Milwaukee entrepreneur and developer Michael Vitucci is cooking up two new restaurant concepts for his building along North Murray Avenue on Milwaukee's east side, TODAY'S TMJ4's business partner the
Milwaukee Business Journal
Vitucci — who also owns Caffrey's Pub, Murphy's Irish Pub, The Belmont Tavern and Whiskey Bar in Milwaukee — will open up a new restaurant called Izzy Hops Swig and Nosh at 2311 N. Murray Ave.
in the space formerly home to the bar Rascals
that closed earlier this spring. He also has secured a new restaurant from the owners of Kawa Japanese Restaurant in Glendale for the storefront two doors down in the same building. That eatery, called Kawa Ramen and Sushi, will be located in the 2,400-square-foot space formerly home to The Winchester bar at 2321 N. Murray Ave.
Milwaukee Business Journal
reports the space that will house the new restaurants will undergo considerable renovations over the next few months, with the dining spots likely up and running by August, he said.
Recently, several notable east side businesses have closed, including
G-Daddy's BBC Grill
and others. For that reason, Vitucci said it was important to him that the tenants that filled his building had to boast a quality dining component. Residents on the east side are looking for more than just a place to get a drink, said Vitucci, and he believes both Kawa and Izzy Hops will fill that need.
"I didn’t want an establishment that just served liquor," he said. "I had many people inquire about the spaces. But it appears that, in this neighborhood, the bars that closed didn't really serve food."
So Vitucci decided to open up Izzy Hops, which will have both a nightlife and culinary component.
Situated in 1,200 square feet of space, the restaurant will be a gastropub that serves shareable plates and dishes such as shrimp-stuffed wontons, sliders, eggplant parmesan paninis, and pizzas, salads and soups. Vitucci said he has partnered with the restaurant Divino Wine & Dine — which is nestled between what will be Izzy Hops and Kawa — to help craft the menu and manage the culinary options of Izzy Hops.
The bar will boast more than 40 taps of beer and feature flights of brew and bourbon. Vitucci said he expects to host DJs and live music performances on select nights at the establishment.
"The neighborhood is changing," Vitucci said. "We have 300 to 400 apartments over there and another hundred are going to come. And we feel that the neighborhood is looking for more an experience and I think we're going to deliver that product on our street for sure."
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