In Dining

The Mequon Public Market showcases a diverse collective of unique venues, each with a distinctive brand-driven look and feel. (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

Get a peek at the Mequon Public Market before it opens on Saturday

The Mequon Public Market at Spur 16, 6300 W. Mequon Rd., will officially open its doors to the public on Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m.

But you can satisfy your latent curiosity by joining us on a pictoral tour of the space, which features 10 diverse food vendors plus a bit of retail for good measure.

The building itself showcases the work of numerous contractors including the architectural design expertise of Engberg Anderson Architecture and interior details (including tables, signage and more) from Lucky Star Workshop.

"It was important to me that every vendor have a say in what their space looked like and that they were given the leeway to create spaces that really represented their brands," notes Jenni Vetter, chief operating officer of Shaffer Development and curator for the market.

As a result, guests won't find a homogeneously designed space, but rather a diverse collective of unique venues, each with a distinctive brand-driven design.

Anodyne Coffee

Established in 2003, Andoyne Coffee Roasters has made its mark on the city with an eclectic collection of cafes including its flagship cafe in Bay View, its roastery in Walker's Point and cafes in Wauwatosa and at the Milwaukee Public Market in the Third Ward.

Their new market location, which offers full coffee service, tea and local craft beer along with bakery and snacks, features sleek design including custom honeycomb tiles, dark wood and a gorgeous metal sign created by local artist Todd Burton.

Insider info: Co-owner Lacee McClutchy says guests might soon be able to look forward to additional special treats like affogatos made with Anodyne espresso and Purple Door Ice Cream.

Bavette La Boucherie

Chef Karen Bell opened Bavette, a combination butcher shop and cafe, in the Historic Third Ward in 2013. The cafe's second location in the Mequon Public Market showcases clean modern design with white tile and brass accents, giving the counter service cafe a European bistro look and feel.

Don't sleep on the deceptively simple menu of sandwiches, salads and snacks (including cheese and charcuterie as well as brand new tinned seafood served with acoutrements) plus a great collection of wines. After all, Bell's work has earned her much acclaim, including a nomination for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Midwest.

By summer's end, Bavette will also have its very own smoker, allowing the cafe and butcher shop to offer a variety of house-smoked items including bacon, sausages, hot dogs, landjaeger, brisket and pork shoulder.

Beans & Barley

Long known for its from-scratch vegetarian fare, Beans & Barley will serve up a menu of greatest hits from its East Side Cafe including burritos, fajitas, stir fry and vegetarian chili along with grab and go items and sweets like their famous (and delicious) lemon poppyseed cake.

Their sleek stall includes counter seating along with a small retail space featuring grab-and-go food items, beverages, greeting cards and gifts. Moving forward, the cafe will also offer catering (including boxed lunches for local businesses).

Bowls

Bowls, a restaurant which specializes in fresh, healthful fast casual meals including green, grain-based and smoothie bowls, opened its first location in Walker's Point in 2017. It's bright stall in the Mequon market will serve up a menu of Bowls favorites including a berry acai smoothie bowl, Thai red curry bowl, paleo bowl and The Ocho, a Mexican inspired grain-based bowl. The cafe also offers a variety of beverages including sparkling waters and Nessalla kombucha.

Café Corazon

Cafe Corazon has been serving up Mexican fare made with locally sourced ingredients since 2009, and the new cafe is already among the most popular counters in the market. If tacos are what you're craving, you're in luck. Cafe Corazon makes them with a lot of heart (and – brand new for Mequon – with Bibb lettuce rather than tortillas upon request). You'll also find a variety of other Mexican favorites as well as the market's best margarita.

Happy Dough Lucky

Fun sized doughnuts are Happy Dough Lucky's specialty, and they'll be making them to order daily at the market in flavors like cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or gourmet flavors like coconut raspberry and s'mores. Pricing varies, but most flavors are available by the half-dozen for $4-5. While you're there, be sure to check out the whimsical doughnut art (some of which features kittens) on the wall of their stall.

La Terre

La Terre is a fortuitous collaboration between Elements East owner Meg Hopkins (collector of worldly treasures) and La Tulipe owner Vicki Kunz (a talented floral designer). The two have partnered before on projects; but La Terre is their first official business collaboration.

Visit their European-style market and you'll find a variety of decor items and gifts (some of which come from halfway around the world) along with potted plants gorgeous floral arrangements. My bet is that you'll go home with a bouquet.

The mezzanine

Be sure to check out the 3,700-square foot mezzanine where guests can escape the crowded market counters and enjoy leisurely lunches, business meetings and the like.

It's a blank canvas now, but it will soon be decorated with local art and cozy areas complete with soft seating. The space seats about 220 and will be used for a variety of events (including private rentals).

Venture to the north and you'll find the Public Market's demonstration kitchen featuring high end appliances and seating for 35-40. Expect a schedule of cooking classes to appear in the weeks ahead.

The Lil Tuna

Screaming Tuna's little sister restaurant Lil Tuna sports a sleek modern look with a combination of full service tables and bar seating. Be sure to step inside and take a closer look at the beautiful jellyfish mural on the northern wall. It was created by artist Taylor Herzog (she lives in Denver, but they flew her back to Wisconsin to create the art for the restaurant).

Take a seat and enjoy select appetizers, sushi made with sustainably harvest fish, and a glass of wine, beer or one of their tap sake cocktails, created in collaboration with the folks from Lost Whale in Bay View.

Purple Door Ice Cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? Save room for this locally made treat, which comes in a wide variety of flavors (from vanilla to brandy old fashioned), available by the scoop, in ice cream sandwiches or cups or pints to go. Just look for the big purple stall with the signature spoon wall!

Good to know: Purple Door contributes 10 cents from every pint purchase, plus a portion of all other ice cream profits to Milk for Milwaukee. Purple Door's Milk for Milwaukee program works with area homeless shelters to provide residents with fresh milk.

Santorini Grill

This brand new concept from Crave Cafe owners Spiro Asimakopoulos and his fiance Angela Pagoulatos features a variety of Greek specialties including salads, dolmades, grilled octopus and spanakopita along with entrees ranging from gyros to lamb chops and chicken souvlaki.

You can't miss their stall. It's beautiful and breezy with a vibe reminiscent of the Greek isles.

Outdoor spaces

The market is also rich with outdoor spaces. Out front is a spacious patio with a variety of seating options for diners.

There's also a stage for the market's upcoming Summer Concert Series and plenty of space for a future outdoor farmer's market (coming next summer). Coming soon: additional patio furniture and fun games for the family.

To the west, there's also a three seasons patio featuring a covered area which will soon be decked out with patio furniture. Because yes, summer is coming. And the Mequon Market is going to be a great place to spend a bit of it.

The Mequon Public Market will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition, Anodyne Coffee will open at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The market is also available for private events. Contact info@mequonpublicmarket.com for more information.

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