Bartolotta announces reopening plans for Harbor House, Mr. B’s in Brookfield

Follows reopening of Ristorante Bartolotta last month

Custom-made dividers separate tables at Harbor House. Photo credit: The Bartolotta Restaurants

Last updated on August 14th, 2020 at 02:36 pm

The Bartolotta Restaurants is moving forward with its phased reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Milwaukee-based restaurant operator announced Thursday that Harbor House in downtown Milwaukee will reopen on Thursday, Aug. 20, and Mr. B’s – A Bartolotta Steakhouse in Brookfield will reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 2. 

Currently, Ristorante Bartolotta in Wauwatosa is the only Bartolotta restaurant that has resumed operations since all 17 locations temporarily shut down earlier this year in response to the coronavirus.

In addition, Bartolotta’s has held social events and weddings at a few of its reopened catering venues, including Discovery World and Peck & Bushel, along with catering events at Harbor House in the Captain’s Room.

This next phase of reopening builds off the success of the past month at Ristorante, the company said in a news release. The traditional Italian restaurant reopened July 8 with a number of new health and safety protocols and expanded outdoor seating on its new La Terrazza.

“After taking several months to review our approach to everything from safety to service, we are pleased to continue a careful, yet exciting, and thoughtful reopening process,” said chef and owner Paul Bartolotta. 

Harbor House will reopen with an updated menu, focusing on New England seafood dishes. Its indoor dining room will host live jazz performances by the Mark Davis Duo from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 

Jazz pianist Mark Davis, founder of the Milwaukee Jazz Institute and a graduate of the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music, has performed in the city for more than 30 years.

“We have taken the deliberate step to reopen restaurants with outdoor experiences – not just to create privacy and physical distance, but also so that our guests can enjoy our beautiful Milwaukee summers,” said Bartolotta. 

The interior of the restaurant has been updated with custom dividers between tables, palm trees and flowers and redesigned floors. 

Harbor House will be open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m.; for lunch Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and for Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an a la carte menu. 

Mr. B’s will reopen with its signature menu and a redecorated patio, which includes an external fireplace, new linens and greenery. Custom-made dividers have also been added to the interior dining room. 

“Indoors and outdoors, guests will feel a sense of familiarity consistent with that of a high-end steakhouse, while acknowledging the upgrades we have made in the name of safety and public health,” said Bartolotta.

Mr. B’s will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. Diners with reservations after 8:30 p.m. can order wine for half off. 

As part of The Bartolotta Restaurants’ new safety measures, diners are required to wear face masks when entering the building and seated while interacting with staff, who are also required to be masked. Diners must also place reservations and will be subject to temperature checks upon entry.

Reservations are required and turn times are kept to about 90 minutes. Touchless payment options and QR codes for viewing menus digitally are also available.

The company said it submitted its COVID-19 safety plan to the City of Milwaukee Health Department early on, which enables bars and restaurants to operate without capacity limits, if approved.

“Nonetheless, The Bartolotta Restaurants will continue to operate at 50 percent capacities out of an abundance of caution to ensure high standards of social distancing,” the company said. 

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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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