New Spanish-American restaurant Cavas will soon fill the storefront that formerly housed Batches bakery at the DoMUS Apartments building in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.
True to its name, the eatery will specialize in Spanish sparkling wine, known as cava, along with tapas and tequila, said owner Ana Docta, who hopes to open at 401 E. Erie St. in time for the holidays.
Docta has worked in the restaurant industry for 30 years, both in Brazil and in Milwaukee. Cavas will be her second Third Ward concept: she also owned Kasana, a Brazilian and Argentinian restaurant that closed in 2016.
With seating for 15 to 18 people inside the 950-square-foot space, Cavas won't be a destination for formal dining but a spot to grab a drink, quick bite or takeout.
Cavas will also have a small retail space selling wine and spirits from the menu as well as gift items.
"It's simple, but we need to attract people not just for drinking and eating because the space is tiny," she said.
Its small plate-focused menu includes lighter items like papas bravas, chips and guacamole and gazpacho along with heavier white and red meat dishes. Drinks include sangria, a take on a Bloody Mary and a spiked Mexican-style hot chocolate.
"We want to be an anchor in the neighborhood," Docta said, adding she especially hopes to attract residents who live in the DoMUS Apartments.
She approached the Mandel Group about the building's retail space after years of searching for a new restaurant location. The company immediately made an offer and voiced its support, Docta said.
The space has been vacant since Batches closed its cafe in May, saying it would shift focus to wholesale and special orders.
When Cavas opens, which depends on the city's licensing process, it will operate daily for lunch and dinner. It may eventually serve breakfast and weekend brunch "if the neighborhood supports it," Docta said.