By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published May 27, 2008 at 9:38 AM

The Milwaukee Public Market continues its growth with a new wine vendor, Thief Wine Shop and Bar, due to open July 1.

Owned by two California natives and recent Milwaukee transplants, Thief takes over a space vacated by Taste of Wisconsin. Local design consultant Sharon Celek (Tutto, Lela, Cranston, The Social) is designing the bar and the entire vendor space for Thief. 

Thief Wine will include a retail wine shop and wine bar with a focus on value pricing of distinctive, high quality wines from around the world.

Co-founders Phil Bilodeau and Aimee Murphy offer a combined 25 years of wine and hospitality industry experience, including recent stints in Sonoma County. Prior to their move to Milwaukee, Murphy served as the Director of Hospitality and Retail Sales at Hanna Winery in Sonoma County, worked on the winemaking team at Testarossa Vineyards and owned her own catering company.

Bilodeau was the Director of Communications for the Sonoma County Vintners, a trade marketing organization, has winery experience in Grgich Hills and Trefethen Vineyards, is a certified sommelier and current candidate for the prestigious Master of Wine certification.

"Thief Wine and the Public Market are a great fit for each other," says Bilodeau. "We’re a small, independent, hands-on shop committed to artisanal producers, which is what the market is all about. The Third Ward and Downtown Milwaukee are ready for a world-class wine experience, and we’re thrilled to be able to share our passion and excitement, along with an unbeatable selection of distinctive and eclectic wines you just won’t find anywhere else."

The new wine bar and retail space is located midway along the south aidle of the market and will also use a portion of the center island directly across from the retail area for the wine bar.  The retail store will stock 500-600 wines starting $7, while the wine bar will offer an exceptional range of 35-40 wines by the taste, flight or glass. The wine bar also will offer an assortment of small food plates, sourced primarily from Milwaukee Public Market vendors

The Green Kitchen is another new vendor, coming to the market as a replacement for Field's Best. It will serve salads and fresh juices and is expected to open next week.  Another custom-made space, it will serve fresh salads, made to order fruit and vegetable juices, wraps, veggie burgers, quiche, crepes and on the weekends omelettes and oatmeal.  

In other market news, St. Paul Fish is planning new outdoor seating and the market's outdoor farm, art and other vendor stalls (Saturdays and Sundays) open June 14.  

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.