Harbor House opens at former Pieces of Eight site on the lakefront

Harbor House Restaurant, located in the former Pieces of Eight space at 550 N. Harbor Dr. on Milwaukee lakefront, opened the public last week.
The new restaurant is located between the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Cudahy and restaurateur Joe Bartolotta have partnered on the project.
“You couldn’t find a better location,” Cudahy said. “Milwaukee is a great city and we deserve a great restaurant on the lake that people will be proud to frequent.”
The restaurant menu will feature many options but have an emphasis on seafood and steaks, Bartolotta said.
“We have lots of options for diners,” Bartolotta said. “We will have a raw bar and everything from small plates and appetizers to full course meals. A variety of sandwiches will also be on the menu and you can also come in and get a burger, which I think is important.”
The restaurant is completely renovated and features a New England style, Nantucket inspired design, Bartolotta said. It features indoor dining, a private event room, and an outdoor patio space. The restaurant will be able to seat about 260 people.
“It was really a matter of fixing and reinventing the former Pieces of Eight space,” Cudahy said. “We raised the ceilings, and leveled the floors and decided early on that if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right.”
Cudahy’s lease with the Milwaukee Harbor Commission expires in 2018, Cudahy said. The future of the property beyond that is uncertain.
“We’re hoping that it becomes very popular,” Cudahy said. “So popular that people in Milwaukee will demand its presence regardless of political differences. Right now we’re scrambling to make this the best place to eat on the lakefront before 2018, if the lease gets extended beyond that, then happy day.”
The restaurant will open to the public for dinner and happy hour starting at 4 p.m. for the next few weeks, said Cynthia Johnson, Harbor House spokesperson.
Limited reservations will be accepted to allow for walk-in dining as well.
Bartolotta gift certificates will not be accepted at Harbor House because of the unique partnership with Cudahy, but the restaurant will honor Bartolotta’s reward certificates and preferred points.
To watch a video interview with Bartolotta and Cudahy click here.

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