Looking for some quick, delicious, and easy-to-digest Milwaukee restaurant news? Well, look no further. Wednesday morning at a city Licenses Committee meeting, three notable restaurants were given the green light. Expect these new ventures to open soon…


In early January, news broke that East Side Italian restaurant Divino Wine & Dine, 2315 N. Murray Ave., would close at the end of the month. (Divino opened in 2012, replacing Palermo Villa.) A few days later, new owners Peter Dietrich and Derek Nackers announced they would quickly bring a new restaurant to the space: Tavolino.

An OnMilwaukee piece notes that “the new menu will be more focused on modern Italian food and a bit less on the Italian-American classics.” Still, many things will remain the same (including the old Palermo Villa pizza recipe). At Wednesday’s meeting, Dietrich explained that changes to the restaurant will be fairly minimal. “We are not planning to change hours of operation,” he said. “We are not planning to change the interior of the restaurant, for the most part.”

Alderman Nik Kovac, chair of the Licenses Committee, praised the new venture. “It certainly sounds like exactly the kind of place that will continue the legacy that [Divino owner] Dean [Cannestra] started there on Murray Avenue,” Kovac said. “I look forward to it.”

OnMilwaukee adds that “the new owners hope to do a quick turnaround and have Tavolino ready to open by March 1, assuming all goes according to plan.”


New York-style bagels and various “noshes” are coming to Walker’s Point. Sometime in March, Staci Lopez and Ben Nerenhausen plan to open Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette in the former home of Drink Wisconsinbly and Blue Jacket, 135 E. National Ave. An OnMilwaukee piece notes that “the new breakfast, lunch and brunch spot aims to offer a taste of the East Coast sprinkled with global flavors and the creativity and technical expertise which comes from years of work in finer dining.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, Nerenhausen explained that Allie Boy’s (named for Lopez’s father, Allen) will specialize in things like bagel sandwiches, small noshes, baked items, cream cheese schmears, and smoked fish platters. Beer and wine will also be available. As for the hours, the couple expects to be open 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“The concept is really an amalgamation of flavors inspired by New York as well as Ben’s background,”Lopez told OnMilwaukee in January. (Growing up, Nerenhausen spent time in Pakistan and Cairo, Egypt.) “So, we’re really capitalizing on the Old World deli concept which is really familiar and resonates with people, and also offering nods to the Middle East. It’s about finding a sense of home within the food.”


Back in January, we told you about Mobay Cafe, a new “full-service, sit-down Caribbean restaurant” coming to the former Cocina and Chez Jacques space at 1022 S. 1st St. Today, Jamaican-born owner Nadine Dixon confirmed those plans, calling her upcoming venture a “West Indies Caribbean restaurant.”

A sample menu included with the restaurant’s license application features dishes like jerk chicken, curry chicken, and brown stew chicken. Jerk chicken is also available in sandwich and wrap form. Other items include curried goat, oxtail, brown stew fish, grilled shrimp, Jamaican greens, and jerk salmon. Side items include banana pancakes, mac and cheese, steamed cabbage, and fried dumplings. Red Stripe, Dragon Stout, and Kalik highlight the beer selection.

Alderman José G. Pérez, whose district includes the Mobay location, testified in favor of the restaurant. “I met with the applicant and we’re excited that she’s coming to the neighborhood,” he said.

A tentative opening date is listed as March 20.

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