A new eatery will bring high-end bar food, local craft brews and plenty of Milwaukee beer memorabilia to the Town of Genesee this spring.
Mark Zierath, who is the owner of Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub in downtown Milwaukee and in Wauwatosa, will open Ella's Public House in a former banquet hall, located along Highway 18 just west of Highway 83, by early May.
The restaurant will occupy 3,500 square feet of the building and, with a 30-stool bar and seating for up to 18 around its center fire pit, will offer space for a total of 150 people.
The building, which is located at W325 S1767 Mickle Road, originally housed Saxe's Dining & Baquets, and is now owned by Bill Brink, owner of Kettle Moraine Heating & Air Conditioning LLC. He purchased the building last fall about a year and a half after the building's most recent tenant, 18 West Sports Grille & Banquets, closed, Zierath said.
Brink, along with his brother-in-law Paul Bialas, author of several books about Milwaukee's beer history, renovated the building to use for Kettle Moraine Heating's warehouse, office and showroom, but decided to maintain its front bar area, kitchen and restrooms, which will soon be used for Zierath's new restaurant.
The bar menu at Ella's Public House will focus on Wisconsin-made craft beer, and a similar theme will also be reflected throughout the space.
A Cream City brick wall that was built to separate the two businesses is embedded with pre-1900s-era artifacts from Milwaukee's original breweries. In addition, the railings that were installed surrounding the fire pit are from the original Schlitz Brewery, Zierath said. The restaurant will also be decorated with Bialas' antique prints of beer-related images.
"The place will have a rich historical look to it, all related to both mine and Bialas' beer related-history and culture," he said.
Ella's will serve scratch-made elevated pub food that is "not tradition bar food," Zierath said. Along with beer, the bar will serve craft cocktails. The restaurant will feature an outdoor space with seating for 40 to 50 people and games, including volleyball, corn hole and horseshoe.
The licensing request for the restaurant will be reviewed by the town on Feb. 25, he said.