By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 08, 2009 at 1:01 PM Photography: Whitney Teska

When Moct, the warehouse-converted club space at 240 E. Pittsburgh Ave. opened in summer 2004, its in-house restaurant, Cafe Fabrika, was soon to follow. But, while Moct is still mixing it up in Walker's Point, Cafe Fabrika was short-lived, closing less than a year later in May 2005.

Moct celebrated five years in business this October with a huge bash incorporating art, music, drinks and DJs. In a recent interview with staff writer Maureen Post about the milestone, owner Nebi Torbica mentioned his plans to reintroduce food to Moct's repertoire.

As of late November, the kitchen was back up and running and producing a completely new menu. Whereas Cafe Fabrika served relatively upscale, traditional Serbian dishes such as cevapcici and sarma, Moct has scaled back a bit, though not in flavor. The new offerings are more casual and are all billed as appetizers. But do not confuse "appetizers" with "small plate." The dishes here are plentiful and perfect for sharing with a group.

Ranging from $5 to $13, everything is reasonably priced. The menu begins with wings -- original and Asian style -- and makes it way through nachos, sliders -- American beef style and Serbian style, which takes the beef and adds pork, spices, feta cheese and a roasted red pepper spread -- before making its way to three temping types of frites: regular, sweet potato and duck-fat, which comes with a garlic aioli for dipping.

The authentic Serbian highlight, however is the burek, which comes prepared three ways: beef, cheese or spinach and cheese. The only way this dish should be considered an appetizer is if it's split between four people. As an entree, it is great for two. It's large and filling, with rich flavors and a perfectly warm, buttery and flaky phyllo dough crust.

The 14-inch pizzas round out the menu: a veggie, pepperoni and Serbian spiced sausage pie called the "Moct special."

Food isn't the only new addition to the bar recently. Torbica has added a few flat screens behind the bar and added two huge projectors that fill up the wall. Torbica says the changes will enhance the space for a happy hour crowd and for the new apartment dwellers and businesses that are moving into recently renovated warehouses across the street. He's also repositioned the lounge couches, which used to be behind the bar, to the front area, creating a cozy and comfortable setting beneath the large, luminous palm trees.


Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”