By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 24, 2020 at 2:31 PM

The cheel, 105 S. Main St., is officially upping the patio game for Thiensville, thanks to a brand new project that will allow expanded seating for the restaurant and baaree throughout the year.

“Because of our restaurant space being so tight on the interior, we’ve been accommodating more guests with a 40’ by 30’ tent in our parking lot,” notes co-owner Jesse Daily. “And the reception has been amazing. But as the weather begins to cool down, the question arose: What are we going to do during the winter months?” 

In addition to patio accommodations, the restaurant has heightened safety for guests indoors by not only observing socially distant seating (knocking back their capacity to 50%), but also installing a hospital grade UV filtration system which allows for a complete air exchange every 10 minutes.

However, a brand new double-decker Pavilion astride the building is currently in the works, which will provide safer seating for guests 365 days of the year.

The Pavilion

The Pavilion, which is currently being built offsite by The Brookwater Group (who also designed the baaree) is slated to be completed by November, with the goal of being open by Thanksgiving, if not sooner. 

The Pavilion will feature a 1200 square foot main level with radiant heating and air circulation assisted by exhaust fans that can refresh the air inside every 30 minutes. Socially distanced seating will be available inside the structure, which will feature a combination of windows and operating garage doors that provide beautiful natural light all year, plus an open air experience on clement days.

The design of the Pavilion will pay homage to both Nepalese culture and architecture, as well as elements that hearken back to the days when the building that houses the cheel offered a hitching post for visitors in the current parking lot.

"The design of the structure and its preliminary color selections are a nod to the former hitching post with accessory tie ups that were you to ride into Thiensville you could in fact park your horse while you enjoy a drink, some food and friends," notes a description on the cheel's Facebook page.

"With a Nepalese flair for design added to the column form as well as interior beam styling, we look to create acoustic control as well as remain aesthetically befitting of both styles. The exterior railing design is inclusive of 2 squares paying homage to the most iconic piece of Thiensville, its beloved Fire Station. We are incorporating red accents to also compliment the Fire Station as well to make the building feel nestled into and one with the predominate crossroads of the community. The grey/green accents complement the existing cheel structure as well as create a harmonious feel within the community that also represents the Nepali culture."

The Pavilion will also be equipped with a rooftop patio, which will be called The Summit, a nod to Mt. Everest, the earth’s highest mountain peak in the Himalayas. It will provide overflow seating for the baaree beer garden, which will take on a new identity next year as Base Camp.

More great news on the way

Guests of the cheel can also look forward to enhanced dining experiences in the coming months, including special private dining experiences for up to six guests, which will be held in the restored widow’s peek at the top of the cheel.

The widow’s peek, named for its function as a gathering place for the wives of loggers in the Thiensviille area, who gathered at the top of the building to watch for their husbands as they came home from logging expeditions on the nearby river.

Currently, the cheel offers limited in-house dining, patio dining and curbside pick-up. Patio-side dining is expected to continue through October, replaced by Pavilion dining in November. 

Hours for the restaurant are Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m.

The baaree (Base Camp) is open Tuesday through Sunday from 2 to close with live music every day but Thursday when the venue hosts live trivia.

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.