ground up.
In talking with Baldwin, it was obvious he’d given a great deal of thought to the matter. Of the name, he said it was one of hundreds he’s tossed around over the years as he dreamed of owning his own restaurant.
"There was something about this name, though, that resonated with me," he says. "A diplomat is hospitable, and that’s the business I’m in. I like the sound of it … and it also lends itself to a concept that can really take on its own identity as time moves on."
When it comes to the menu, Baldwin says that – after working for years at restaurants where the concepts have been more scripted – he’s enjoying the process of really designing a menu that focuses entirely on dishes he’s created.
"I’ve had nothing but great opportunities throughout my career," he notes. "And I’ve worked for, and with, a lot of great people. It’s been a great run, but I’m really starting to get down to the question of the sort of food I want to create. I’ve always been a fan of small plates; I think it’s great to sit down and share food with friends. And when it comes to my style, I’m not a fan of overcomplicating things. Some ingredients are delicious in and of themselves, and my focus will always be on flavor."
And, although the restaurant is only in its beginning stages, Baldwin’s excitement is palpable.
"When you have something like Bosley that’s such an iconic location … it’s an interesting feeling," he says. "Michele was really the heart and soul of that operation, and the restaurant wouldn’t be the same without her. Taking the helm of something like this, you really appreciate the gravity of it. But I’m so very excited to take this step. I couldn’t ask for a better place to be right now. In the end, we’re setting out to do something that’s not just good, but great. And I can’t wait."
Watch OnMilwaukee for additional details about The Diplomat as plans move forward.
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.