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Milwaukee restaurant openings and closings

Discussing the recent restaurant openings and closings in the area.
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Discussing the recent restaurant openings and closings in the area.

It’s the start of a new year and a great time to check out some new restaurants around the city. As the dining editor for On Milwaukee, Lori Fredrich always has her eye on what’s happening in Milwaukee’s food scene. Here's the latest rundown on the recent restaurant openings and closings in the area.


Fitzy's Cafe

Occupying what was once the Fitzgerald Pharmacy, this establishment is expanding into a full cafe service. "This is sort of the recreation of this nostalgic soda fountain sandwich counter, but with a really modern edge for sure," says Fredrich.

The Wolf on Broadway

Fredrich says, "You'll find things like a salt and pepper fish sandwich, which is delicious ... there's a little something for everyone as long as you don't mind that they played a bit with the flavors."

Yen Ching Express

The same family that operated the highly popular Yen Ching restaurant that closed in the 80s is back with a new project. "They've decided, the father and his two sons, have decided to bring back in Yen Ching, only in a very modern format ... you will find many of the most popular dishes that were on the menu at Yen Ching," says Fredrich.


After establishing a food truck, the Heirloom owners saw an opportunity they couldn't pass up when the Lazy Susan space became available. "So, they have moved into that space as of late this summer, and they are serving up a menu of pretty much all the food truck favorites," says Fredrich. "So, folks that were a fan of Heirloom before will most likely be a fan."


Engine Company No. 3

After nine years of service, Engine Company No. 3 closed on Dec 31 last year. "I think [the owners are] really trying to get back to spending more time together as a family. And that's not a balance you find much in the restaurant industry. So, more power to them," explains Fredrich.

Firefly Tosa

After 20 years of business, firefly is closing under some unusual circumstances. Fredrich says, "Their landlord simply has other plans for their lease. Apparently, the story is they were going to renew long term ... they were told no, that they could not stay in this space. So, this is not a choice on the part of the owners."

Balzac Wine Bar

"Two decades ago, Milwaukee didn't really know what to do with wine bars. We still were very much a beer town. But Balzac came in and really provided this really cozy environment," says Fredrich. "They've been in the business for a very, very long time. And sometimes, the end is just the end."


Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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