In the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants continued to deal with COVID-19’s effects. Health issues, worker shortages and high food costs made serving difficult. 
Yet dozens of restaurants have opened in the Milwaukee area, many in the same buildings where previous diners faltered.
Here are this year’s new local, sit-down restaurants.
North Avenue Market food hall opened Sept. 7 at 5900 W. North Ave., in Milwaukee’s Uptown neighborhood. It has several food and drink providers and 150 seats for diners in what used to be an Associated Bank branch. 
Paper Table is a combination of ghost kitchen and food hall. It opened in September at 733 N. Milwaukee St. with vendors Blac Bistro, Freshwerks and Miltex Kitchen. Other vendor applications are in process. 
Food is mostly ordered online and prepared for carryout, but the site has a few tables along the front windows. 
Henry Flach’s in West Allis, billed as a “blue-collar steakhouse,” opened in June at the former Butch’s Pub and Eatery, at 9140 W. National Ave., West Allis. Owners John Roots and Bryan Wolf also operate Natty Oaks Pub and Eatery in West Allis. 
Sticky Rice restaurant, 707 E. Brady St., serves Lao and Thai dishes. Sticky Rice opened the restaurant in July; it will continue to operate its takeout-only location in Riverwest. The new Brady Street location has counter service and six tables. 
Sisu Cafe, 2121 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is a breakfast and lunch spot partly known for Finnish pastries. The fast-casual breakfast and lunch spot had its soft opening July 12. It has counter service and 10 tables. 
El Gaucho Grill opened in June at 17800 W. Blue Mound Road in Brookfield.
The family-run business aims to make patrons feel as if they had been transported to Argentina, said Antonio Paez, one of the owners. The restaurant has Argentine artifacts and décor, Latin music and Argentine food. 
Riley’s Social House opened along with the second Riley’s Sandwich Co. next door on June 23 in the Third Ward. The social house, 411 E. Menomonee St., is set up to accommodate dogs, and their owners can order food from the sandwich company next door at 148 N. Milwaukee St..
The original Riley’s Sandwich Co. is on Oakland Avenue in Shorewood. 
Tauro Cocina, a Mexican-Italian restaurant, opened in June at 1758 N. Water St., the building that formerly housed Trocadero and Di Moda Pizza.
Saffron Modern Indian Dining, 223 N. Water St., has a full bar and patio dining on the Milwaukee Riverwalk. It opened to the public June 4. Saffron combines traditional Indian flavors with contemporary plating and cooking techniques from beyond India. 
State Street Pizza Pub opened June 10 at the former site of Point Burger Express, 322 W. State St. The pub, created by Milwaukee bar veteran Jake Dehne, specializes in personal pizzas, beer and hard seltzer. 
Twisted Plants, which serves all-plant-based versions of comfort foods, opened its second location in June at 1233 E. Brady St. The original remains open at 4905 S. Packard Ave. in Cudahy. 
The restaurant’s vegan items include gyros, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, chick’n patties and shredded barbecue jackfruit sandwiches. 
AsianRican Foods opened in early June at 3300 W. Lincoln Ave. The restaurant previously operated out of Snifters in Walker’s Point.
The restaurant sprang from the popularity of Chinese food in Puerto Rico and from the backgrounds of chef-owner Julie Valcarcel, who is Lao, and her husband, who is Puerto Rican. 
Frankies Restaurant and Catering, serving African, Caribbean and American menu items, opened in May at 1815 E. Kenilworth Place. Frankies previously operated as a food truck and at the Southridge Mall food court. 
The counter-service restaurant has such African dishes such as fataya (fried pastries filled with beef), chicken or beef suya (skewers) and jollof rice. 
Lupi & Iris opened May 17 at 777 N. Van Buren St. The restaurant serves a French and Italian Mediterranean menu. The detailed décor — including two olive trees — reflects the cuisine.
Chef Adam Siegel was named best chef in the Midwest in 2008 by the James Beard Foundation for his work at Lake Park Bistro. 
Flourchild debuted its dining room and bar April 29 at 722 N. Milwaukee St. Artwork by Slawek Miskow decorates the restaurant, which serves sourdough pizzas, sandwiches and other menu items.
Executive chef and partner Andrew Miller described Flourchild’s pizza crust as a meeting of New York, Detroit and New Haven styles; the dough ferments up to 90 hours before baking.
Immy Kaggwa started by working at festivals and farmers markets, then began offering takeout in 2020, in the height of the pandemic. Her dine-in restaurant opened April 22 at 2845 N. Oakland Ave. 
Main dishes at Immy’s are stews such as chicken curry with spinach, jerk chicken and vegetable stew, lentil stew, and peanut stew with chicken or eggplant and mushrooms.
Tropic Jamaican Kitchen & Cocktails, 518 N. Water St., opened in mid-April, serving “elevated Jamaican bar food” such as jerk chicken paninis. 
Owner Hyacinth Nembhardt also moved Concoctions bar from Fond du Lac Avenue to 1316 E. Brady St.  
4one4 Nutrition, a cafe featuring healthy shakes and energizing teas, opened April 14 at 823 E. Kilbourn Ave., on Milwaukee’s lower east side. Katy Murphy, the owner, is a Milwaukee native who is aiming to create a healthy fast food alternative. 
Bulldog Ale House opened its first Wisconsin location April 13 in the former West Allis Perkins, 2878 S. 108th St. The ale house has more than 40 beers on draft, and pizza and burgers to go along with it. 
Dwight Jackson opened the Jamaican restaurant Pepperpot, with table service and a bar, at 2215 N. King Drive on April 12. Pepperpot previously was a takeout-only location at 4120 W. Capitol Drive.
The restaurant is known for its traditional Jamaican dishes such as jerk chicken, oxtails and curry chicken, but also for its hefty jerk chicken egg rolls.
Il Mito Cafe, an Italian restaurant, opened in downtown Delafield on April 7. Chef Michael Feker, who also owns Il Mito Trattoria e Enoteca in Wauwatosa and Zesti in Hartland, opened the restaurant.
Il Mito’s lower floor is café style with casual seating, while the upper floor is more traditional Italian sit-down with red and white checkered tablecloths.
Antique Indian Restaurant opened in January at 3933 S. 76th St. It serves cuisine from around India; its chef-owner is from Punjab, in India’s north. The “antique” reflects the traditional decor and table settings.
Donteah and April Morehouse opened Atwood Hwy BBQ Company at 925 Madison Ave. in South Milwaukee on March 10. The couple, serving Tennessee-style barbecue, worked from pop-up tents for a while, then from their own kitchen, then from rented kitchen space. 
Within months, the restaurant was expanding, adding outdoor seating in a parklet style.
The longtime family-owned M&M Restaurant in Sussex (shown) reopened as “the” Kitchen on March 7. The new owners serve food “home-cooked just like Mom used to make,” with daily specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
Gerardo Flores and his sister Claudia Flores opened La Crema, a breakfast and lunch restaurant, in February in the former Samano’s building at 3431 E. Plankinton Ave. in Cudahy. They kept the historic features of the 1894 building. 
An Ox Cafe officially opened Feb. 2 at 7411 W. Hampton Ave. Sia Xiong and Johnni Sihavong, originally from Laos, named the restaurant for their zodiac birth year: the year of the ox. The restaurant-bar serves Lao, Thai and Hmong food. 
With 9,000 square feet, the restaurant is large enough to host a big event and keep the dining room open. It has become a diverse gathering spot, says dining critic Carol Deptolla.
Valentine Third Ward Cafe opened Feb. 7 at 189 N. Milwaukee St., replacing Bella Cafe, which closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Valentine, which started as a coffee roaster, also has a tasting room at 5918 W. Vliet St. and a cafe at Oak Creek’s Drexel Town Square.
Cee Cee Ceeman opened C.C.’s Elbow Room on Feb. 1 at 2850 N. Brookfield Road in Brookfield. The longtime restaurant worker’s restaurant and bar serves a variety of items, including burgers, Friday fish Fry and pizza.
The restaurant space formerly was Sabella’s Pub. 
Dave’s Hot Chicken opened its first Wisconsin restaurant Jan. 28 at N92-W16125 Falls Parkway in Menomonee Falls. The fast-casual concept restaurant specializes in hot chicken tenders and sliders,
The site, formerly occupied by Grate Pizza, has been touched up with custom artwork. 
Twisted Cafe, an American fusion spot, took the place of the former Elephant Cafe at 1505 N. Farwell Ave. in Milwaukee’s lower east side. After a soft opening on Dec. 29, 2021, the restaurant officially opened Jan 21.
The cafe features items such as cheeseburger egg rolls, Korean-style corn dogs, and coconut waffles stuffed with Thai pandan custard. 
The 3rd Street Market Hall opened Jan. 14 at The Avenue, formerly the Grand Avenue, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave.
The first restaurants serving at the food hall were Dairyland, Hot Dish Pantry, Mid-Way Bakery, Strega MKE, and Amano Pan. Since then, several vendors have joined the food hall, and a few have left.
Bryant Johnson and his fiancé, Kimberly Stark, opened Bryant’s on the Round in Okauchee. The small-plate restaurant opened in January at N51-W34911 Wisconsin Ave.
The restaurant has a continually rotating menu with emphases on unique items. 
McCoco’s Restaurant, at 7420 W. Greenfield Ave. in West Allis, features air fryer-cooked food and candy-adorned alcoholic drinks aimed at families. The restaurant opened Jan. 7.
The space continues the theme, with neon colors and wall-mounted TVs.
Brama’s Italian Pizzeria opened Jan. 6 at N112-W16700 Mequon Road in Germantown. The site previously was Kurt Schulz Deli. 
The restaurant features specialty pizzas and Italian dishes such as chicken Parmesan, veggie lasagna and eggplant Parmesan.


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