Chicago-based Gemma Foods to open restaurant at Pilot Project Milwaukee


Pilot Project Brewing has named the company that will open a restaurant within Milwaukee Brewing Company’s old 9th Street facility in downtown Milwaukee. Pilot Project acquired both the 1128 N. 9th St. facility and the Bottle House 42 restaurant there in September.

Tony Quartaro

Chicago-based Gemma Foods, a fresh pasta company led by award-winning chef Tony Quartaro, is collaborating with Pilot Project to open a new Milwaukee location in the Bottle House 42 space.

Quartaro has previously worked at The Bristol, Balena, and Formento’s, where he won Chicago’s Jean Banchet Award for Best Chef in 2016. Quartaro founded Gemma Foods in 2020 and opened its first official location in February 2022, followed by a second kitchen in TimeOut Market Chicago in July 2022.

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“Having witnessed Pilot Project’s mission come to life over the last few years has been nothing short of inspiring,” said Quartaro. “They champion up-and-coming brands and create opportunities for them to flourish—something they’ve now given to us. ‘Gemma Foods x Pilot Project’ plans to extend beyond our existing offerings with a menu that is memorable, thoughtful, bold, and remains true to our style where the focus is always on flavor.”

Gemma Foods will create an exclusive spin-off menu at Pilot Project Milwaukee featuring elevated brewery classics with a Gemma Foods touch. Offerings will include garlic pretzel bread, beef tartare toast, seasonal flatbreads and a chicken parmesean sandwich.

Dan Abel, co-founder and CEO of Pilot Project, told BizTimes Media in September the Gemma Foods x Pilot Project menu will include both Milwaukee and Chicago classics.

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Pilot Project’s mission is to foster experimental and small-batch brewing. The company’s Chicago location, established in 2019, offers breweries assistance in fine-tuning recipes, production, scaling, business development, marketing, distribution and more. Pilot Project plans to launch between five to 10 new brands annually.

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