By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 13, 2024 at 11:03 AM Photography: Whitney McAllister Schaefer

Nite Wolf, the evening ramen and cocktail pop-up that debuted last fall at Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern, 234 E. Vine St., is officially becoming a permanent evening fixture at the popular breakfast and lunch destination.

In fact, beginning this weekend, guests can enjoy the Nite Wolf menu on both Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m.

A passion turned pop-up

Nite Wolf is the brainchild of Chef Elijah Loebbaka, an industry veteran who has honed his talents at venues including Lake Park Bistro, Morel, Birch + Butcher, Ardent, Third Coast Provisions and most recently Uncle Wolfie’s. 

Elijah Loebbaka
Elijah Loebbaka with cameo from colleague Chuck Husnick (Photo: Whitney McAllister Schaefer)

“My end goal for a while has been to open a little ramen shop,” notes Loebbaka, whose Japanese heritage contributed to his interest in the iconic dish.

“It’s a passion I’ve been perfecting on the side for several years, and I was able to really focus on it during the pandemic. So the opportunity to launch the pop-up was great. It gave me the chance to put everything I’d been working on into practice.”

On the menu

The current menu is composed of favorites from the pop-ups. But it also highlights Loebbaka’s interest and skill in making chintan, a pristine broth prized for its clarity. 

Chintan-based ramen is a compelling variation to explore, as its base flavors are particularly delicate, allowing layers of complexity to take shape through the addition of the tare and various add-ins. It’s a full 180 from the usual paitan broth, a category that includes the cloudy, viscous tonkotsu that’s become popular across the U.S. But it’s a must-try for ramenphiles who’d like to explore the breadth and depth of the ramen canon.

Shoyu Ramen
Shoyu Ramen (Photo: Whitney McAllister Schaefer)

Loebbaka recommends starting with his signatures, including his miso ramen featuring chashu pork, naruto (cured sarimi), menma (bamboo shoots), ajitama (egg), scallion, nori, miso tare and chicken fat ($21); as well as his shoyu ramen, which showcases a similar list of toppings, plus fried red onion and a shoyu tare ($19). The shoyu ramen is also available gluten-free for +$2.

Additional options include brothless tantanmen ramen ($20), mushroom ramen ($21) and “non-ramen” options like marinated cucumber salad ($9); “Yamazaki” egg (The Giant Dumpling) with ajitama, pork gyoza and aged dumpling sauce ($10); and a chashu bowl featuring koshihikari rice, chashu pork belly, egg yolk and scallion (gluten-free, $12). View the full menu online.

Tantanmen Ramen
Tantanmen Ramen (Photo: Whitney McAllister Schaefer)

Guests can also indulge in a menu of Uncle Wolfie’s cocktails like the Sake Toddy or the Wolfie’s Old Fashioned, along with classic ramen accompaniments like Sapporo.

“I make everything possible from scratch,” says Loebbaka. “My goal is to show off what ramen can be. It’s literally the punk rock of Japanese food; there are so many variations and very few rules. So, I’m excited to be able to share my take.”

Guests can also keep their eyes on Nite Wolf’s Instagram feed for specials, which Loebbaka says are likely to appear on the menu as things move forward. 

Nite Wolf is currently open on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m., but fans can watch for expanded offerings in the coming months. Walk-ins are welcome, but guests can also make reservations at

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.