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The Lowlands Group announced today that it will close Café Hollander on Downer Avenue for renovations on Nov. 6, with a scheduled reopening planned for Nov. 18.
The location was the first of the Lowlands Group’s grand cafés to open, and after 10 years, will be undergoing equipment upgrades in addition to facility improvements to match the efficiency and functionality of the group’s other locations.
"When we opened our Downer location 10 years ago, we couldn’t have imagined the success of the concept and the idea that we’d go on to create greatly expanded versions of Café Hollander," said Dan Herwig, director of brand and marketing at Lowlands Group. "This renovation is needed to ensure that the next 10 years are as successful as the past ten have been."
While some aesthetic changes are planned, like new floors and a redesigned bar area, Lowlands Group plans on retaining as much of the original concept intact as possible. Updates will include increasing the number of tap lines from 24 to 37, all-new wood flooring, an updated bar and new kitchen equipment.
The renovation marks the 10th anniversary for Lowlands Group, which opened the Downer location in November 2006. When it reopens on Nov. 18, the Downer Avenue Café Hollander will launch with numerous events and offerings to celebrate the occasion, including a winter clothing drive.
Chili Weather Coat Drive
The "Chili Weather Coat Drive" will be held on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone who donates a new or slightly used coat, or a set of cold weather gear, will receive a free bowl of chili and a Lowlands Brewing Collaborative Bourbon Barrel Aged Centraal Quadder beer as a thank you. Colectivo Coffee is donating hot chocolate and coffee to warm up the participants of the coat drive, which will be held outdoors on Hollander’s patio.
"We hope people will stop by for a bowl of chili before the Packers game to make a donation for a good cause," said Herwig. "This coat drive directly benefits the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, which runs amazing programs for Milwaukee’s Northwest Side."
When the location reopens on Nov. 18, it will do so with an updated menu, including a reimagination of "The BTB," a brie-tomato-basil sandwich that was on the original menu when the Hollander location first opened its doors.
The reopening also marks the launch of the Lowlands Group’s annual "Holiday Bier" menu at all of their locations. The menu contains many rare and exclusive beers from around the world that the group imports especially for the holiday season.
"It’s a tradition in Europe for brewers to craft these amazing, small-batch beers that are only available for the holidays," says Ileana Rivera, the beverage director for the Lowlands Group. "In some cases, we’re the only place in Wisconsin or the United States to taste these rare beers."
The holiday beers – including its own exclusive beer, Santa Rampage, a Belgian Dubbel brewed for them by Brouwerij Van Steenberge, in Ertvelde, Belgium – will be available at all Lowlands Group locations on Nov. 21. While beer selection varies by location, other exclusives include Kapitel Winter, Silly Noel, Piraat Barrel Aged Rum, St. Bernadus Xmas and Delirium Noel.