By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 17, 2020 at 4:40 PM

Gabbi and Betsi Zierath, the sisters behind Elm Grove’s popular brunch-focused restaurant Zisters, are bringing a brand new concept to Wauwatosa, which is slated to open this fall.

Hermanas is the clever moniker for the new modern Mexican concept, which will take the place of Thirsty Duck at 11320 W. Bluemound Rd.

The pivot, which stems from the uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, also provides an opportunity to bring something fresh and new to the area, notes Gabbi Zierath.

“We’re excited to bring new life to that spot,” she says. “When we opened Zisters, part of the goal was to infuse new energy into the area, and that’s also what we hope to do with Hermanas.”

Construction has begun on the new project, which will transform the currently sedate mini-bowling venue into a lively restaurant which serves "Mexican food with a twist."

“We’ve completely gutted the restaurant,” says Zierath, noting that the goal is to create a welcoming restaurant that transitions from a bright, open space during the day to a more intimate, dimly lit atmosphere in the evening. 

To achieve that goal, dropped ceilings will be traded for loftier vaulted ceilings and dark wood will be paired with a vibrant, modern color scheme which will incorporate a Zisters signature: a hot pint neon sign which reads “Taco ‘bout a good time.”

The exterior of the building will also be transformed, incorporating color to make it stand out against the busy landscape.

Zierath says that the menu fo Hermanas is currently in development. However, she says it will focus on “fresh Mexican food with a twist.”

“I love Mexican food,” she says. “And, in my mind, two of the most important elements are fresh guacamole and margaritas. It’s about vibrant, bright flavors that really work together.”

In turn, the menu will include popular items like tacos, burritos and nachos, all made from scratch with elements like seasonal produce and fresh house-made tortillas. 

If all goes well, Hermanas could open as soon as Nov. 1. Watch OnMilwaukee for additional details as they become available.

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.