Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern ‒ which opened this week in Brewers Hill (234 E. Vine St.) ‒ has been one of those 2018 longed-for debuts. For lots of diners, especially those familiar with this sweet 1902 brick building in Brewers Hill (across the street from the old Wolf Peach, now View MKE).
Owners Wolfgang and Whitney Schaefer slowly turned around the building they own to become a mixed-use space, opening Whitney’s shop Orange and Blue Co., which carries jewelry, textiles, clothing and such by local women makers, in 2017. As the restaurant construction continued, they hosted pop-ups earlier this year at Amilinda and other spots, testing out the menu that’s a breakfast-lunch dish amalgam.
The breakfast portion features a breakfast burrito, three kinds of eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, PB&J French toast, johnny cakes with butter and syrup, a sweet potato and chorizo omelet and pulled pork tostada ($7-$18). Lunchy items: a BLT salad, a “breaky” burger with an egg on it, loaded fries, and a sandwich called the griddled cheese Kessler ‒ two cheeses and beer-cheese sauce on a hoagie ($8-$15).
That griddled sandwich is inspired by Anodyne Coffee’s wholesale operations director Steve Kessler. Wolfgang is Anodyne’s former coffee education guy, and he and Kessler are friends. And… Kessler loves their grilled cheese, so there you go. Plus, the house coffee roaster is Anodyne.
Head cheffing duties belong to Joe Singer, whose gigs include Bass Bay Brewhouse and Blue’s Egg.
The restaurant is more than physically connected to a local lady maker’s shop. When there’s a wait for seating, diners can browse in Orange and Blue without walking outside and entering through a separate door. There’s direct access. The dining room also incorporates pieces by the local lady makers that Orange and Blue is carrying (or has carried), such as cushion fabric by Madam Chino, and espresso mugs by Covet & Ginger.
Uncle Wolfie’s hours: Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat-Sun 8 a.m.-3 p.m.