By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jul 30, 2020 at 11:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

Beginning sometime this fall, Honeypie Cafe customers can look forward to something new. The Bay View cafe, which has made a name for itself with Midwestern style comfort food and freshly made pies and baked goods, will be moving to a new location at 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

"When we moved into our current location 11 years ago, the space wasn’t ideal. But we shoe-horned ourselves into the space and adapted," says Valeri Lucks, owner and chief pie officer of Honeypie Cafe, Palomino and SmallPie. "We made it work."

But as the business grew and their pie business took off, Lucks says it became evident that they couldn’t remain in the building for the long haul. More recently, as the coronavirus pandemic forced them to change their business model, they also found that their building had additional limitations.

"It’s an old building with an old ventilation system," she says. "And safety for our staff has become a big concern."

What you can expect

With assistance from building owner Scott Genke of SG Property Development and Management, the former Alchemist Theater has been gutted and equipped with brand new electrical, plumbing and a brand new ventilation system. 

The layout is more efficient, says Lucks, and the ability to design the kitchen and cafe from scratch allowed them to create a safer, more efficient space that she says still aims to capture the same "warmth and kitschiness" that has become a hallmark of the cafe.

"It’s much more open and airy," she says. "The ceilings are higher. And we were able to design the space to include a pie counter, cooler and custom cabinetry in the front of the space that will allow us to offer a selection of pies and desserts, along with a variety of deli-style items for carry-out."

Inside, the space will feature white marble-look stone flooring and decor that captures a mid-century modern feel. Lucks says she has her eyes on a traditional diner-style counter and bar area that will make the perfect breakfast counter as safe dine-in becomes possible.. A separate dining area will allow for better separation between customers and staff, an advantage when it comes to safety.

"So much is uncertain right now," says Lucks, "But, even if we can’t get back to regular dining in our dining room, we’re looking forward to hosting some private events in the new space. We are really excited to get back to serving customers and having some fun."

Lucks says that customers can look forward to the return of the brand’s popular pie classes, which are expected to return in the fall, taught in a virtual format.

The space will also feature a beautiful enclosed sunken patio behind the building that Lucks hopes will be completed for spring of 2021.

Until then...

For now, Honeypie will continue offering its menu of comforting sandwiches, wings, salads and brunch items for curbside pick-up.

They’ve also opened their patio up to private socially-distant dining events that include a "Choose Your Own Honeypie" menu featuring guests’ choice of food and drinks (classic Honeypie or custom options). Rates vary between $250 and $500 per two-hour block, depending on the time of day and number of guests (up to 15). A private restroom is also available for guests use. More information is available online.

Honeypie Cafe is open for curbside pick-up daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Delivery is also available after 3 p.m. Orders can be placed online.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.