By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 23, 2018 at 10:01 AM

Public Table, the new restaurant and bar at 5835 W. National Ave. in West Allis, officially opens its doors to the public today at 11 a.m.

It's a venue built on a shared vision among Christopher Kuranz, John Clark and Randy Brashier, all of whom came together to build a community-centric restaurant with the comfort of a neighborhood bar and a menu that focuses on local, organic and traceable ingredients.

Step into the cozy restaurant and you'll find clean, modern decor showcasing rustic cement flooring, warm wood and charcoal grey and red accents.

Seating is available at the bar, high-top tables or the venue’s namesake community (public) table, which seats about 10 guests. All are made from cypress wood repurposed from a 100-year-old mash tun. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s metal work -- including table bases and purse hooks under the bar, were created by local welder, Kendall Polster of Weld Guy.

Food & drink

The menu -- a collaboration between Kuranz, Clark and consulting chef Lori Roslof --is comprised of seasonal offerings which Clark describes as "Milwaukee style street food."

The menu -- which is flexible enough to accommodate both solo diners or those who wish to share -- features items like a Wisconsin cheese and cured meat board showcasing Random Lake grassfed beef summer sausage, a selection of local cheeses and accoutrements ($15). There's also Kettle Range sausage braised in Enlightened Brewing Co.’s Amber Ale and served with kimchi, mustard and pickled farmer’s market vegetables ($9).

A summer salad features local heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil oil, grey sea salt and shaved sweet corn ($15). Meanwhile, Braised pork belly tacos are served with red cabbage slaw, cilantro lime creme fraiche and sweet corn relish served atop non-GMO tortillas made by El Rey ($7.50).

House-made flatbread is topped with chorizo, goat cheese, roasted red peppers and organic kale pesto ($12).

There are also sliders, including Wisconsin Meadows beef sliders with housemade sweet chili pickles and sharp cheddar spread ($9.75) and curry chicken sliders with curry mayo and pickled vegetables ($9.75). Both are served in pairs on Breadsmith brioche rolls.

On the beverage side, Public Table features 13 taps showcasing Milwaukee-made beer and Wisconsin favorite, New Glarus Spotted Cow. Additional tappers are reserved for Pilcrow nitro cold brew, Nessalla Jasmine Milkshake CBD kombucha, and a Public Table nitro Manhattan.

Additional seasonal cocktails, including a burnt orange mojito and a stone sour made with muddled fresh plums are both made with Wisconsin-made spirits.

In addition to food and drink, live music will also be a feature at Public Table. In fact, Clark says they will be hosting a variety of performers Thursday through Saturday evenings from 8 to 10 p.m. Opening night will feature music from John Stano, with acts like Roxie Beane performing on Aug. 31.

Clark says the restaurant has also established a partnership with Hunger Task Force through which every meal served at Public Table will result in a donation to the organization to help end hunger for children in Milwaukee.

Public Table is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The restaurant will also offer brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays beginning after Labor Day weekend.

You can follow Public Table on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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.