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INdustri Cafe’s Grand Opening Celebration is Tonight

Photo credit: Adam VanderVeen,

With a combined experience of over thirty-eight years within the kitchens of Milwaukee’s finest restaurants, the founders of INdustri Cafe are more than ready to showcase their very own interpretation of fine-dining. Born and raised in Milwaukee, both Chris Miller and Robert Klemm started working within the industry at age fourteen. The two first worked together at a downtown sushi restaurant (Sake-Tumi) and quickly noticed their cohesive synergy. It didn’t take long for them to begin to  envision what their own restaurant would look like, noting the pitfalls they had encountered working for other establishments and making plans for how they would do it different when it was solely their project.

The vision for INdustri Cafe pays homage to all Milwaukee-based industries: agriculture, artists, manufacturing and of course, the service industry itself. Every aspect of the restaurant embodies this mission; the presence of local artists’ work on the Cream City bricks, the localized liquor menu, the beer list only includes Wisconsin-based products, and the use of Braise, a farm-to-table food coop used by only a few other restaurants in the city.

The owners are dedicated to making high-end dining accessible to everyone.  They plan to use classic American cuisine and artfully prepare it in a way that will continually go above and beyond the expectations of the guests.

Grand Opening plans for Thursday, January 6th:

  • 6:00 PM – Doors open to the public
  • 6:30 PM – Free Hors d’oeuvres
  • 8:00 PM – Champagne toast & raffle prizes

The INdustri Cafe takes over the space that formerly houses the Fuzion Cafe and Lounge. Fuzion opened in December, 2008 and closed in October, 2009.

INdustri Cafe



524 S. 2nd Street

Milwaukee, WI 53204

Phone: 414-224-7777

HOURS OF OPERATION (Starting Friday, January 7th, 2011)

Sunday-Wednesday: 11 AM – 10 PM

Thursday: 11 AM – 11 PM

Friday: 11 AM – 1 AM

Saturday: 11 AM – 1 AM


Joe and Angie Sorge announce new partnership with the Marcus family


Today, Joe and Angie Sorge, along with David Marcus (President of Marcus Investments) announced a new partnership with the Marcus family to create a new hospitality company that merges five great restaurant brands;  Water Buffalo, AJ Bombers, Swig, Zaffiro’s and Smoke Shack (currently under development  in Third Ward).

The goal of Marcus Investments is to help family-owned businesses and brands flourish in their own way. Marcus Investments acquired Milwaukee’s Zaffiro’s Pizza in 2008.

Joe Sorge wrote, “Somewhere in the middle of 2010, we had the good fortune of meeting David Marcus. David is the President of Marcus Investments here in Milwaukee. His company’s goal is to help family-owned businesses and brands flourish in their own way. You may already know that David’s company recently acquired Zaffiros Pizza in Milwaukee. Marcus Investments is an exciting group themselves and share many of the same family values in business that Angie and I do. We’ve spent many months getting to know each other as a group and as potential business partners.”

Joe continues, “So it is with great enthusiasm that we are finally able to announce our new partnership with the Marcus family to create a new hospitality company that merges five great restaurant brands.”

Joe and Angie will continue to operate its three restaurant concepts; Water Buffalo, AJ Bombers and Swig, as well as any future  Zaffiro’s locations.

They have yet to name their new restaurant company and would like help from you. If you’d like to participate, please click here

More Information:


Whitefish Bay’s El Guapo’s Mexican Restaurant Closes

I am very sad to announce that El Guapo’s Mexican Restaurant in Whitefish Bay has closed its doors.

El Guapo’s opened in November, 2009 after closing its Berkley’s Café concept. Ryan and Marija Whitman closed Berkely’s Cafe for only two days over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2009 and re-opened on Black Friday as El Guapo’s Mexican Restaurant.

El Guapo offcially announced its closing today at 342 E. Silver Spring Dr. via its Twitter account.

Here is El Guapo’s final tweet:

“Thank you to our customers for your support. El Guapo has closed. We truly enjoyed serving you all and wish you joy and prosperity in 2011. Many thanks — Marija & Ryan.”

Ryan and Marija Whitman were so loyal to me (and and I wish them the best.

El Guapo’s Mexican Restaurant

342 East Silver Spring Drive

Whitefish Bay, WI 53217-5221


Update: Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Restaurant: SURG Restaurant Group New Owners

Update: January 1, 2010, 4:48pm:

The SURG Restaurant Group, owner of seven area restaurants and bars, will purchase Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Grill.

Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Grill opened in Spring, 2010, which was opening day for the Brewers’ season, and closed its doors around December 1, 2010.

The SURG Restaurant Group currently own and operate Carnevor, Charro in Milwaukee and Brookfield, Umami Moto, Distil, Mikey’s and Nuovo Centanni.

SURG plans to re-open Ryan Braun’s in March, 2011. Gift cards issued by the previous owners will be honored.

Stay tuned to for any updates.

Update: Saturday, December 4, 2010, 11:36 am:

While dining in the Third Ward Friday night I walked past Ryan Braun’s restaurant and noticed that a new sign had been posted on the front door stating that they will  be re-opening soon under new management.

I was so happy to see the new sign as we do not need anymore prime restaurant real estate space on our river (or anywhere else) sitting empty.

Stay tuned to for the latest on Ryan’s Braun’s grand re-opening. – Andrew Swofford

The post below was originally posted December 1, 2010, 4:48 pm:

Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Restaurant closed its doors over the weekend  when it posted a sign on its front door stating that the restaurant was temporarily closing because it was having heating problems.

On Tuesday night, WISN 12 did a story about the ‘temporary’  closing. You can view the report at

SCREENSHOT OF RYAN BRAUN'S WATERFRONT RESTAURANT WEBSITE: Today, tried to access the restaurant's website (, but the webpage brought up an 'Error 404' page which means the website is down.

Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Restaurant opened April 5, 2010 (which was opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers) in the former space that housed Fratello’s, on the Milwaukee River.

Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Restaurant

102 N. Water St.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 727-2888

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Babe’s in Bay View takes an Ice Cream Break; Will re-open Feb. 25th

Babes Ice Cream & Dessert

2264 South Kinnickinnic Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53207

(414) 482-4000


Celebrate 5-Years of Hofbrau Munich in Milwaukee Thursday

The Old German Beer Hall will celebrate 5-years of Munich in Milwaukee Thursday night.

Located on Old World Third Street in Downtown Milwaukee, the Old German Beer Hall features a classic Bavarian-like setting with replica tables and benches from the “Schwemme” at the Original Munich Beer Hall.

The beer served at the Old German Hall is brewed in Munich according to the over 400-year-old Bavarian purity law.

Tickets for its 5-year anniversary party tonight (Thursday, Dec 16 from 5-10pm)  are still available and will be sold at the door for $25. Your ticket includes all-you-can-drink beer, live Polka music, appetizer buffet and choice of one dinner Entrée.

For more information please call 414-226-2728.

Old German Beer Hall

1009 N Old World Third Street

Milwaukee, WI 53203

(414) 226-2728


The Milwaukee Public Market Cookbook is Finally Here!

The Milwaukee Public Market has gathered some of your favorite recipes from 31 of the Market’s most talented chefs and put them into a cookbook just in time for the holidays.

Some of the chefs featured inside include:

  • Alisa Malavenda
  • Jason Gorman
  • Tory Miller
  • Brian Moran

This home-grown compilation has an impressive 200 recipes divided into appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes, entreés, and desserts.

Take home a copy for $19.99 (+ tax). Proceeds go to benefit The Hunger Task Force of Wisconsin.

For more information, visit the market office on the second level or call 414-336-1111.

Milwaukee Public Market

400 North Water Street

Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 336-1111

Share Exclusive: Riptide Seafood Bar & Grill Closes and Sails Away

Today I spoke with Hans Weissgerber III and he informed me that he has closed his Rip Tide Bar and Grill for good. The restaurant is now closed.

He says he  is now going to focus on expanding his Old German Beer Hall business into new markets. Han Weissgerber III is a co-owner of the Old German Beer Hall on Old World Third Street.

Please stay tuned to for updates on this location and any new possible tenants.

Old German Beer Hall
1009 North Old World 3rd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 226-2728

Cupcakes in Cathedral Square; Classy Girl Cupcakes opens Tuesday

After months of renovating the space that housed Espresso Christoph, and just in time for the holidays, Classy Girl Cupcakes (825 N Jefferson St.) will flip its ‘Open’ sign on for the first time Tuesday morning.

All of the cupcakes are baked from scratch, using only the finest ingredients including real butter, unbleached flour, fresh fruit, natural vanilla, and Ghirardelli cocoa. Classy Girl Cupcakes will offer many of is 35+ flavors of cheesecake cupcakes on a daily basis, plus several traditional cupcake flavors including kid friendly cupcakes, breakfast cupcakes, and the “Classy Guy Cupcake” flavor of the week. These macho cupcakes will incorporate liquor, sports themes, and manly cupcake decorations. Cupcakes are sold in singles, 4 packs, and dozen quantities.

Cupcake Sizes: the photo above shows a size comparison of our cupcakes. From left to right is a standard size traditional cupcake, a specialty cheesecake cupcake, and a mini traditional cupcake.

The bakery will also offer brewed Anodyne coffee and Rishi tea to compliment the cupcakes, and plan to introduce espresso drinks in the future.

The shop also has a retail component with designer cupcake liners, cupcake decorations, cupcake cookbooks, t-shirts, aprons, and any other fun cupcake related paraphernalia any cupcake fan can find.

Classy Girl Cupcakes (which started out as a catering company) has catered dozens of large events, and offers a full line of services that will expand beyond its retail location, such as delivery, setup, and cupcake display rental.
At first, the bakery will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 8am – 6pm, Fridays from 8am – 7pm, and Saturdays from 11am – 4pm. Eventually they will expand its weekend hours on Saturdays and be open on Sundays as well.
More Information:

Classy Girl Cupcakes

825 N Jefferson St.
Milwaukee, WI, 53202
All images copyright: Classy Girl Cupcakes

Progress Report: Alterra Coffee Roasters, Bay View

Since 1994, Alterra has been bringing strong coffee to the folks of the metro-Milwaukee area , and soon Bay Viewers will have one of its cafe’s right in their backyard.

Earlier this month, Alterra Coffee announced that it had changed its plan from renovating an existing building in Bay View to razing it and building a new one.

Plans for the cafe/wholesale bakery changed course after cost estimates escalated for remodeling the former Maritime Savings Bank building (between Kinnickinnic and Howell avenues), the company reports on its website.

Here are some FAQS straight from Alterra’s website:

Hey! What happened? I thought the maritime bank building was going to be renovated, not replaced.

We tried many designs and created budgets with two separate general contractors. Unfortunately, old buildings can be expensive to renovate….especially when you are trying to convert a bank into a bakery and cafe. No matter what we tried, the project was too expensive to do. We finally used our experience in riverwest as a guide, where we tried to force a renovation but ultimately built new. Our Humboldt facility is a great success (architecturally and as a great facility to work in). We fully expect the new facility in bay view to be similarly successful.

I can’t believe knocking a building down and building new is less expensive than renovating an existing structure. That just doesn’t make sense.

It is odd, isn’t it? Perhaps if the original building did not have offices upstairs, frequent structural columns breaking the space, no elevators or fire rated stair towers. Unfortunately, all of these elements were true and created a great deal of expense. In this case, new is less expensive.

You should have spent the money anyway!

And maybe we would have, but the expense was one part….layout was another. We might have suffered the premium to get something great, but the result was actually somewhat hamstrung. The bakery especially suffered. The working space became long and thin, walk-in refrigerators were many steps away from work tables, bathrooms in the basement, etc. It wasn’t just too expensive, it just didn’t work.

What a waste! It’s a good building!

I’ll leave judgments of “good or bad” to others……but waste, we will not. We’re gunning to reuse as much of the material as possible. In fact, some of the inspiration for the new building (see timber frame, joists, wood flooring and decking) came from concepts of what could be reused from the old. We will try to recycle 90% of the building (by weight).

Is the front of the building on Lincoln still going to lack retail?

No! This was a huge one for us. We never liked how the renovation accommodated our retail use. We could not span the entire Lincoln ave. facade without creating the world’s largest cafe. The new building footprint is “pulled in” about 4′ and allows us to fill the Lincoln and KK ave. sides (plus some on Howell) with retail. Plus, the building no longer “encroaches” on the sidewalk the way it did.

Dude, that’s a cool design. Who did it?

At least we hope you think it is cool!! As usual, a collaborative effort between Chris Socha of Kubala Washatco Architects (plus others in their studio), our artist team of Joe and Janice who lost much sleep, and Ward, Paul and I all contributed. We expect to continue to tweak the design and details, since we really had to push to get this done in time for our BOZA submittal.

Wow. What else can this building do?

It has some secrets. You’ll have to come see for yourself in 2011. See you then!

Alterra plans to open the bakery and commissary first, with the cafe hopefully completed by March, 2012.

More Information:

Photos Copyright: Alterra Coffee Roasters

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