Looking for a roundup of Milwaukee food and drink news? Then take a bite of our cleverly titled, bi-weekly Food/Drink Roundup! This week: A couple of East Side places closed (and another kinda-sorta closed).

• Back in January 2023, news dropped that the owner of Dries Painting & Restoration, Donald Dries, would breathe new life into a long-empty location on Oakland Avenue. Dries was set to transform the former home of Oakland Trattoria, The Black Rose Irish Pub, and a couple of pizza places, 2856 N. Oakland Ave., into Dries Ristorante and Donnie’s Pub. A proposed opening date for the new restaurant/bar was listed as March 1. Okay!

Fast forward to summer 2023, when Dries opened the dual location not as Dries Ristorante and Donnie’s Pub, but as Italian restaurant Cafe Terraza and bar Baccara. One of Dries’ painting lifts hovered above Oakland Avenue for a few weeks, announcing the big opening. Okay!

Fast forward to December 2023, and…both Cafe Terraza and Baccara are closed. Most of the signs have been removed. The interiors are empty. Dries told Urban Milwaukee that he “chose to close the businesses and negotiate out of the lease as a result of consistent noise complaints from the landlord.” Okay? [Urban Milwaukee]

• Just across the street, another dual-concept restaurant has closed. Makk’n’Cheese/Juana Taco opened at 2911 N. Oakland Ave. in December 2021, replacing Good Land Wing Co. and, before that, Cold Stone Creamery. Two years later, according to Urban Milwaukee, “the closure marks the end of an era for the macaroni and cheese concept, which once operated two locations and shared plans for future expansion.” [Urban Milwaukee]

• In more “short-lived business” news, dueling piano bar Howl At The Moon has officially closed—roughly one year after temporarily closing, and roughly two years after opening in the first place. The bar was located at 1103 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

“We want to thank each and every one of you who supported us expanding to Milwaukee, however sadly, our doors will not be reopening ,” the bar posted to Instagram. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

• And finally, in “kinda-sorta closed” news, longtime East Side jazz estate The Jazz Estate—rebranded as simply The Estate back in February 2023—has closed its doors for regular business, but will occasionally reopen for special events.

“Despite our best efforts, reopening in 2022 revealed a changed world, and unfortunately, our business didn’t pick up as expected,” owner John Dye told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We experimented with various strategies, from hosting large and small jazz groups to exploring different music genres and collaborations. Regrettably, these attempts yielded the same outcome: insufficient funds to sustain our musicians, staff, and cover the escalating costs of running a business in the face of inflation. It’s disheartening because The Estate holds a special place in the city, boasting a beautiful legacy and one of the finest rooms for live music.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

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New bar/restaurant planned for long-empty Oakland Avenue spot

The Jazz Estate will reopen in February with new cocktail program, “limited live music”

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.