By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jul 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

In April, we wrote about the construction progress for Story Hill BKC, the new coffee shop/restaurant/retail shop from the owners of Maxie's and Blue's Egg.

This week, we had the chance to chart the progress on the restaurant, which began interviewing staff this past week, and expects to have occupancy of its space at 5102 W. Bluemound Rd. by July 25, with the goal of being fully operational by Thursday, Aug. 14.

The space is slowly taking shape, and the personality of the space is beginning to reveal itself thanks to the deft hands of Jake Knox of Lucky Star Workshop and his talented crew.

Repurposed materials comprise the bulk of the construction, with floorboards from an old home in Hartland creating the backdrop for the bar area, and corrugated metal from a grain silo near Richland Center forming a dropped ceiling directly above. Meanwhile, the maple and cherry wood for the bar top was reclaimed from trees downed in a tornado a few years ago. 

A tap system at the bar will hold multiple taps, providing draught beer, wine, coffee and cocktails for the restaurant. The restaurant also plans to have a juice program, with freshly squeezed juices -- along with inventive juice combinations called "coolers" -- available for take out or dine-in.

Currently, chef and co-owner Joe Muench is testing draft dishes for the breakfast and lunch menus, which will include fast-casual fare that can be ordered at the counter. Unlike the full American breakfast offerings offered at Blue’s Egg, Story Hill BKC will focus on European style offerings like breads with spreads, meats, cheeses and other simple globally-inspired dishes that can be enjoyed "on the run." The menu will also include pastries, crêpes and baked egg dishes, such as shakshuka.

Lunch will include inventive soups, salads and sandwiches – like a dill pickle vichyssoise – along with specialty dishes like whole baked fish, pasta dishes and cheese bread. A woodstone oven, cooktops and an Alto Shaam Combitherm will provide most of the cooking power for the small, highly efficient open kitchen. Since the restaurant will not have a deep fryer, side dishes will go beyond the ordinary potato chips or fries, and include items like marinated vegetables and jalapeno slaw.

Dinner options are still in the planning stage, but Muench notes that the menu will be loosely organized around the ideas of "Taste, Share, Pass" – a concept that allows customers to create customizeable dining experiences for any occasion.

Tastes will consist of composed bites including high end and hard-to-find ingredients at an approachable portion and price. Shareable dishes will be similar to small plates, with the idea that several dishes could comprise a complete meal for two or more people. Pass plates will resemble family style fare, and could include whole fish or carvings from a roast. Fairly priced beverages will be available at a wide variety of price points from the wine and spirits shop in the restaurant.

Upon opening, Story Hill BKC will be open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, with dinner offered Tuesday through Saturday. The wine and spirits shop will also be open all week long, with abbreviated hours on Sunday and Monday.

Watch for more details as the restaurant prepares to open. 

You can also follow the restaurant's progress on Facebook 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.