By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Nov 15, 2005 at 5:35 AM

The Waterfront Entertainment Group, which operates the Third Street Pier, Dockside Patio and Bar and the Edelweiss Cruise Lines in Milwaukee, is at it again with its newest venture, Rip Tide Seafood Bar & Grill.

According to general manager Josh Neureuther, owner Hans Weissgerber is targeting the second week of January for the grand opening of his restaurant at 649 E. Erie St. in the Third Ward.

The restaurant site, adjoining the Harbor Front Condominium development, is positioned at the meeting place of Milwaukee's three rivers, and is the gateway to the Milwaukee harbor.

Starting in spring, patrons will be able to access Rip Tide by way of water. Neureuther says the site's layout includes 30 boat slips for boaters to dock while they dine with a gorgeous view of the lake and the Hoan Bridge.

"We're right on the river, and the best part is that the bridges don't have to open and close for people with big boats to get here, so we are very accessible to water traffic," says Weissgerber.

Neureuther describes Rip Tide as a "casual crab shack" where the atmosphere is fun and laid-back. The décor of the 160-seat dining room is contemporary and complemented by granite bar tops, tongue and groove paneling, epoxy finished concrete flooring and powder coated steel and stainless steel trim. Almost the entire restaurant is rimmed in patio doors, allowing it to be opened up to the expansive 100-seat Riverwalk patio when it's warm and retaining the view of ship activity in the Milwaukee harbor when it's too cool to dine outside.

Centered on an abundant offering of fresh seafood, Rip Tide will offer a wide variety of appetizers, burgers, salads and signature entrees, ranging from $12-$15. In addition to a daily fresh catch, the menu will offer a diverse selection of fresh fish that people can choose to have baked, grilled or pan fried and more than 10 variations on crab.

"This place is going to be a lot of fun," says Weissgerber. "I bought the Third Street Pier from my family and it's great, but Rip Tide reflects my personality much more. A restaurant like this hasn't been done right yet in Milwaukee and I think the location is a big part of what's going to make it work."

Rip Tide will feature a full bar and live music, helping to contribute to the party atmosphere during the late-night hours.

Lunch and dinner will be served every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a smaller, late-night menu available until 1 a.m. Brunch specialties will be available on Saturday and Sunday. The Waterfront Entertainment Group's Web site is

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”