It was August when the news broke that Chicago-based Pilot Project Brewing would be establishing a second incubator-based brewery in the space which formerly housed Milwaukee Brewing Company and Bottlehouse 42 restaurant at 1128 N. 9th St.
The project, which is aiming for a mid-November opening, is no small affair. After all, it will include a new brewhouse, tap room, event space and – over time – a fully activated outdoor beer garden and rooftop patio. But it will also include a restaurant.
In fact, in their most recent release of information, Pilot Project shared that they have partnered with Chef Tony Quartaro’s Gemma Foods to create a one-of-a-kind restaurant collaboration in the space formerly home to Bottle House 42.
Gemma Foods, which Quartaro launched during the pandemic, made a name for itself with fresh hand-made pastas and sauces, which could be ordered online for pick-up or delivery. The first Gemma pasta shop opened in January of 2022, with a stall in TimeOut Market following this summer.
But it will take a very different approach at its Milwaukee location, which will operate as a full-service restaurant featuring a menu of shareable, brewery-worthy dishes which Quataro describes as “memorable, thoughtful and bold” with a focus on flavor.
Some items diners can expect to see at the new restaurant include garlic pretzel bread served with fonduta for dipping, along with a large selection of housemade flatbreads, many of which will feature seasonal toppings.
Sandwiches are likely to include chicken parmigiana, as well as specialties like porchetta, the classic slow-roasted, rolled Italian pork roast.
"Having witnessed Pilot Project’s mission come to life over the last few years has been nothing short of inspiring,” said Quartaro, who is a family friend of Pilot Project co-owner Dan Abel.
“They champion up-and-coming brands and create opportunities for them to flourish—something they’ve now given to us.”
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.