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April 2004

Russ Davis has moved his Mondo Brothers Bella Luna Pasta manufacturing operation to Riverwest. The old Biopac building at 2730 N. Humboldt Blvd. will house Mondo Brothers Market & Deli, where customers can pick up a cup of coffee, bakery, and a sandwich and browse the mostly natural and organic food, beer, and wine available in the market section. The deli will seat 24, and the area in front of the building will include 14 parking spaces and green landscaping. Davis says a mid-May opening is planned. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cafe Bruecke, an eclectic new cafe on Milwaukee’s East Side is projected to open at the end of April at 2101 North Prospect Avenue (formerly Hartter’s Cafe). Riverwest resident Christine Lorch will own and operate the cafe with assistance on weekends from her husband and beer professional, Jerry Patzwald. The cafe’s ambience will be informal with two distinct atmospheres, a dynamic bar area including a “Stammtisch” table for communal customers, and an intimate dining area for solitude and quiet conversation. Beverage connoisseurs seated at the small bar can observe their Anodyne espresso made with the aid of the La Marzocco machine or enjoy a draught beer served Belgian style from the Antoine beer tower. Food will be served tableside from a menu of diverse and reasonably-priced appetizers, sandwiches, seasonal soups and salads, entree feature of the day and desserts. Live music will be featured occasionally. The interior space is wheel chair accessible and smoke free when the doors are closed due to a chill in the air. Cafe hours are Tuesday through Thursday 4-11 p.m. and Friday & Saturday 4 p.m.-12 midnight. The restaurant is German only in name and means “bridge,” paying homage to the “Bruecke” society of expressionist painters who flourished in Germany in the 1920s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The corner of Oakland and Locust is now home to Chin’s Asia Fresh, a bustling restaurant in the “quick-casual dining” category. The food has been described as “a fusion of pan-Asian cuisine including Cantonese, Szechuan, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In what one employee refers to as the “North Side Lumber Incident,” the company at Chambers and Weil has been sold to Bliffert Lumber on the South Side, which promptly fired all union employees. Needless to say, this union-busting move isn’t sitting too well with long-time employees. After the business changed hands, employees were given a 30-day notice of termination of employment and were told if they wanted to keep their jobs, they could reapply as non-union employees. “Everybody pretty much decided to stay on, because management offered us the jobs… if we didn’t take them, we couldn’t get unemployment,” said one employee on condition of anonymity. Currently it looks like the pay will stay the same, but employees are wary. “We’re all just hanging out seeing what’s going to happen,” the employee said. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Riverwest Co-op is making progress on its new cafe. The Co-op Cafe should be open by June. The work is being done with loans from Lincoln Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation and Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund. The Riverwest Food Co-op is one of only two new co-ops to have formed in the Midwest in 20 years according to the NCDF newsletter, which featured the Riverwest Co-op in the spring issue.