A New Vegan Restaurant Is Coming to the East Side

The Lafayette Place will pick up where the shuttered Celesta left off.

The owners of The National in Walker’s Point are working on their second restaurant, a plant-based operation they’re calling The Lafayette Place (1978 N. Farwell Ave.). Like its predecessor in that space, Celesta, its focus will serve plant-based cuisine, offered for breakfast, lunch and brunch. Co-owner Angie Wierzbinski says they’re hoping to open in early to mid-October.

I peered in the windows the other day and the new joint is starting to take shape. Wierzbinski’s description of “putting our own spin on the place” refers to cosmetic upgrades like new tile on the walls and bar, new woodwork in the bathroom, fresh artwork and hanging plants.

In terms of food, they plan to do a few crossover items from The National, like a full English breakfast, the difference being that it will be vegan. Its components would include tofu scramble, potatoes, baked beans, Impossible sausage, grilled Roma tomato, Portobello mushrooms and toast. The brunch menu will have a variety of burritos (for example, one made with house-made vegan chorizo, chopped hashbrown patties, chipotle cream, pico de gallo, peppers and onions and shredded vegan cheese), breakfast sandwiches such as a bagel sandwich with spicy tumeric tofu “egg,” Impossible breakfast sausage, vegan cheese, sliced tomatoes, avocado and garlic mayo.

And for lunch, the offerings will stay short and focused to begin with, Wierzbinski says. They’ll do a veggie melt with roasted carrots, red peppers, Portobellos, shaved Brussels sprouts, onions and melted vegan cheese with a chipotle sauce on toasted sourdough. The National’s popular Chorizo Joe sandwich (made from soy chorizo) will be on The Lafayette Place’s menu as well. Down the line, they’ll expand the lunch options and offer a weekly soup and some salads. 

Tentative hours are Thursday-Sunday 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., with the potential of expanding the days of operation in spring of 2022. 

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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.