By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 08, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Bay View continues to fuel its reputation as a culinary hotbed with the addition of two new restaurants. First, as we announced this morning, sushi is coming to the former Puentes Barber Shop on Kinnickinnic Avenue. Second, we’ve gathered additional details about a breakfast and lunch spot that’s on its way to the area.

The Sabrosa Café and Gallery will be located at 3216 S. Howell Ave., according to a press release issued by Ald. Tony Zielinski late yesterday.

According to information gleaned today from owner Chef Francisco Sanchez – former chef of Taqueria Azteca and owner of Sabrosa Sauces – the multipurpose restaurant, gallery and kitchen is aiming for a mid- to late-spring opening next year.

Sanchez, who will operate the restaurant with partner Ruben Piirainen, pianist for the Florentine Opera Company, says the restaurant will combine both their love for the artistry of food, as well as the performing arts.

The building, which has housed the commercial kitchen for the Gouda Girls food truck, as well as numerous other entrepreneurial food businesses, has been the home base for the Sabrosa Sauce company for the past year or two.

"We’ve been working on this for the better part of the past 10 months," he says. "The Gouda Girls have really been so good to us, and really encouraged us to establish our own space. There are still some things to work out, but everything is in order."

The concept, says Sanchez, will be based on "straight-up American classic diner fare" – including items like the "Lumberjack Stack" featuring pancakes, ham and fried eggs. The restaurant will also have a full bar.

"We’ll feature a blue plate special," says Sanchez. "And everything from bread, jam and sauces will be made from scratch. And I’ll be making my own chorizo. For lunch, we’ll pull out some of my classic Mexican dishes, as well as fresh salads. We’ll be heavy in vegan, vegetarian and raw options."

Sanchez says they’ll expose as much of the Cream City brick beneath the facade of the building as possible. The cafe will be located in the front of the space, and they plan to open the space to accommodate about 15 tables, plus additional seating on the sidewalk in front.

The space will also serve as an art gallery that will feature work from a single artist at a time. A baby grand piano will accommodate live music – including performances by Piirainen – during breakfast and brunch. Meanwhile, the retail wall will feature Sabrosa Sauces, as well as other retail items.

Sanchez says he’ll use the evening hours to host events in the gallery space, including "once in a blue moon" pop-up dinners featuring some of his favorite Mexican dishes. The space will also be available for rentals.

"The plan is to give each event a charity focus," he says. "We’re really hoping to partner with various arts organizations, such as Arts at Large, to support the arts community."

He says the restaurant will also continue to operate as a licensed incubator kitchen.

"We’d like to host cooking classes and mentoring classes," he notes. "The Gouda Girls have always been awesome in helping out entrepreneurs who want to break into the business. And we want to follow in their footsteps."

Sabrosa Café and Gallery plans to be open 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and serve brunch on the weekends. In the meantime, you can catch Sabrosa at the Newaukee Night Market on Aug. 17 and Sept. 14, as well as at the Brookfield Farmers Market, 2000 N. Calhoun Rd., on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. until noon. You can also follow their progress on Facebook.

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.