By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Nov 09, 2023 at 10:01 AM

The holidays will be here before you know it, and Lowlands Group is welcoming them with open arms and the return of “Lowlands Winter” experiences at all eight of their grand cafes and supper club locations.

The enjoyment of Lowlands domes, globes and Northwoods shanties has become a dining tradition for many, offering an opportunity to enjoy a meal with friends and family while embracing our Great Milwaukee Winter. And all of this year's experiences will be available to reserve beginning Nov. 16.

“Nobody does winter quite like Wisconsinites do,” said Eric Wagner, CEO, Lowlands Group. “We are passionate about creating unique dining experiences for our guests, and our Winter Experiences allow us to extend the life of patio season and bring the magic of winter – and the holidays – to our beloved neighborhoods.”

Buckatabon Shanties
Where else but Wisconsin can you dine in a Northwoods-style ice fishing shanty? (Photo: Lowlands)

Something for everyone

Every location has a different experience, tailored to each restaurant’s concept and clientele. All feature peak evening and weekend booking slots that can be reserved ahead of time online, with pricing ranging from $50 to $150, based on location and time. Walk-ins will be accommodated based on availability. 

Each booking experience includes a private dining structure for up to 6-12 guests for 90 minutes, plus two complimentary beverage packages of the group’s choice. Specially-curated pre-order beverage and food menus are designed for family-style service, with themed or customizable options to be ready for the group upon arrival. Guests are also welcome to order from the full restaurant menus onsite.

The Alpenglobes are cozy and luxurious (Photo: Lowlands)
The Alpenglobes at Cafe Benelux are cozy and luxurious (Photo: Lowlands)

Winter Experiences include:

Café Benelux
346 N. Broadway, (414) 501-2500

The Lux Domes on the Cafe Benelux rooftop  will return once again for the holiday season. But guests are encouraged to get their reservations in early, as the domes sell out very quickly. 

Looking for something cozier and more luxurious? The Alpenglobes introduced last season will also be back. These amazing domes seat up to eight guests and all reservations include a keepsake mug.

Previously only available for 21+ guests, Café Benelux has adjusted its policy to allow more families to participate in one of Milwaukee’s most unique winter experiences. 

Café Benelux also offers the Lux Rooftop Warming Tent, and experience which allows diners to enjoy the rooftop view all winter long. The cozy, festive tent is also a great option for holiday parties of up to 50 people.

Buckatabon Tavern & Supper Club
7700 W Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 271-7700

Frank & Larry’s Northwoods Shanties are back for 2022-23, offering a unique Buckatabon supper club experience designed and built in collaboration with Ken Schels, owner of Eagle River’s KMS. Private reservations in the shanties can be made for groups of up to eight guests.

Centraal Grand Café and Tappery
2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 755-0378

Centraal will be hosting guests in two locations again this year. Guests can choose from accommodations in their Boho-winter themed covered courtyard with seating for up to 60 people. 

The Street Car on Lincoln will also be ready for quaint festive dinners for up to six guests. Space is limited for both experiences; however, both are available for both walk-ins and reservations at no additional charge. Larger private events can also be hosted in the heated courtyard tent by booking through Lowlands Grand Events.

Hollander Domes are cozy & festive
Hollander Domes are cozy & festive (Photo: Lowlands)

Cafe Hollander
2608 N. Downer Ave., 414-963-6366
7677 W State St., Wauwatosa, (414) 475-6771
20150 Union St., Brookfield, (262) 785-4490
5900 W. Mequon Rd., (262) 236-0107

Meanwhile, all Hollander locations will continue to offer ever-evolving Café Hollander Winter Wonderland experiences.

Wauwatosa guests will once again be able to enjoy a meal in one of two Winter Globes, available for groups of up to six guests. Similarly, the Hilldale location in Madison will also bring back three Winter Globes, each of which accommodate groups of up to eight guests.

Meanwhile, both Hollander on Downer and Hollander in Mequon will feature three heated domes with festive décor for private reservations for groups of up to six guests.

New this year:  Both Downer and Mequon will also feature a brand new experience for larger groups thanks to spacious 15-foot igloos that accommodates up to 12 guests.

Each igloo comes complete with a complimentary bar package. Choose a make-your-own hot cocoa or cider bar featuring seasonal accompaniments and both boozy or zero-proof options. Or celebrate the season with a festive 21+ Candyland Champagne Punch Bar featuring add-ins like freeze-dried Skittles, cotton candy and rock candy.

But, that's not all. Hollander Igloo guests can also order a "Rice Table Experience".  What's that?  It's Lowlands' interpretation of a Dutch-Indonesian family-style spread featuring shareable portions of dishes like firecracker shrimp, chili chicken, falafel feta dip and other options accompanied by rice and grain options. And it's only available as part of the Igloo experience.

Reservations, details and full menu options for all Winter Experiences will be available starting November 16. 

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.