By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 17, 2023 at 6:03 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

Work is currently underway in preparation for the opening of a new Southern-inspired bottle shop and eatery concept at 4144 N. Oakland Ave. 

In fact, Foxhole Craft Beer Shop & Kitchen could open as soon as late September, filling the void left by Hiya Taco, which closed its doors after a brief pandemic run in 2022.

Behind the concept are industry veteran Dan Gillespie and his wife Terri Blahnik, who were inspired by the bottle shop concepts they encountered while residing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Created to appease the specifications of state liquor laws, these retail shops pair up casual, but often well-prepared food with curated selections of bottled beer, available to customers to consume on-premise or purchase to take home.

Gillespie, a Shorewood resident who has spent much of his career working in the hospitality industry, says the concept will offer the community a casual place to hang out and enjoy a casual menu of southern-inspired beer-friendly fare, while also serving as a destination for purchasing craft brews.

The former taco spot has been reimagined with the assistance of Jason Rienzi of Subcontractors Unlimited, who Gillespie says has been an excellent partner, delivering on his promise of excellent work while keeping the project on schedule.

What to expect

Gillespie says the walls flanking the entrance of the eatery will feature retail shelves showcasing a rotating selection of Midwest Craft beers, with an emphasis on selections from Wisconsin.

Retail wallsX

Meanwhile, a long bar, which will stretch across the venue’s kitchen space, will serve as both an ordering and pick-up counter (hand-held buzzers will tell customers when their food is ready), as well as providing seating for guests who wish to have a seat and enjoy a bite and brews. Five televisions, installed by John Wojciechowski of True AV Solutions, will be mounted above the bar.

Foxhole barX

The remaining space will remain in use as a dining area, complemented by the building’s spacious wrap-around patio and fire pit.

Dining areaX

On the menu

Gillespie says the menu will feature a succinct selection of beer-friendly fare that pays a nod to both the South and the changing seasons. There will be a short list of appetizers, including items like pretzel bites; seasonal salads and a collection of sandwiches.

A highlight, he says will be Foxhole’s Southern style fried chicken sandwiches, which will boast flavorful pickle-brined chicken, crisp fresh slaw and pickles.

In addition to craft beer, Foxhole will also offer a curated selection of house cocktails as well as soft drinks and numerous zero-proof options.

Inaugural hours for Foxhole are expected to be Monday and Wednesday from 4 to midnight, Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to bar close, Saturday from 11 a.m. to bar close and Sunday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Foxhole will be closed on Tuesdays.

You can follow @FoxholeShorewood on Facebook and Instagram.

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.