By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 21, 2024 at 1:32 PM

Last August, we broke the news that the Foxhole Craft Beer Shop & Kitchen was slated to open in the former Hiya Taco space at 4144 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood.

And now, after a quiet soft opening earlier this month offering the owners time to fine-tune operations, the new craft beer stop and fast-casual eatery is preparing to celebrate its grand opening next week.

Foxhole exterior
Photo: Foxhole

The new Southern-inspired bottle shop and eatery is owned and operated by industry veteran Dan Gillespie and his wife Terri Blahnik, who were inspired by the convivial bottle shop concepts they encountered while residing in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Like those neighborhood gems in the Carolinas, the Fox Hole hopes to function as a local gathering place where guests can enjoy a small menu of scratch-made dishes, a small selection of cocktails and a larger selection of craft brews, which can be consumed onsite or purchased to enjoy at home.

“My wife and I are excited to own a business in the community that we live in. Shorewood has a lot of great establishments, and we hope the community embraces us as one of them,” said Gillespie. “We hope to be a great neighborhood spot that offers a quality experience in a casual environment. People around here are pretty busy so we wanted to have a place where they can be in and out quickly, or if time allows, get comfortable and watch the game.”

As for the grand opening, festivities will take place on Thursday, Feb. 29 beginning at 4 p.m. Complimentary light appetizers will be available beginning at 5 p.m. Guests can also participate in a raffle beginning at 7:30 p.m. Every beer sold earns guests a ticket for a chance to win prizes including beer, a 55” television and more.

Foxhole interior
Photo: Foxhole

What to expect

Head to the cozy shop and guests will find a 19-seat bar, along with an additional 41 seats in the dining area.  Five televisions mounted above the bar allow guests to settle in for games and other entertainment.

Retail shelving in the space is filled with tempting craft beer options to peruse and purchase, many of which are sourced from Wisconsin breweries. Meanwhile, guests can step up to the service counter to order up dishes from a menu of casual, but high-quality items designed by Trent Knutson.

Highlights include beer-friendly snacks (priced $10-$12) like Foxhole potato balls (baked potatoes flavored with mozzarella cheese and garlic and served with a choice of sauces); roasted jalapeno spinach artichoke dip; and kid-friendly items like chicken tenders.

Guests will also find a cadre of salads and handhelds (priced $13-$17.50), including a seasonal squash salad with spinach, roasted butternut squash, roasted pecans and shallot vinaigrette.  Sandwiches include the Foxhole Cubano (pulled mojo pork, beer braised pork shank, swiss cheese, pickles, wholegrain mustard and mayo); fried chicken sandwiches with creamy slaw and pickles; and the Foxhole Burger featuring a 1/3 pound Certified Angus Beef smash patty with American cheese, Foxhole mayo, red onions and pickles. 

Gillespie says that they will also be introducing a new eggplant parmesan sandwich next week to better accommodate demand from the vegetarian crowd.  View the full menu online.

Foxhole brews
Photo: Foxhole

On the beer side, guests will find a diverse selection of local craft brews from Pilsners and Lagers to Hazy IPA’s, fruited sours, Stouts and Porters. A shortlist of cocktails is also available, including both a Foxhole Old Fashioned and classic Wisconsin-style, a Margarita, Boulvardier, and a spritz.  A small selection of wines and seltzers, as well as zero-proof options are also available.

Foxhole Old Fashioned
Foxhole Old Fashioned (Photo: Foxhole)

Coming soon

As the weather warms, guests can look forward to the opening of Foxhole’s patio, which will expand capacity with 30 additional seats. Gillespie says they will also roll out extended hours to accommodate lunch service on weekends, as well as later hours for the bar.

Currently, Foxhole is open Sunday through Wednesday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to bar close.  The kitchen is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Guests can also order food online for pick-up through the Toast app.

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.