A New Breakfast and Lunch Café Is Coming to the East Side

Historic Downer Avenue is getting a new café.

The Original Pancake House’s departure from the East Side’s Downer Avenue (2621 N.) in January was a loss for breakfast-seeking folks. But that space won’t stay vacant for long.

A new venture called Canela Café will open this summer. Owners Dina and Ray Awadallah plan to serve breakfast and lunch, with a targeted opening of July or August. 

“Canela Café will be a place for families, young professionals and students to enjoy a breakfast, lunch or Sunday brunch in a casual, fun atmosphere on one of Milwaukee’s favorite retail streets,” said Dina, in a press release. 



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The Awadallahs have a long history in the local restaurant industry. Dina’s family once owned Omega restaurant on 27th and Morgan, and the couple’s work experience includes stints at El Beso Mexican restaurant in Greenfield and Mad Rooster Cafe on 44th and Greenfield Avenue.

The menu is still in development but diners can expect traditional breakfast and lunch items, along with some original dishes, Ray said in a phone call. 

The space will undergo a remodel that includes mural work and new furniture. 

The hours for Canela Café are expected to be daily, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.