Thomas Hauck, James Beard-nominated chef and former owner of recently closed c.1880, has been hired by Milwaukee’s Lowlands Group to serve as its new culinary director. Hauck will oversee the menus of Lowlands’ restaurant concepts, which include Café Hollander, Café Benelux, Café Centraal, and Café Bavaria.

A full press release is below:


Milwaukee, WI – May 2, 2018 – The Lowlands Group today announces that they have hired Thomas Hauck to lead the group’s culinary program and oversee the menus of their four concepts, which include Café Hollander, Café Benelux, Café Centraal and Café Bavaria.

Chef Hauck most recently owned and operated c.1880 in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood before closing the restaurant on April 28. Hauck operated c.1880 for over six years and earned numerous accolades along the way, including multiple nominations for the James Beard Foundation award in the “Best Chef: Midwest” category.

“We’re really excited to have Thomas join us,” said Dan Herwig, director of brand and marketing at Lowlands Group. “We totally respect everything he’s done to elevate Milwaukee’s dining scene over the past few years and hope his creativity and high standards have an even broader reach through joining Lowlands.”

While Hauck will be joining the group in late May, Lowlands doesn’t anticipate making major menu changes in the immediate future. Hauck will spend his first few months learning the group’s culture, developing relationships with the culinary staff and conducting research for upcoming menus, which will include a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands in September.

“Thomas spent years working in France, which shares lots of DNA with the Lowlands, especially Belgium.” says Herwig. “Not all of our staff has had that opportunity, so every year we send a group to Europe to experience the Dutch and Belgian culture that inspires our cafés. We have a crew of over twenty Lowlanders going this year to research food, beer and design which will inform our menus for the fall and the following spring.”

“Closing c.1880 was one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make,” said Hauck. “But joining Lowlands was one of the easiest. I like the people, I like the culture, and I’m excited about the direction we’re taking the culinary program.”