The Clarke Irish Restaurant had
a soft opening last month. There will be a full grand
opening sometime this fall.
WAUKESHA - Irish eyes are smiling on
Less than four
months after the Milwaukee-based Harp & Eagle Limited purchased
The Clarke Hotel on West Main Street, its new Irish restaurant
is open to the public.
Harp & Eagle’s director of operations, said the restaurant had
its soft opening late last month - as did an attached bar - with
a larger grand opening planned for sometime later this fall.
“We are doing
spectacularly,” he said. “The hotel is enjoying 70 percent
occupancy rates through the summer, which is very good in this
business. The bar and restaurant have been performing as
expected. We couldn’t be happier being there.”
first few weeks, Radtke said, the restaurant has been getting 30
to 40 diners during weekday hours and another 150 to 200 on
are expected to go up even further once the restaurant begins
serving lunch on Saturday and Sunday, with Radtke adding that a
Sunday brunch may also be in the works.
Harp & Eagle Director of
Operations Dennis Radtke said The Clarke Irish Restaurant
could start offering lunch on weekends and a Sunday brunch.
said the restaurant has been packed on Friday nights
with Friday Night Live downtown and he has already
received reservations for events in the hotel’s banquet
restaurant’s menu closely resembles that of the County Clare -
another Harp & Eagle-owned restaurant in Milwaukee - and is
built around Irish-American comfort foods with items like meat
loaf, pot roast, corned beef and shepherd’s pie.
“We try to
keep our food simple - simple in ingredients, simple in design,”
said Troy Mueller, a chef at both the Clarke Hotel’s Irish
Restaurant and the County Clare. “I think that speaks a lot to
people. It is filling on the palate and it is good, quality
some restaurants will throw the word “Irish” in front of
different dishes, but don’t provide real Irish food. He said The
Clarke Hotel’s Irish Restaurant seeks to provide the most
authentic cuisine possible while still maintaining a menu which
appeals to American eaters, even going so far as to ship in some
of its meats from Ireland, such as rashers - an Irish type of
bacon more akin to a pork chop without the bone.
‘I think we do
corner the market in some ways,” Mueller said. “We do offer some
things that nobody else can offer.”
comfort food is the restaurant’s staple, Radtke said they have
“all bases covered,” offering salads, vegetarian dishes and even
All food is
fresh and made to order from scratch. And unlike The Black
Trumpet - the hotel’s previous restaurant, which Mueller said
targeted “higher-tier clientele” - anyone can have a good time
at the Irish Restaurant, he said.
“It is an
interesting location,” he said. “I think it is in the spotlight
and I think people who want to be in the spotlight will be here,
but we do open the doors for everyone.”