By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Mar 27, 2023 at 12:28 PM

Sisu Cafe, the Finnish-inspired cafe which opened last summer at 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., has closed its doors.

Chef Francisco Sanchez, who operated the cafe alongside partner Ruben Piirainen, says the cafe just never reached a point where business was sustainable.

“We looked at the numbers, and they just weren’t there,” says Sanchez. “That combined with staffing issues really put a strain on our ability to maintain the standards we wanted for the concept.

“Overall, it was a positive move for us. It gave me an all new appreciation for the work that we do at Sabrosa Cafe and the customer base we’ve built. In the end, operating Sisu made me a much better chef, and we met so many new customers. We also tapped into a market that’s hungry for the type of cuisine that we serve.”

As a result, Sanchez says they will be featuring a number of popular items from Sisu Cafe on the Sabrosa Cafe menu. That includes the Danish cauliflower pancakes as well as Cornish pasties, which Sanchez says they will also be serving this summer at both the South Shore Farmers Market and the South Milwaukee Night Market

Guests can also stop by Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery, 3216 S. Howell Ave., for breakfast, lunch, brunch and their weekly Sunday Meat Market featuring ham, barbacoa and carnitas.  

Guests are also invited to make reservations online for Sabrosa’s Easter pre fixe dinner. Find details on their website.

Currently, the Sisu Cafe space is available for lease. Interested parties should reach out to Luke Fehrenbach at Ogden Realty by phone at (262) 312-4865.

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.