"We want to introduce a mosaic of the arts," says Thomas Mamalakis, referring to his plans to offer a variety of art forms in his new piano bar, aptly called Mosaic.
But first and foremost, the new lounge will feature piano music, with "all request nights" on the weekends and local and national piano talent during the week. Mamalakis says this format will set Mosaic apart from other local piano clubs that have more of a Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin theme.
"Whatever our clients request our pianist will play, from the Moody Blues to Ella Fitzgerald," says Mamalakis. "Jazz, blues, classical ... If you request it, we'll play it."
Mosaic, 2624 N. Downer Ave., is scheduled to open in mid-to-late September. The bar is a collaborative effort between Mamalakis and brother/sister team, Courtney and Riley Dearholt. The three met while attending high school at the University School and are now in their mid-20s.
Mamalakis is the only piano player in the trio of owners. He took lessons for a brief time as a young child, but for the most part, is self-taught. He will occasionally play the baby grand on request nights.
"If I've heard a song, I can play it," says Mamalakis. "My only worry is remembering the words."
All three of the owners are dedicated to young local artists and intend to showcase art forms other than music, like film showings and rotating art exhibits. In the future, they also hope to add another piano.
"I love the idea of dueling pianos, but we're new entrepreneurs and we have to start out small," Mamalakis says.
The bar will feature an extensive wine and martini list and serve upscale, light appetizers including bruschetta, sushi and cheese platters.
Mosaic will also have an uninforced dress code. Although no one will be turned away for wearing jeans, the lounge is, according to Mamalakis, "a place you dress up for."
The space, formerly occupied by Don Quixote restaurant, is still under construction, but plans are in the works to have a mosaic bar top and a huge mosaic suspended over the piano. Mamalakis and his partners chose mosaic art because it represents an important aspect of their new business.
"We want as many styles of art as possible to be showcased here," he says.
Mosaic will be open from 5 p.m. until close during the week and from 4 p.m. until close on weekends.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.