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Tuesday, Nov. 3 marks the opening date for the Hawthorne Coffee Roasters cafe at 4177 S. Howell Ave., in the former home of the Rodeo Bar.
The cafe will be one of the first for the South Side neighborhood, which sports a Starbucks or two, but no locally owned coffee shops barring the Colectivo in the airport.
Partners Steve Hawthorne and Wade Nemetze purchased the building on Howell Ave. and moved their roasting operations from their former space in West Allis to the new South Side location in May. About half of the building will be used for the cafe, with the adjoining remainder of the space used for storage, and eventually expansion of the coffee company’s roasting facility.
The cafe, which is decorated with an eclectic mix of raw wood and found materials, features a large central coffee bar featuring an order counter and bar-style seating for ten.
The walls are painted in neutral tones, with hanging burlap sacks used as a room divider, separating the cafe space from the adjoining building.
Additional seating at a variety of tables and lounge chairs is available for about 20 in the back half of the cafe.
WEBbeams Wi-Fi will be available for all paying customers, and Hawthorne says he also plans to add a small childrens’ play area, featuring chalk boards and seating, in the near future to accommodate families. The cafe will also offer outdoor seating, beginning next summer.
Two selections of pour-over coffee will be available daily, along with a full complement of classic espresso drinks, including lattes, cappuccino, macchiatos and cortados. Hawthorne notes that they won’t be stocking frills like flavored syrups, nor will the cafe offer already brewed coffee, though he says he’ll install a brewer if customer demand requires it moving forward.
A selection of City Market baked goods – including muffins, scones and cookies – will also be available daily at the cafe. And regular patrons should watch for Holey Moley doughnuts, which will be served on Fridays beginning in the weeks ahead.
Iron Grate BBQ Co., a new restaurant specializing in smoked meats and southern sides led by Chef Aaron Patin of Ardent, will also open at the Hawthorne Coffee Roasters Cafe facility in the upcoming weeks. Plans are that the restaurant will keep lunchtime and early dinner hours (weekends only, to start), with both takeout and cafe seating available to guests.
Hawthorne Coffee will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to noon.
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.