By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published May 02, 2018 at 2:01 PM

A brand new showroom opens to the public today at Fein Brothers, the iconic restaurant and kitchen supply store at 2007 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

The new Tabletop Essentials area focuses on showcasing a diverse line-up of china, glassware, flatware and various serving solutions that are now available to customers.

The area is the product of a $30,000 showroom remodel, which includes refinished maple floors, fresh coats of bright and inviting paint, new shelving and new lighting fixtures, all of which serve to complement the new offerings.

A stronghold of the Fein Brothers business has always been back-of-house products, including equipment and related design services. However, Tabletop Essentials was created to fill a gap in their customers’ needs for front-of-house items.

"Previously, we had one basic line of China and maybe five lines of flatware," notes Fein Bros. President Todd Minkin, "Now we have over 20 new vendors, many of whom are leaders in both design and their product lines. We also have a space that gives our customers the opportunity to dream and see the future of their dining rooms."

Among the many items showcased are dishes and serving pieces in traditional white, as well as more colorful options.

There are also trendy, rustic finds.

In addition to a complete glassware line, there’s also fancy stainless and copper clad barware.

There is also flatware, including a broad selection of steak knives.

Tabletop items, like candle holders – in both modern and rustic designs – are also available.

The Fein Brothers "museum"

Customers will also find refinished hardwood floors – and a new meeting area – on the mezzanine, as well as a portion of the second floor, which now houses the store’s furniture showroom.

One of Minkin’s longterm goals – the start of a Fein Brothers museum – is also taking shape on the mezzanine level, where there’s a collection of antique equipment complete with fascinating historical narratives.

There are also numerous artifacts, including handmade kitchen design models from the 1960s. Designed by former Fein Brothers draftsman, Larry Fisher, the pre-computer-technology models were used to assist customers in visualizing various options for kitchen layouts.

And some, like this sink, were created with an impressive amount of detail.

Customers will also find other interesting items, like this Supreme Oven from The Speich Company, a stove repair company founded in Milwaukee in 1880.

Fein Brothers is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.