By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published May 27, 2021 at 10:01 AM

Valentine Coffee Roasters is gearing up to open a third cafe location, this time in the Historic Third Ward.

The cafe will be located at 189 N. Milwaukee St. in the space which housed longtime Bella Caffe until its closure in March of 2020. And, if all goes well, the cafe will open sometime this summer.

“We’re super excited for the opportunity to establish a cafe in the Third Ward,” says co-owner Joe Gilsdorf. ‘And we are fortunate to be able to take over what was already such a successful cafe space.”  

Gilsdorf says that he and partner Robb Kashevarof weren’t actively seeking out a new cafe location; but when the opportunity arose during the pandemic, it presented them with an exciting opportunity.

“We’ve had guests requesting a Downtown location for years,” he says. “And we really couldn’t have asked for a better location.”

Guests can expect an entirely refreshed space with features that include low banquette style seating along eastern side of the space, along with a small bar and an activated sidewalk space with outdoor seating. 

“We are coffee first and foremost, but there will be food offerings,” says Gilsdorf, “We are also anticipating a full bar license allowing for beer, wine and coffee cocktails.

Gilsdorf says that the plan currently includes cafe style fare including sandwiches, salads and soups, with many items determined by customer demand. The coffee roaster will also leverage relationships with other local businesses – including Black Shoe hospitality – to round out their offerings.

Valentine Coffee Roasters was founded as a wholesale operation in 2009.  Kashevarof and Gilsdorf opened their first cafe at 5918 W. Vliet St. in 2013 and expanded again in 2017 with a second cafe at Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek.  

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.