By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 18, 2020 at 1:01 PM

There’s a chill in the air and the patio fire tables are running daily at Zisters, 13425 Watertown Plank Rd. in Elm Grove. 

But things are about to get even cozier, as the restaurant prepares (once again) to make their patio a winter-long destination.

In 2019, Zisters debuted an impressive winter patio complete with heated private igloos, festive lights, an outdoor fireplace and a Christmas tree. And this year, they're bringing back the magic with a cozy, festive winter patio that just might bring some joy to these dark days.

"We're definitely keeping the winter wonderland theme," says co-owner Gabbie Zierath. "But this year it's going to be even better."

Zierath says that, due to COVID-19, extrra care is also being taken to ensure that igloo experiences are as safe as possible, including extensive sanitation.

Reservations are open

Guests who'd like first dibs can make reservations online now for the winter wonderland patio experience. Private igloos, which accommodate up to 8 guests, are available to rent for 90-minute periods (with first available slots on Nov. 18).

Each reservation package is $150 and includes a drink package featuring options like champagne (or mimosas), red or white wine, Irish coffee, regular or spiked hot chocolate, cranberry mules or hot toddies in sufficient quantity to accommodate eight guests. A beverage menu will also be available onsite for guests who’d like to order additional drinks during their visit.

Food orders will not be included with the reservations this year. Instead, guests can order food for their group upon arrival. Selections will include large format snacks, as well as the full Zisters menu.

Guests must be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. All guests are asked to arrive 10-15 minutes prior to their reserved time.

Zierath says the igloos will be in operation November through February, or slightly longer if the weather warrants. Reservations, which can be made online at, are available for dates beginning Nov. 18. Patio igloos are available Wednesday through Friday from 3 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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.