Bacchus to reopen Sept. 16 after interior renovation, menu revamp

Project reflects vision of late co-founder Joe Bartolotta

Paul Bartolotta and Joe Bartolotta

The Bartolotta Restaurants‘ fine dining eatery Bacchus will reopen its doors to the public Monday with a new look and menu.

The Milwaukee-based restaurant group spent the past two months renovating the bar-restaurant and conservatory space, which has operated for 15 years on the ground floor of Cudahy Tower in downtown Milwaukee.

Bacchus’ dining area now dons new flooring, furnishings and wall fixtures as well as new lighting and an overhead skylight window, giving the space a brighter appearance. Its bar and bar back areas were also refurbished and expanded to connect with the dining area.

The renovation was the brainchild of Bartolotta Restaurants co-founder Joe Bartolotta, who passed away in April. The company said the project was one of his last endeavors.

“My brother envisioned Bacchus as a restaurant for all occasions, not just special occasions,” said Paul Bartolotta, co-founder and chef. “He wanted to create a vibrant environment that complements the incredible energy of our guests, and we are extremely excited to reintroduce the restaurant, and the result will be a new Bacchus experience that will stand as a testimony to his life and legacy. I can speak for the team when I say the entire Bartolotta team is focused on making him proud.”

Milwaukee-based Kahler Slater headed the project’s architecture and design.

Bacchus’ new seasonal, farm-to-table-style menu takes a more modern and progressive approach to fine dining, said executive chef Nick Wirth. It includes local favorites such as Roasted Venison Loin, Wagyu Flat Iron Steak, and a 20 oz. Prime Chateaubriand for two, but it also introduces new new vegetarian items and a locally sourced cheese selection.

The restaurant will soon unveil a new tasting room in what was previously known as the Lakeview Dining Room, according to the announcement.

“We’re so fortunate that our guests have embraced the diversity of our menus,” Wirth said. “Whether it’s Italian, French, or Vietnamese, it gives us culinary license, the freedom, so to speak, to elevate our cooking using classic as well as modern techniques, and create what I call full-bodied, big flavored dishes.”

Beginning Monday, Bacchus is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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