These New Dining and Drink Spots Will Define Downtown’s Riverfront

The River Center’s new dining and bar establishments are expected to roll out next year.

The hospitality group known for running the Pizza Man restaurants has a new project in the works. F Street Hospitality is partnering with Associated Bank to create a collection of dining and drinking spots at the Associated Bank River Center (aka “River Center”). The bank has been renovating the River Center complex (111 E. Kilbourn Ave.) since 2016.

The River Center complex currently houses quite a few notable businesses, including the Pabst Theater and Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel.

Vault Bar; Renderings by RINKA Architects

 

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Here are some new concepts you can expect to see, with rollout expected in spring 2023:

Toro Tacos & Bowls

Introduced at the most recent Summerfest, this Asian-Latin taqueria will serve such dishes as elote ramen bowls, Korean pork tacos with kimchi slaw, cauliflower with grilled corn, avocado and pepitas. It’s currently operating as a lunchtime popup in the River Center atrium, open Tues.-Wed. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

On Rye

The sandwich and soup shop will feature carved-to-order pastrami and corned beef on fresh bread.

KnockBox Coffee & Market

This business will serve Stone Creek Coffee, pastries and breakfast sandwiches with an emphasis on “on the go” items.

Vault Bar

Hand-crafted cocktails and “upscale” wines are part of the package at this drinking spot. The space will have a floor-to-ceiling view of the Milwaukee River, as well as outdoor seating overlooking the river.

Vault Bar Terrace; Renderings by RINKA Architects

F Street – which also operates Timmers Resort and Noble Catering and Events – designed the concepts and menus and will oversee the operation of these businesses. F Street’s executive chef, Adam Miller, was the executive chef at American Family Field and was also formerly corporate chef for Door County Brewing and Hacienda Brewing Company.

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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.