Eat West Allis is Bringing Milwaukee’s Foodie Revolution West

Sep. 1, 2016
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Photo by Lauren Kirsch

It’s no secret that Milwaukee has recently undergone a foodie revolution, with new restaurants and shops springing up wherever you turn your head. Walker’s Point and Bay View have been the most outwardly celebrated neighborhoods of Milwaukee’s culinary renaissance, but an unsung hero has quietly been emerging to the west. 

"Over the past few years West Allis has seen an explosion of new, unique restaurants open up,” says West Allis Mayor Dan Devine. “What is really unique is that so many of them are run by West Allis residents that have invested in the community and recognized the cool vibe that is developing here."

Eat West Allis is a consortium of unique owner/operator dining and specialty businesses that vary from storied institutions with decades of history to new upstarts looking to redefine the neighborhood. Originally formed by West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe owner Mark Lutz, the collective is banding together to capitalize on the revitalization of the city, while providing a meaningful and specialized experience to residents.

“(Forming Eat West Allis) was a way to bring attention to the food scene in West Allis,” says Lutz. “It’s a way to collectively get the word out. We are all owner operators; none of us are managed by a large restaurant group. It is truly an eat local mentality and approach.” 

The diverse list of participating establishments include: West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe, Freese’s Candy, Kegel’s Inn, Antigua, Chef Paz, Corvina Wine Shop, Double B’s, Twisted Bistro, Urban Joe Café, Crawdaddy’s, Kabob’s, Aggie’s Bakery and The Farmer’s Wife which will open this fall near the West Allis Farmer’s Market.

An interesting initiative these restaurants recently got together to host was the “Dine and Dash” team eating competition, which was held on Saturday, May 21 around West Allis. 

39 teams of five people each made their way through each of the Eat West Allis affiliated shops and completed various eating challenges. This indulgent trek included eating a dozen raw oysters at Crawdaddy’s or an entire rack of ribs at Double B’s.

Teams paid $50 to participate, with all proceeds going to the West Allis neighborhood food pantry. The event raised nearly $1,000 for the food pantry.

As West Allis continues to build a reputation as a food and entertainment destination, bigger players in the industry have begun to take notice. The Mandel Group will begin construction on a $62 million apartment, office and retail space near the West Allis Farmer’s Market in the fall.

This space, which will reportedly house a brew pub, specialty grocery store and restaurants, along with the efforts put forth by Eat West Allis, will further solidify West Allis’ position in the foodie world.

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