Dia y noche. Day and night. Opposite yet complementary. This is the foundational idea behind Dia y Noche, two new Latin American dining venues under the same roof, opening September in Greendale.
Located at 6601 Northway, Dia and Noche are designed to operate independently, each offering a unique dining experience. Dia will operate during the day as a cafe and bakery, featuring locally-sourced coffee and espresso, whereas Noche, operating during the evening, will be a full-service dinner restaurant.
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The unifying theme? A quarterly-rotating menu, each rendition featuring bites from a Central American country, a Caribbean country and a South American country. The rotating menus will feature native dishes, small plates and tapas, with wine pairings and cocktails at Noche.
Mike Drilling, owner of the Drilling Restaurant Group, says that the concept was born out of painstaking market research and an absence of many Latin American cuisines from the local restaurant scene.
“There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee,” says Drilling, “but there aren’t a lot of restaurants that feature Belize, or the Dominican Republic, or Haiti. Rather than taking the narrow path of being a ‘Guatemalan restaurant’ or ‘Peruvian restaurant,’ we wanted to feature all the cuisines of Latin America, but it’s impossible to do all that at once. That’s where we came up with the rotating menu, to develop and execute three nationalities at the same time, rather than trying to do dozens all at once.”
Drilling partnered with local firms Dan Beyer Architects and Braatz Building to deliver striking, dynamic atmosphere in both Dia and Noche. Dia will be bright and spacious, invoking a sunny, outdoorsy feeling, while Noche will be fiercely colorful, accented by dark walls, strings of lights a nd a whole lot of plants.
Both restaurants will offer ample outdoor seating, weather permitting. Alongside more tableside greenery, the patio spaces will feature impressive water and fire features. Outdoors or in, the ambiance is intended to give the customer the feeling that they’re dining in Latin America, even if they’re going out to eat during a cold Wisconsin spring.
“The design is such that when you come in, it will transport you to Central America, or the Caribbean,” says Drilling. “Whether you’re dining inside or outside, you’re dining in Puerto Rico.”
As a passionate Greendale resident, Drilling hopes his latest culinary endeavor will further Greendale’s reputation as an up-and-coming hotspot for dining.
“Greendale is not an easy place to get to, but it’s evolving,” says Drilling. “It’s becoming a restaurant destination. A place where people from all over Greater Milwaukee will come for a food and beverage experience.”