Duck has made a splash on the city’s culinary scene ever since it
opened in 2012. The Bay View restaurant, 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is
noted for an ever-changing menu that emphasizes fresh local produce,
meats and dairy products. Innovative dishes vary almost day-to-day in
small plates or standard entrées.
atmosphere makes patrons feel comfortable, whether they be vegan,
vegetarian or omnivore. Subsequently, a sample menu might include
short rib bourguignon, a Goan seafood curry and a creative arugula
Bachhuber admits that one has to be "a little bit odd" to be
in this business. "The work is physically and mentally intense,
but if you have a clear vision and surround yourself with good people
that care, customers will respond."
co-owner Melissa Buchholz agrees: "I guess we see restaurants
differently than most people. We see this as a relationship, between
us and our clientele. For us, it is not about advancing our vision, or
creating one perfect dish or trying to make everyone happy. We want to
be a place that you trust."
used to call her little sister "Odd Duck" so the partners
thought the name summed up their personalities and business idea so it
The couple met
about five years ago while working with the Lowlands Group. Buchholz
now runs the front end/service, plus supervising the beverage
selections. Bachhuber handles the kitchen/food end. Naturally, they
both do everything else, a nonstop effort to get the place open every
day. True to their love of real food, the couple have a seasonal
vegetable and herb garden on the restaurant’s backyard patio.
The two live
happily in the neighborhood. That said, they looked for nearly
two-and-a-half years all over Milwaukee before settling on their
current location. Although the two designed the place mostly on their
own, architect Todd Ovard helped out. With the aid of Bachhuber’s
carpenter brother-in-law, the pair did the grunt work.
restaurant basically kind of looks like an extension of our house.
Which is cool with us, says Bachhuber. "The kitchen … oh, the
kitchen. It is small, but we choose to see that as a challenge as
opposed to an obstacle," he chuckles.