The days are dwindling for early morning breakfast service at Story Hill BKC, 5100 W. Bluemound Rd., which is making a series of changes based on customer demand.
"I read every comment card that comes through all of our restaurants within 48 hours of their submission," says Dan Sidner, co-owner of Black Shoe Hospitality. "And that’s an important part of what I do. And we try to be great at responding when things simply aren’t working well."
The changes – which include eliminating weekday breakfast and expanding lunch and dinner hours and options – aim to refocus the restaurant on things diners value, including the globally influenced upper Midwest style cuisine for which they’ve become known.
"When we opened this restaurant, one of the things the neighborhood wanted – and we wanted to provide – was a coffee shop," notes Sidner. "The original concept certainly included that. But, what we heard from guests is that they really wanted full service dining and a more expanded afternoon menu. So, it made sense to respond to that."
Beginning the day after Labor Day (Sept. 8), Story Hill will be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with lunch service offered between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Brunch service will be offered on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with dinner service to follow.
Sundays, the restaurant will be open for brunch only from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays, but available for private events and parties.
New lunch menu
Chef and co-owner Joe Muench says that the new lunch menu will include breakfast favorites like crêpes ($6-12) and shakshouka ($11), as well as sandwiches, soups, salads and daily specials priced from $5 to $13. There will also be a selection of flatbreads topped with items like loin bacon with truffle creme fraiche, tomatoes, Saxony cheese and basil.
Meanwhile, the dinner menu will continue to offer a multitude of seasonal shared plates to Taste, Share and Pass.
More cocktails & daily happy hour
Story Hill BKC – a name which originally stood for Bottle. Kitchen. Cup. – will now be revised to signify Bottle. Kitchen. Cocktail., reflecting a more intense focus on the latter.
An increased interest in Story Hill’s craft tap cocktails (priced at $6-9) has resulted in the dedication of additional tap lines, which include choices like The Bluemound (a take on the Moscow mule), a whiskey old fashioned, Mother’s Little Helper (cold-brewed Valentine coffee, vodka and chocolate liqueur), Sunshine Sangria (white wine, rum, lemon and lime juice and elderflower syrup) The Business (featuring gin and housemade limoncello), and Patio Punch made with sport tea, vodka, raspberries, lime and bitters.
An expanded happy hour, which will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, will include drink specials like $2 off all tap cocktails and tap beer, and $5 featured glasses of wine.
Edible happy hour options will include items like a cheese plate ($12 featuring three cheeses with accoutrements like crostini, date compote, roasted grapes and spiced nuts), the Story Hill burger ($10) Connie’s chicken salad, chicken meatballs ($7 with truffle honey and peppercorn sauce, served with pretzel bread), burrata with basil pesto, tomato jam, fried capers and olives and balsamic reduction ($10) and a daily "Happy Feature."
"I really hope to see Story Hill become a really busy happy hour location," says Sidner. "Our bar bites menu has taken off, so we hope to see the same with our daily offerings."
Wine, beer and liquor
Speaking of wine, Story Hill – which was the recipient of a 2015 Wine Spectator Award – will also be expanding its already large collection of wines, many of which are available for under $20.
The restaurant has always maintained an alternative philosophy regarding its wine pricing. Rather than marking up each bottle by up to 300 percent, which is common in the industry, Story Hill has focused on offering bottles at more affordable prices, with every single bottle on the 320-selection list priced at just $8 above retail. Even better, every bottle on the list is available by the glass (with a 2 glass minimum).
Fall in love with a bottle? You can purchase it in the bottle shop, located adjacent to the restaurant.
"There’s really not a liquor store in the area, so we’d love for people to begin thinking of us as a place to come and pick up a bottle of wine or a growler of beer," says Sidner.
The shop also offers spirits and liquor, including over seven varieties of bourbon (one ounce samples available upon request), growlers of beer to-go, build-your-own six-packs of beer, a beer cooler, wine chiller, cocktail ingredients, gifts, greeting cards and gift items.
Bonus: you can stop by and pick up a postcard for 10 percent off your first purchase.
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.