Hawthorne Coffee Roasters and Iron Grate BBQ Co. to Share South Side Building

The space will offer an intriguing model of two separate businesses — coffee and BBQ — operating in one building.

Coffee and Barbecue, a match made on the South Side. Coffee roaster Steve Hawthorne and chef Aaron Patin are pooling their disparate talents to open two businesses in one 8,000-square-foot space, 4177 S. Howell Ave. For Hawthorne, that is Hawthorne Coffee Roasters’ new headquarters and café. For Patin, it will be the home of Iron Grate BBQ Co., a restaurant built on the work of his 500-gallon, hand-built, wood-fired smoker – which, as we speak, sits on the patio of said property (former home of the Shiver Me Timbers restaurant).  Hawthorne, who formerly worked for Stone Creek Coffee Roasters, will specialize in drinks made from its single-origin coffee beans (also a selection of local baked goods). He hopes to open in early November. For more info on Hawthorne’s coffees – which Hawthorne and business partner Wade Nemetz founded in 2014 – click here.

Patin – a chef at Ardent (1751 N. Farwell Ave.) – will form his menu around the output of Edna (the name for his smoker), which was constructed from mostly recycled materials. He plans to use a pork rib with attached-belly, a combo he calls the Milwaukee rib. The one sauce to be served at Iron Grate is “designed for and marries well with the meat,” says Patin. It’s a sauce that balances flavor and viscosity, he says, and will be used as a finishing seasoning and to enhance the sides, among other things. Patina also smokes the cider vinegar (a component in the sauce). His resto – to open Fridays-Sundays only, beginning in roughly mid-November — will also serve beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked hot links, and a range of sides.

For this dine-in and takeout operation, he plans simple counter-service using paper products and cafeteria trays. For now, the beverage plan is soft drinks, iced tea – and of course, Hawthorne coffee, if desired. The teams behind both businesses are working on the interior remodel.

As mentioned, Iron Grate BBQ will be open Fridays-Sundays, with anticipated hours of 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Hawthorne Coffee’s hours will be Tuesdays-Sundays, roughly 6 a.m.-noon.

More info to come.





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.