Plant-based Celesta Restaurant Has Closed

This delicious plant-based restaurant on Milwaukee’s East Side is now closed.

Celesta’s gluten-free flatbread topped with roasted garlic and fennel, vegan mozzarella cream sauce, olives, sunflower seeds and mint parsley oil (Photo by Chris Kessler)

I remember first discovering Melanie Manuel’s casual, flavorful plant-based cuisine when she was doing local pop-ups under the name Beatrix Foods.

She opened her brick-and-mortar East Side restaurant Celesta (1978 N. Farwell Ave., a location once occupied by Abu’s Jerusalem of the Gold) in June 2018 and now has announced, via social media, that the restaurant has closed. For those who loved her contributions to the vegan community, Manuel says she will do small events in the future.

Her post says it all better than I can. Here it is:

It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing some news with you today- Celesta Restaurant is now closed. Words cannot express my profound amazement for the support my team and I have received over the past five years- through my pop ups as Beatrix Foods, to opening the restaurant and navigating COVID, and sharing in your birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and just hopefully providing you with a nourishing meal when you needed one. I can’t thank everyone here, there are too many people that I’m beyond grateful for, but I do have to say the most unforgettable person I’ve worked with is our manager, Nina. She was behind much of our success.


But I am thrilled to announce that an incredible small business will be taking over the space very soon, one that will contribute great things to the neighborhood and community!


If you have an outstanding gift certificate, please go to our website tomorrow to see how to redeem it.


As for me, I’ll be offering some small events in the near future- dinner parties, cooking classes, and some collaborative pop ups. If you’re interested, please follow along here. Thank you again for your understanding and support!



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.