Vallhalla, the much anticipated Scandinavian bar and restaurant proposed for 1111 N. Old World 3rd St., is on track for a March opening according to co-owner Melissa McNulty.
"We really underestimated the amount of time it would take to renovate the building," she says. "We had to gut it down to its bones, replace the girders and structural beams. And that took a great deal of time. Now things are beginning to come together."
McNulty says she’s not quite ready to reveal the identity of the chef for the restaurant; however, she notes that the menu for the venue is in the works. Items which are certain to make an appearance include a selection of smørrebrød (pronounced smuhr-broht), Denmark’s signature open-faced sandwiches, which are built on a thin layer of dense sourdough rye bread called rugbrød.
There will also be Danish pølser (sausages), a staple in cities like Copenhagen, where pølsevogne (hot dog carts) can be found on nearly every street corner. The toppings for the dogs vary from classic to gourmet and are showcased annually at a hot dog competition at the Food Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. McNulty says Valhalla’s dogs will showcase a variety of toppings, including a variety of pickled vegetables.
"When I was there, I had a hot dog with a sort of macaroni salad on it," she says. "So we’re working on some really unique combinations."
McNulty notes they’re also working through the details on a cocktail menu that befits the Scandinavian theme. It’s likely to include a selection of barrel aged cocktails, along with a variety of drinks made with Aquavit, a Scandinavian staple which dates back to the 15th century and has recently grown in popularity in the states thanks to local brands like Gamle Ode.
Meanwhile, McNulty says the space will sport a renewed facade and a casual environment that incorporates upcycled materials and dark wood, along with original exposed Cream City brick (more details here). Paintings of a male and female viking have been created by Milwaukee-based artist Sandra Wyss and will don the walls. Meanwhile restaurant signage, along with traditional shields of the sort you might find on a viking ship, will also be showpieces.
Although a specific date has not been set for Valhalla’s opening, McNulty says the restaurant hopes to hold its soft opening in early March, followed by a public opening.
Watch OnMilwaukee for additional details as they become available. You can also follow Valhalla on Facebook.
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.