With the grand re-opening of Milwaukee's historic Brown Bottle, a new chapter begins in the restaurant’s 76-year history.
First opened in 1938 as a meeting place for visitors at the end of brewery tours, guests today get a hefty dose of restaurant’s rich past, accentuated by modern upgrades and finishing touches, as they enjoy classic comfort foods and old world pub fare with a contemporary flair.
“Business has already been brisk as both devoted and new customers have been excited to see Brown Bottle come back to life,” says Executive Chef Ben Hudson. “Their favorite comfort foods and pub classics are here, but several dishes have a lighter, fresher spin. In addition, guests are already very appreciative that we’re paying special attention to locally sourced foods; vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options; and wholesome offerings.”
Hudson, a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, most recently worked alongside such notable executive chefs as Adam Siegel and Nick Wirth from Bacchus, a Bartalotta Restaurant in Milwaukee. In Portland, he served as head chef of the vegan restaurant and bar the Hungry Tiger Too and was sous chef at Mama Mia’s Trattoria.
Initial dinner offerings at the Brown Bottle feature starters including a Charcuteri Plate, Schlitz Mussels, and a Wisconsin Cheese Plate. Salads such as a vegan Panzanella, a Pear Salad, and an Asparagus Salad and and a selection of flatbreads, sandwiches, and burgers are available.
Main entrees include Pretzel Crusted Pork Tenderloin served with wilted chard and herbed spaetzle in a mustard cream sauce, meatloaf served with rustic style garlic mashed potatoes, broccolini, tomato jam, and topped with a mushroom gravy; and a classic Mac & Cheese featuring Wisconsin cheddar sauce and a baked garlic herb crust.
Lunch, with a full selection of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches and flatbreads, also includes new twists on classic favorites with such marquee items as the Kimchi Reuben, a vegan Mushroom Dip, and the Salmon Bowl, which features soy-glazed salmon over soba noodles.
The Brown Bottle bar, with its large TVs and variety of seating areas, serves bar bites, classic cocktails, and a wide variety of wine and beer including Schlitz and nine craft beers. Looking ahead to spring and summer, the Brown Bottle Patio Garden will offer full bar and food table service overlooking Schlitz Park’s new Brewhouse Square park.
“We want to honor Brown Bottle’s rich history while offering a more modern style of food and atmosphere in a comfortable and convenient downtown location,” says Gary Grunau, president of Schlitz Park. “Bringing the Brown Bottle back to life really fulfills the mission of the Schlitz Park area and will be a great gathering place for tenants, neighbors and the community.”