conley6.gif (2529 bytes)


A.M. to P.M.
From locally roasted coffees to the city’s tastiest craft cocktails, we’ve rounded up the best places to take you from day to night

Photos by Matt Haas

September 2015



Founded in 1999, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company,, now boasts three locations — the original roastery in Walker’s Point, a Bay View cafe and a stand-alone shop in the Milwaukee Public Market. The company roasts its beans in small batches to ensure consistent results. Hungry for more? The Bay View locale also serves up 12-inch wood-fired pizzas, each authentically Italian in their composition and preparation.

Budding entrepreneur Steve Hawthorne launched Hawthorne Coffee Roasters,, after 13-plus years spent working in the coffee industry. Together with business partner Wade Nemetz (of Milwaukee Food & City Tours), Hawthorne has increased the brand’s presence significantly. The local brew can now be found at Ardent, Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts and farmers markets in Wauwatosa and Greenfield.

Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters,, began operating in 1996 and has since opened three cafes throughout Ozaukee County. The first cafe, located in a historic 1830s cobbler’s cottage in downtown Thiensville, is just as cozy as its physical environs may suggest. Fun fact: The world "fiddlehead" refers to a fern’s young, unfurling fronds, a symbol of the company’s early beginnings and subsequent growth.

Not including Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafes,, in a local coffee roundup is the equivalent of a Wisconsinite not cheering for the Green Bay Packers — just ridiculous, plain and simple. Formerly named Alterra Coffee, Colectivo’s success story is a strong representation of our city’s commitment to supporting local business. The company currently has 12 Milwaukee area cafes and two Madison locations, recently expanding into secondary operations with the launch of Troubadour Bakery and Keg Company Beer.

Stone Creek

Valentine Coffee,, is just six years young, but its coffee can be found at restaurants throughout the city. Owners Robb Kashevarok and Joe Gilsdorf, both with a background in wine, opened a tasting room on West Vliet Street in 2013 in the same building that houses its roastery. In addition to brewed coffee and espresso, the tasting room serves up alcohol-infused libations, and many feature locally sourced ingredients like Indulgence Chocolatiers Mayan spiced cocoa and Sassy Cow whole milk.

Like Colectivo, Stone Creek Coffee Roasters,, is a Milwaukee institution, and one that continues to reinvent itself. Case in point? The company opened the area’s first and only exclusively manual brew bar cafe in 2013. Located in Walker’s Point, the cafe is integrated into 88.9 Radio Milwaukee’s performance space, so guests can not only enjoy a locally brewed cup of joe, but the chance to hear live sound sets, too.

Although Red Elephant Chocolate,, is known primarily for its sweet treats, the company also curates its own line of coffees. Both blends, an Indonesian bold and a Central American mild, aim to complement the flavors found in its bakery and confections. The company’s cafe location in the Historic Third Ward matches the brand’s playful aesthetic, artfully decked out in bold colors and cheerful decor.

Cedarburg Coffee Roastery,, has operated from its location in historic downtown Cedarburg since 1999. The company sources its beans from around the world, from Kenya and Ethiopia to Hawaii and Costa Rica. Equally delicious are its bakery items, especially the enormous cookies (an M staff favorite!).

Boone & Crockett


Boone & Crockett, an intimate Bay View lounge, boasts not only an impressive beer selection, but a plethora of handcrafted cocktails, including its best-selling old-fashioned. Barrels filled with a signature old-fashioned mix (using Korbel brandy or Old Forester bourbon) hang above the bar, and bartenders simply pour the mix into a glass from the barrel’s spout, then add soda water, sweet or sour. Plus, the bar’s patio just got a major makeover — it now features a stage for outdoor music and the city’s first on-site food truck, Gypsy Tacos. Happy hour specials run seven days a week from 4 to 7 p.m., with half-priced tap beers and $5 house cocktails.

Tucked away on quiet corner on Milwaukee’s East Side is Allium,, a teeny bar and eatery with a European flair. The menu features a series of small plates (think assorted crostini and antipasti), but it’s Allium’s uniquely crafted cocktails that attract repeat visitors. A favorite? The Double Eagle — a combination of Eagle Rare bourbon, aged Malmsey wine, Fernet Branca liqueur and Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters.

Now a Bay View mainstay, Goodkind,, focuses just as much on its food menu as its cocktail menu — often a rarity in the culinary world. Cocktail ingredients change seasonally, and bartenders and servers alike are well-versed in food/drink pairings. A large bar populates the center of the restaurant, and the kitchen serves a full food menu until 1 a.m. daily, reinforcing its commitment to embracing bar culture.


The Lowlands Group (of Cafe Hollander fame) sold Trocadero,, to a new ownership group late last year, and the group wasted little time, rolling out a new cocktail and food menu by February. Although the restaurant’s relaxed, French bistro-inspired vibe still holds true, its craft cocktail menu is a bit more refined, and drink names cleverly incorporate their ingredients. A cocktail dubbed "Inappropriate Thyming," for example, is a sweet yet suitably sour mix of Aperol, fresh thyme, honey, lemon and champagne.

Wauwatosa’s Firefly Urban Bar & Grill,, is split into two distinct halves — the front half is the primary restaurant space, a more family-friendly atmosphere, and the back half opens into a swanky bar/lounge, evoking a big city feel. Bartenders serve an assortment of craft cocktails, including seasonal variations of the classic old-fashioned and "skinny" versions of tried-and-true favorites. Happy hour specials offered daily.

Similar to many downtown restaurateurs, Lee Guk of Lucky Joe’s Tiki Lounge in Walker’s Point and his business partners chose Wauwatosa as the location for their second endeavor — Lucky Joe’s Alchemy & Eatery, The speakeasy-style bar and restaurant opened its doors in late July, replacing the former One Way Cafe. Ornate chandeliers, embossed ceiling tiles and Cream City brick walls add to its 1920s-era ambiance.


This story ran in the September 2015 issue of: