By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Oct 02, 2019 at 3:01 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

It's time for Dining Month, presented by Deer District and its spooky Halloween-themed alter ego, Fear District. Throughout the month of October, we'll be serving up fun and fascinating content about all things food. The signature dish, however, is our 2019 Best of Dining poll, who's winners we will dish out all month long. Get hungry, Milwaukee! 

The Downtown location of Pastiche, located inside Hotel Metro at 411 E. Mason St., will be closing at the end of 2019.

Owner and chef Michael Engel says the decision to close the Downtown restaurant has been in the works for almost a year, and stems from plans to convert the independently owned boutique hotel into a Marriott Autograph.

Engel says that, to accommodate renovations to the restaurant, Pastiche at the Metro would have to close down for an undetermined amount of time, potentially as long as four to eight weeks. The length of the closure, he says, just wasn’t feasible for the business or its employees. 

"We arrived at an arrangement with Metro ownership that was mutually agreed upon," he says. "And we’ll be moving out after what promises to be a very memorable New Year’s Eve blowout party."

In the meantime, there’s still a few months to enjoy numerous new favorites at the Downtown location. Thanks to the work of Engel’s son Nick, who took the helm at the restaurant earlier this year, and General Manager Phil Gillespie, the menu has been reimagined in recent months, giving it a more casual twist.

"It’s definitely more bistro and less haute," says Engel, "Which is what our younger customers have been asking for and responding enthusiastically to."

As for employees at the Downtown location, Engel says he plans to hire a good number to join the team at the Brown Deer location.

"Our restaurant there [in Brown Deer] will continue to operate as it has for the last three and a half years," he says. "And when we’re able to bring up our best people from Downtown, we’ll just be that much better."

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.