By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 21, 2002 at 5:29 AM

The eclectic make-up of North Milwaukee Street continues to grow with the appearance of giant pickles, edible orchids and homemade soups.

Throw in a few slices of grainy sandwich bread, thick spreads of veggie hummus and a signature dab of pesto and you've discovered Nectar, an espresso bar/cafe opened by brother-sister duo Mike and Lynn Wroblewski and Steve Klimczak in April 2001.

"We had eyed downtown as an ideal spot just because of the number of people," Mike Wroblewski said. He and his team opened Nectar (708 N. Milwaukee St.) last spring as an expansion project.

Six years ago, Lynn and Mike founded Fiddleheads, their first espresso bar/cafe in Thiensville. After gaining local notoriety for their stacked sandwiches, the brother/sister team looked to bank on their success.

Now located at the former site of Bear Brew Coffee, Mike Wroblewski said Nectar offers its customers more variety than the traditional coffeehouses. With as many as 25 homemade soup recipes served throughout the year and an extensive vegetarian menu, lunch-goers can expect to find plenty of options served in generous portions.

"Overall, we serve quality, healthy types of food," Mike Wroblewski said.

Nectar brings an element of style to its traditional sandwich platters. Customers can get a full sandwich and chips or a half-sandwich and cup of soup for $6.25, and each is complimented with an edible orchid and one seriously-sized pickle.

"Most people don't realize you can eat the orchid," Mike Wroblewski said. The signature flower is also complimented by an extra large pickle served with each sandwich.

"We found those at a restaurant in Cedarburg," Mike Wroblewski said of the extra large dills. When he and Lynn asked the owner where they could find similiar-sized pickles, they discovered a Chicago vendor named "Saul the pickle guy" drove up a new batch every week.

Luckily, the Wroblewski's found a vendor closer to Wisconsin who could offer them a good deal on fat pickles.

"We didn't have to rely on Saul the pickle guy and his van coming up from Chicago every week," Wroblewski said.


Customers can certainly rely on a constantly changing daily soup menu. Klimczak handles all of the cooking for Nectar, including whipping up some of the shops most signature dishes, like African peanut stew and sweet potato chowder. Some people have already requested their secret recipes, Mike Wroblewski said.

While downtown business workers make up most of Nectar's customers base, Mike Wroblewski said some of his customers from Fiddleheads like to make the trip into downtown and experience the changing sites of North Milwaukee Street.

"It's a good location," said Mike Wroblewski, who was aware of the potential for neighborhood growth when he opened his doors.

Local fashion artist Heidi Gilmore certainly agrees. With her studio located almost directly across form Nectar, the cafe has become one of her favorite lunch stops in the last year.

"I'm in here all the time," she said before ordering a take-out container of Cuban black bean soup. "I just love their food."

Nectar is open Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Master Card and Visa are accepted with deliveries and take out available, if orders are placed in advance.