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New Bronzeville restaurant inspired by the area that shares its name

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Bronzeville Kitchen & Lounge / Facebook

Each week on This Bites, dining critic Ann Christenson from Milwaukee Magazine and Radio Milwaukee’s resident foodie Tarik Moody dig into the city’s culinary and restaurant culture to help you find new spots, old favorites and the best ingestibles around Milwaukee.

When Paul Whigham was plotting his next restaurant venture, he probably didn’t have me specifically in mind. Regardless, he definitely attracted my attention when he revealed that his previously announced Bronzeville Kitchen & Lounge will combine two of my favorite things: good food and jazz.

As Whigham explained to the city’s Licenses Committee this week, “My idea was to bring a live-music venue there, particularly jazz music. I’m a big fan of jazz music, I’m a musician and engineer myself. So I want to bring a space there with food, cocktails — I’ll serve breakfast, lunch and dinner — a large emphasis on live bands and not so much on DJs.”

He also pointed out his background as a chef, something reflected in a menu that includes casual and comfort as much as elegant and upscale. You could chow down on a jerk chicken burrito during one visit and then tuck into bourbon-glazed salmon next time. Whigham also elicited quite a reaction from the committee when he confidently stated, “I have the best shrimp and grits in the city.”

Besides the live music and robust menu, the restaurant will lean into its location in a major way by celebrating “the rich cultural heritage of the Bronzeville community.” The committee ultimately gave the new spot at 2053 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. its seal of approval, and now we just need to wait for news of an official opening date.

You can hear more about Bronzeville Kitchen & Lounge at the top of this episode, plus a few side dishes from around the area’s food scene:

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Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee