A new seasonal walk-up eatery is in the works for the former Brady Street lift station, located on Pearson St. just below Brady and across from the former Trocadero restaurant.
The eatery is a part of an overall redevelopment plan for the land on the corner of Water and Brady Streets, which will include a redesign of the adjacent pedestrian and bicycle making the swiftly developing area more pedestrian friendly.
The lift station, originally designed to move wastewater from lower to higher elevations, is situated near the Brady Street Community Garden on Pearson and adjacent to Swing Park. It’s also conveniently located across the street from the new River House apartments.
"This little piece of land has been the object of our attention for years," notes real estate developer and former Brady Street BID president Julilly Kohler. "The lift station was built in the 1950’s and used to pump away waste and sewage from the tannery, but it’s been unused for a decade or more. The past few years, we’ve used it as a sort of science lab for students at Cass Street School."
The land itself will be purchased by Casablanca owner Alaa Musa, with most rented back to the Brady Street Bid, notes Kohler.
The eatery, which Kohler says is likely to serve simple fare -- maybe hotdogs or ice cream -- will serve as a focal point for a neighborhood gathering place, complete with a little ampitheater for seating and free wi-fi access.
Designs drawn up by architects at Kubala Washatko offer a peek at the vision for the plan, which will include a mural or other art from local artists.
"Alaa [Musa] is so imaginative and creative," she says. "He’ll come up with something that’s the perfect fit."
Kohler, who was instrumental in the rejuvenation of the Brady Street neighborhood in the 1990s and also lobbied for funding to support the Marsupial Bridge and urban plaza, says the plan is meant to provide infrastructure for the unused land that will "welcome people to the area and to Brady Street."
The whimsical art by Racine artist Bill Reid that sits atop the lift station-- featuring Water Rat, who "brings the water up" and Eau Deer, who "pours the water down" -- will remain, notes Kohler.
"The walk up restaurant is still in early stages of planning," notes Musa of the project. "But we are excited for this new gateway to Brady street."
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.