North Carolina chain to open restaurant in downtown Milwaukee

Tupelo Honey opening in Huron Building ground floor

A rendering of the Huron Building (Rendering: Engberg Anderson Architects)

Last updated on March 13th, 2020 at 10:48 pm

Asheville, North Carolina-based restaurant Tupelo Honey plans to move into the Milwaukee market later this year with a location inside the Huron Building, currently under construction at North Broadway and East Clybourn Street.

The southern-style restaurant and bar will occupy a 5,000-square-foot space at the northwest corner of the ground floor, and is slated to open in late 2020 or early 2021, according to a media release. Bruce Westling of Newmark Knight Frank represented building developer J. Jeffers & Co. on the deal, and Howard Zoldessy of Hatcher-Hill Brokerage was the broker for Tupelo Honey.

J. Jeffers & Co. broke ground on the $60 million project almost one year ago. The 11-story office building is anchored by law firm Husch Blackwell, which will relocate its existing Milwaukee office to 71,000 square feet on the top three floors.

“Tupelo Honey executives looked at various sites in the area, but they decided to be in the Huron Building because the location is becoming one of the most vibrant areas of downtown Milwaukee,” said Josh Jeffers, president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based J. Jeffers & Co. in a statement. “Visitors, tenants, workers and residents alike will be excited to have a quality dining option in this new building.”

The restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner. It specializes in scratch-made food and craft cocktails made with “responsibly sourced” ingredients, according to its website.

Crowd favorites on the menu include fried green tomatoes with basil, goat cheese grits and roasted red pepper coulis; “Shoo Mercy” sweet potato pancakes topped with fried chicken, bacon and fried eggs; and Tupelo Honey’s famous fried and roasted chicken.

The downtown Milwaukee restaurant will be Tupelo Honey’s 18th location. The company first opened in Asheville in 2000 and has since expanded across 11 states, including Wisconsin. It has other midwestern locations in Des Moines, Iowa and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“The area where our new restaurant will be is a prime location,” said Stephen Frabitore, CEO and owner of Tupelo Honey. “It’s at the entrance to the Historic Third Ward and directly across from the Milwaukee Public Market with easy access to The Hop streetcar. Our restaurant will add to the growing excitement that is being generated in this part of Milwaukee, and we look forward to seeing our customers enjoy our special brand of flavor.”

The restaurant will include an outdoor patio that shows off the surrounding streetscaping plan developed by the city’s Department of City Development, according to the release.

The Huron Building is nearly half leased, and the company is in active negotiations with several office and retail tenants who have expressed strong interest in the remaining space in the building, according to the release.

“The Huron Building will offer modern office and retail amenities at the intersection of Milwaukee’s Central Business District and the Historic Third Ward. From the stepped terraces to the stone façade, the building’s design will complement the surrounding area and boost an already growing area of the downtown community,” said Jeffers.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.

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