Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:22 pm
The former Rosati’s space at the corner of Farwell and North avenues on Milwaukee’s East Side will be redeveloped into a food hall featuring multiple micro-restaurants.
Building owner and developer New Land Enterprises announced plans for the 7,000-square-foot space at 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Wednesday.
The project, dubbed Crossroads Collective is scheduled to open in October.
“Once Rosati’s failed, we understood the need for a thoughtful concept and execution,” said Tim Gokhman, director at New Land Enterprises. “A 7,000-square-foot restaurant requires an experienced operator.”
Rosati’s closed in March 2017.
Gokhman said he met with several restaurant owners, but couldn’t find the right partner who shared his vision. A few people mentioned the concept of a food hall to Gokhman and after researching the idea, he decided to move forward with the concept.
The food hall will feature six to seven vendors. Some of the vendors will be start-ups, others will be opening a second or third location, Gokhman said. All will be a “micro-restaurant.”
The vendors will be carefully chosen, creating a unique and vibrant atmosphere for the collective space, Gokhman said.
Additionally, the space will feature a main bar, as well as a speakeasy accessible only from Black Cat Alley, located in a secret space inside the food hall.
The development team will begin interviewing vendors in coming weeks. In the meantime, the former Rosati’s kitchen will be reconfigured and vendor stalls will be designed.
Food halls have gained popularity across the country. Gokhman said while some people will imagine Eataly in Chicago, or the Milwaukee Public Market, neither will be similar to Crossroads, which will have six to seven vendors each individually operated.
Crossroads is also much smaller and maximizes efficiency by sharing cooking, prep, cold and dry storage, as well as beverage service, in a commissary style kitchen, Gokhman said.
This brings each vendor’s startup costs, traditionally in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, down significantly, and also creates some efficiencies in operating costs, Gokhman said
The Crossroad Collective development team includes Gokhman and Ardent’s Justin Carlisle and Dan Frame who will manage the food hall.
Carlisle is also opening two restaurants in New Land’s new residential tower under construction on Farwell.
New Land Enterprises had been focused on the city’s East Side recently signing leases with Axe MKE , Milwaukee’s first axe throwing bar and Sip & Purr, Milwaukee’s first cat café.