On Tap is the name of a new restaurant and bar which will soon occupy the space that formerly housed Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub at 1203 N. 10th St.
The restaurant will be run by Gorman & Company, the entity which owns and operates the adjacent hotel, Brewhouse Inn, as well as the Stella Hotel in Kenosha. And, if all goes well, it could open as soon as late summer or early fall.
"We’re excited to see all the foot traffic in the area,” says Robert Sikkila, the director of food and beverage for both Gorman properties. “And we can’t wait to have the opportunity to serve both hotel guests and the larger community.”
They’ll do so with the help of Chef Robert Zimmerman, formerly of the Lodge in Antioch, who will head up the kitchen at the restaurant and oversee a menu of accessible, yet upscale pub fare.
“We’re in the Pabst Brewery district,” says Sikkila. “So we’ll be embracing indigenous Wisconsin foods, supporting local whenever possible and presenting guests with a fun, upscale brewpub menu that showcases our culinary talents and passion for great food and beverage.”
The appetizer-heavy menu will be built for sharing, Sikkila says, and will feature a cast of staples, plus rotating seasonal items. Options will include dishes like stuffed soft pretzels, pizzas and flatbreads, along with other casual fare.
As an homage to its location, On Tap will incorporate the area's namesake brew in the form of a Pabst beer battered fish fry and battered fried cheese curds. The brew will also play a role in selections like beer-brined chicken wings and the Blue Ribbon Burger, which will be topped with beer-braised short ribs.
At the bar, guests will find a menu of craft cocktails, plus 14 taps featuring domestic staples (including Pabst) and local craft brews.
“Down the road, we’re likely to add a few entrees,” says Sikkila, “We’d also love to launch specials like Saturday night prime rib, things that are popular here in Wisconsin.”
A beer-centric brunch menu is also on the docket for weekends.
As for the space, Sikkila says they aim to keep the character largely intact, albeit some basic cosmetic updates.
“We love the rustic feel it has and the classic look with the exposed brick and the neon Pabst sign,” he says. “We're also excited to activate the spacious outdoor space behind the restaurant.”
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.