It looks like it's farewell to Hello Falafel, at least for the time being, as Ross Bachhuber and Melissa Buchholz, owners of both Odd Duck and the Bay View falafel eatery, prepare to convert the restaurant into a private event space.
An announcement about the change was made in a statement this weekend, which noted that the restaurant at 2301 S. Howell Ave. will offer its last service on Saturday, Jan. 6.
The venue will close for a short period, during which Bachhuber and Buchholz say they plan to make a number of cosmetic changes to the space.
The new venue will be tentatively renamed Little Duck Kitchen and will be available for brunch, lunch or dinner parties for groups of 12 to approximately 35. The space will also be equipped to offer off-site catering for up to 150 people.
"Hello Falafel isn’t dead," notes Buchholz. "We love the plant-based menu and have many loyal customers, and are continuing to look for a new home for the concept."
She notes that they are currently considering a number of possibilities for the business, including relocating it to more densely populated area such as the East Side or Third Ward or re-opening it as a food truck.
"We simply have so much demand for larger groups at Odd Duck, and our size really limits what we can do," says Bachhuber, who says the new arrangement will allow them to not only host private events and parties, but also special events including dinners, brunches and pop-up events.
"The proximity of the building to Odd Duck really drove our decision," adds Buchholz. "It’s only a block away, so it makes a lot of sense for us and for customers. We are very excited to see what we can do to expand Odd Duck’s offerings with this additional space."
In an effort to honor their commitment to their guests, Buchholz says that customers in possession of Hello Falafel gift certificates after Jan. 6 are welcome to redeem them at Odd Duck. Punch cards can also be exchanged for an Odd Duck gift card equivalent to the price of a Hello Falafel sandwich ($8).
Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for additional information on Little Duck Kitchen as it becomes available.
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.