A new restaurant and a tenant for a Milwaukee space that’s been vacant for two years? Sounds like a win-win. Chicago’s Avli is opening a contemporary Greek restaurant – the company owns several spots in the state south of us – in the former home of View MKE (1818 N. Hubbard St.), probably better known as the former Wolf Peach and Roots Restaurant and Cellar. View MKE closed in 2020. The new establishment is targeted for a spring 2023 opening.
The restaurant slated for Milwaukee sounds like a sizable departure from the casual style of Greek dining available here. The Avli restaurants have a well-defined ethos, as described in its press materials: “Paying homage to Greek traditions and mythology, Avli restaurants evoke philoxenia, a welcoming of strangers and an eagerness to show hospitality; present meraki, putting the best of one’s self into work; and offer the experience of kefi, living life joyfully.” The Milwaukee restaurant will be Avli’s first outside the Chicago market.
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Dishes you may see on the menu include the more familiar Greek salad, chicken souvlaki and spinach pie, and lesser known items like kataifi prawns, which are wrapped in phyllo dough and served with spicy mayo and Greek yogurt sauce. Possible cocktails include Trellis (fig-infused rye whiskey, Metaxa brandy, Roots Tentura tea bitters and Ouzo rinse) and Teach Me to Dance, which features vodka infused with Greek mountain tea, bergamot, orange, thyme, honey and lemon juice.
I’m told design inspiration for the new establishment will come from “summers in Greece.” That two-level space, with larger outdoor patio, also offers a spectacular view of the Milwaukee skyline.
Avli’s founding partners are veteran Greek restaurateur Louie Alexakis, Chicago sportscaster Lou Canellis and investor William V. Glastris, Jr.