The former Seven Seas restaurant and banquet hall, 1807 Nagawicka Rd., is slated to take on new life thanks to a partnership between The Bartolotta Restaurants and David Herro and Jay Franke of HF Hospitality Group, a closely held hospitality design and investment group.
The new fine dining restaurant and catering venue will be called The Commodore – A Bartolotta Restaurant and is expected to open in the summer of 2023. It will be the first Bartolotta location in the Lake Country region to open since Mr. B’s – A Bartolotta Steakhouse opened in Brookfield in 1999.
“This 117-year-old building is a living time capsule of Nagawicka Lake and the Lake Country community surrounding it, and The Commodore – A Bartolotta Restaurant will serve as the bridge between the past we preserve and the future memories we will make,” says The Bartolotta Restaurants Owner and Co-Founder Chef Paul Bartolotta. “Together with our partners, David and Jay, we will bring new life to this building and create a dining experience that is truly unique to Lake Country and the Greater Milwaukee area.”
The historic property, which originally housed Hasslinger’s Pleasant View Hotel & Resort when it opened in 1905 is perched just above Nagawicka Lake, offering picturesque views of the water and Lake Country sunsets.
Inside, the multi-level destination will embrace the inviting, comfortable and celebratory nature of modern Lake Country while presenting an elegant main floor dining room reminiscent of the yacht clubs of the 1920s. Meanwhile, the upper level of the building will be designed to accommodate large groups and gatherings, adding to the portfolio of Bartolotta catering venues which includes Discovery World, The Italian Community Center and The Grain Exchange, among others.
“We are thrilled to partner with Bartolotta, given their reputation for innovative and high-quality dining experiences,” note Herro and Franke. “It's our plan to passionately rejuvenate this property, reflecting its legacy and importance in the community.”
Named in homage to the classic yacht clubs, where the leader is known as “the commodore.” The name embraces both the time and effort necessary to achieve this rank. It also acknowledges the years of history pent up in the location, which has changed hands more than 15 times in the past century, serving as a hotel, a discotheque, a girl’s camp and a school, among other things.
“The Commodore – A Bartolotta Restaurant is a segue from that old, nostalgic, magical quality of the property to a modern experience for the contemporary guest,” Chef Bartolotta adds. “Everything we do is a fresh, new idea inspired by the transcendent men and women that came before us.”
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.