Milwaukee can soon experience its very first bar with an on-site food truck.
John Revord, owner of Boone & Crockett, 2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., has partnered with Chef Mitch Ciohon, owner of Gypsy Taco, to create an entirely new kind of bar experience.
The plan includes installation of a fully equipped food trailer with a range, grill, fryer, steamwells, prep coolers and sink on the back patio at the Bay View Bar from which Ciohon will serve a creative menu of tacos, sides and desserts. And the menu will be what the partners call "unapologetically (un)authentic."
Ciohon plans on a menu of eight or nine taco varieties, with selections changing based on the seasons and availability of locally grown produce. Core tacos will include pork shoulder with pickled slaw and aioli and roasted root vegetables with goat cheese and greens. Meanwhile, specials could include options like buffalo squid and chicken heart, fried avocado with goat cheese, the "Bahn Mitch" with country pate, chicken liver and sliced pork loin along with crisp cucumber, carrots, jalapenos and cilantro, or the "Pig Face" with guanciale, pea smash, aioli, chicharones, sprouts and cheese.
"The goal really was to provide a stand-alone operation that didn’t require a commissary kitchen," says Ciohon, who has been running a successful mobile food cart operation in Door County (and occasionally Milwaukee) for the past year.
On off-hours, Revord plans to use the trailer’s kitchen to crank out creative syrups, juices and shrubs for cocktails.
"We’ll definitely be upping our game in terms of cocktails," he says. "And we’re looking forward to working together to collaborate on pairings between the cocktails and the food."
Revord and Ciohon, who met 12 years ago and became fast friends, have been looking for ways to collaborate on a project for years. This past year, they began experimenting with monthly events at Boone & Crockett during which Ciohon brought his Gypsy Tacos down to the bar.
"Things just worked together so well," says Revord, "We decided to make it into a fixture."
Revord says the idea of having a food truck on premise was always on the wish list for Boone & Crockett, but when the bar was established, the concept wasn’t legal. But, recent changes in city regulations have now made it possible for the partners to move forward on the plan. In fact, Boone and Crockett will be the first bar zoned for the arrangement.
Bars across the country have been taking advantage of the food truck phenomenon to offer nourishment to their patrons while maintaining a fun, casual bar atmosphere. Brooklyn bar The Woods partners with Landhaus food truck to offer barbequed chicken, burgers and maple bacon on a stick at the main bar or at a counter behind the establishment. In Austin, Liberty Bar has teamed up with the East Side Kings food trailer, to offer dishes like Thai chicken, pork sandwiches and beet home fries to hungry patrons.
"All of my favorite dive bars across the nation have a food truck," says Revord. "Putting a kitchen in a bar really changes the atmosphere; but this allows us to have an ultra-legitimate food program without disrupting the vibe we have."
Ciohon says the food trailer should be fully built by the end of May or early June. So, the partners are looking at early June as a target for their official launch.
Operating hours will cater to early diners as well as the late-night crowd with hours from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Monday.
"There will be no taco Tuesdays at this joint," Ciohon says with a smile.
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.