Four Milwaukee restaurants under the Hospitality Democracy banner—Onesto, Smoke Shack, AJ Bombers, and Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria—have reopened to dine-in service. But, like Lakefront Brewery, there are a host of new rules and restrictions in place in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Read all about ’em in the press release below:


MILWAUKEE (June 10, 2020) — After critical discussions and intensive health and safety training for the entire staff, Hospitality Democracy downtown restaurants have re-opened for dine-in and outdoor seating as of Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Hospitality Democracy will also continue carryout and delivery services.


Hospitality Democracy has put robust health and safety measures in place to confidently and effectively re-open the restaurants for dine-in services. Before returning to work, every Hospitality Democracy staff member is required to complete new procedural training and pass a protocol evaluation test. Hospitality Democracy’s new service strategy includes:

• Staff pre-shift health checks prior to entering the restaurant’s public spaces.

• All team members are required to wear appropriate facemasks at all times and have been thoroughly trained on proper glove and mask use.

• All indoor and outdoor seating is appropriately distanced to abide by social distancing recommendations and capacity regulations.

• All cleaning procedures have been expanded, taking special care to ensure all tables, seats, and surfaces are properly disinfected before and after every use.

• Where applicable, Hospitality Democracy has substituted multi-use condiment bottles for single-use packets or individual ramekins.

• Staff hand washing requirement frequency has been increased and is regulated by timers at all hand washing stations.

• Hospitality Democracy has implemented additional sanitation processes that exceed Milwaukee Health Department required frequency for food prep utensils, surfaces, and dishes.

• Hand sanitizer is available upon entry and at every table of the restaurants for all guests.

• All menus have transitioned to single use and are also available online to help reduce waste.

Hospitality Democracy asks for the following commitment from their patrons:

• All guests are requested to wear a face covering when entering the restaurant and any time they are not at their table to help protect other patrons and the staff.

• Reservation preferred dine-in services are now available at all Hospitality Democracy restaurants. Reservations can be made on each restaurant website directly.

• One member of each party will be required to provide contact information either via the online reservation system or at our host stand.

• In an effort to streamline traffic flow, parties will not be seated at their table until all guests are present.


221 N Broadway, Milwaukee’s Third Ward

Onesto has introduced a new walk-up window, Onesto Piccino Café. Onesto’s window cafe opens at 7 a.m. daily, providing delicious coffee, espresso, scratch made pastries and takeaway lunch options for guests in the Third Ward. The Onesto Piccino Café is proudly serving Valentine Coffee and baked goods from sister restaurant, Holey Moley.

“With the ongoing operational changes we’re making due to COVID-19, we realized the opportunity, and need, for takeaway options in the Third Ward that don’t require guests to enter the restaurant,” says Maddie Seymour, Director of Marketing. “We’ve been overwhelmed with the response to our window café this week and it’s been energizing to build an additional revenue stream for three local businesses: Onesto, Valentine Coffee, and Holey Moley. We have plans to expand the concept as the Third Ward’s walking traffic and office buildings begin to cautiously return.”

Onesto is open 7 days a week. Onesto’s hours are: Piccino Café 7 a.m. – 2 p.m., Restaurant dine-in 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

332 N Milwaukee St., Milwaukee’s Third Ward

Smoke Shack’s newest venture includes a virtual kitchen, Smokin’ Wings. Smokin’ Wings is a pickup and delivery only concept, serving cage-free, hormone-free chicken wings that are slow smoked and fried crispy. The menu includes traditional wings, boneless wings, scratch-made sauces, and desserts.

“If delivery and pickup wasn’t a part of everyone’s eating habits before, it certainly is now,” shares Chris Adams, Vice President of Operations and Development. “This is an opportunity for us to expand our takeout and delivery options out of the Smoke Shack kitchen, while still offering our Milwaukee BBQ for dine-in and carryout.”

Smoke Shack has also expanded their dine-in reservation options to both indoor and outdoor seating, directly on the website. The Milwaukee BBQ joint will continue to operate carryout, delivery and catering services. Smoke Shack is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

1247 N Water St., Downtown Milwaukee

AJ Bombers is now accepting dine-in reservations. AJ Bombers has expanded their outdoor seating options to accommodate guests who are not yet comfortable dining in. They will continue to operate carryout, delivery and catering services. AJ Bombers is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

249 N Water St., Milwaukee’s Third Ward

Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria is now accepting dine-in reservations. The Blue Bat Kitchen outdoor seating options have expanded. They will continue to operate carryout, delivery and catering services. Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

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Co-Founder and Editor

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