By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Aug 16, 2019 at 12:40 PM

In July, we brought you the news that the Waterlin Coffee Bar & Bistro would be opening in Menomonee Falls. 

The full service coffee bar and restaurant -- featuring an all-day menu, housemade cocktails and a weekday happy hour -- is part of a $4.5 million renovation of the former Radisson Hotel, N88 W14750 Main St‎., which will reopen as a Delta Hotel by Marriott.

Comfort food & old fashioneds

Now scheduled to open in October, Waterlin will feature a menu that showcases comfort food dishes with a modern twist. Main dishes, presented with a nod to yesteryear, include roasted half chicken presented in a cast iron skillet with sauteed baby carrots, shallots and sweet peas in a pan au jus.

There will also be braised veal shank prepared with orange gremolata, sweet peas, sautéed baby carrots and shallots.

On the cocktail side, Waterlin will showcase multiple riffs on the classic old fashioned, including the signature Waterlin Old Fashioned, which pays homage to the classic Wisconsin build with muddled Luxardo cherries and oranges, brandy, bitters and a splash of soda.

Meanwhile, a black walnut old fashioned relies on black walnut bitters and brown sugar, giving warmth to a classic; and the Honey Drip is made with a tea-infused bourbon, apricot jam, lemon juice, honey and ginger beer.

In keeping with Waterlin’s homage to the history of Wisconsin’s ice harvesting industry, each cocktail will be accompanied by a key question: "How do you take your ice? Crushed, Picked, or Cubed?"

Coffee bar

For the coffee bar portion of the venue, Waterlin has partnered with Stone Creek Coffee to feature brewed and espresso-based coffee drinks, fruit smoothies and a variety of pastries. To help bridge the gap between coffee during the day and drinks in the evening, one of the cocktails on the bar menu will feature a house Stone Creek coffee infusion.

Once open, Waterlin will serve breakfast daily from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., with lunch service to follow until 4 p.m. and dinner available from 4 to 10 p.m. Happy hour will take place 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday featuring specials on cocktails, wine, appetizers and drinks. Brunch service is expected to launch in the weeks following the opening.

Opening celebration pokes fun at the missing "L"

The Waterlin’s namesake, Francis Walterlin, is credited with launching the ice harvesting industry on the Menomonee River with John Martin in 1897. Since commercial refrigeration was yet unknown, the industry – which gleaned ice from rivers, lakes and ponds –was vital to food preservation.

Further research on the part of Waterlin creators revealed that the spelling of Waterlin’s name was incorrect. It’s actually Francis Walterlin. To poke fun at itself, the hotel is launching a series of community events to help them "find the missing L." The events will include a scavenger hunt throughout Menomonee Falls during which participants will search for missing "L’s." The found prizes will be good for coffee and cocktails once Waterlin opens in October. Details about the scavenger hunt and other September events will be announced soon.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.