Details unveiled for R1VER restaurant

Rendering of the location for The Bridgewater Modern Grill, Benson's Restaurant Group's new concept at the R1VER campus. Credit: Rinka Architecture
Rendering of the location for The Bridgewater Modern Grill, Benson's Restaurant Group's new concept at the R1VER campus. Credit: Rinka Architecture

Last updated on June 29th, 2022 at 05:49 pm

The riverfront restaurant that Benson’s Restaurant Group will open in the R1VER development in Milwaukee’s Harbor District will be called The Bridgewater Modern Grill and will open this fall, according to an announcement Tuesday.

R1VER is a mixed-use development, which includes office space and apartments, led by Brownsville-based infrastructure construction company Michels Corp. It is located northwest of South 1st Street and West Becher Street, along the Kinnickinnic River. Michels has its Milwaukee office in the complex.

Benson’s, formerly known as Hospitality Democracy, first announced plans for the restaurant at R1VER in January.

The restaurant will seat over 165 people inside and will have a private dining area seating up to 30 people.

On the outside, the restaurant will have a 245-foot-long riverside patio overlooking the Kinnickinnic River with access to the public RiverWalk. The patio will have seating for 80 for bar and dining seating, with soft seating, fire tables and cocktail service. There will also be a 1,300-square-foot lawn.

The outdoor area will be heated for three-season use and be served by a center stage indoor/outdoor bar. There will also be ten boat slips for drive up service.

“The Bridgewater Modern Grill’s full concept is coming to life,” said David Marcus, CEO of Benson’s Restaurant Group. “The restaurant will offer an experience unlike any other in the area. While it’ll have an upscale, inviting atmosphere, it’s not just for special occasions. With the combination of indoor/outdoor dining, there is space for everyone -– whether celebrating an engagement or graduation, or just looking for a place to grab good food or a drink on the river. We’ve created an unparalleled experience that is going to be the coolest spot on the river. Boaters are likely going to see a lot of activity here in the next few months as we begin preparing the space. This will hopefully add to the anticipation for what is to come once we open.”

The restaurant is being built in raw space beneath R1VER’s Tribute apartments on the east side of the campus. The construction on those apartments was recently completed and are now leasing.

Benson’s Restaurant Group is working with Milwaukee-based RINKA on the design of the restaurant.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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