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The French bistro has closed after 19 years in business.

Coquette Cafe (Landmark Building, 316 N. Milwaukee St.), the French bistro originally founded in 1999 by then-Sanford Restaurant owners Sandy and Angie D’Amato, has permanently closed.

Nick Burki, who with chef-business partner Chris Hatleli bought the resto from the D’Amatos in 2010, left a message on the restaurant’s voicemail, saying they “had to close the restaurant for good. We apologize from the bottom of our hearts. We thank you for your patronage. We love you and we will miss you.” 

That is sad news indeed. When I reviewed Coquette shortly after its opening, Sandy talked about the space having “that glow.” For a time (2005-’09), he and Angie also operated Harlequin Bakery in the lobby area (it supplied the breads and baked goods for Coquette) of the same building. The old Harlequin spot is now the bakery counter for Holey Moley doughnut shop.

Burki and Hatleli had also taught demo-style cooking classes, some of which are still listed, into March of this year, on the restaurant’s website event calendar.  

Milwaukee Magazine review, circa April 1999

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