New bar and cafe Aperitivo coming to Pritzlaff Building

Happy hour concept opening early next year

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A new Italian-style bar and cafe is opening soon on the ground floor of the historic Pritzlaff Building in the Third Ward.

Aperitivo is slated to open in early-to-mid January at 311 N. Plankinton Ave. The concept will focus on happy hour, serving drinks that pair well with a rotating selection of internationally inspired small plates.

The atmosphere will reflect the meaning of its name, which is an Italian ritual where people get together after the workday to enjoy drinks and food as a prelude to dinner.

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“What I’m hoping is that it becomes the place to hang out after work, that place to relax and have a couple drinks before you go home,” said Richard Kerhin.

Kerhin has teamed up with Kendall Breunig, Pritzlaff Building owner and principal of Franklin-based Sunset Investors, to operate the business. Kerhin also owns Richard’s Cafe inside The Tannery building in Walker’s Point.

The 1,600-square-foot cafe shares the building with 100 apartment units and offices and businesses on its second-floor so it was a promising site for the business, Kerhin said. It is also located along The Hop’s M-Line, with a stop adjacent to the Pritzlaff Building at West St. Paul Avenue and South 2nd Street.

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In addition to its happy hour offerings, Aperitivo will serve Milwaukee-based Valentine Coffee, espresso drinks and tea. It will also sell a selection of to-go items for breakfast and lunch.

The bar menu will include Italian craft cocktails, wine by the bottle and glass and a variety of macro and micro brews served from six draft lines.

Starting in January, Aperitivo will be operate on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving happy hour Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. It will be open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

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Aperitivo is located in inside the historic Pritzlaff Building in the Third Ward. Photo courtesy of Richard Kerhin

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