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distil.


Chefb28
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I think it's just Distill.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 4 weeks later...

chefb28,

distil. is still set to open in Milwaukee. My name is Ira Koplowitz. Myself and Nick Kosevich are putting together the cocktail and spirit program for distil. and will be running the bar once it is open. I recently moved to Milwaukee from Chicago where I worked as a bartender and a manager the Violet Hour for the last two years. Nick moved to Milwaukee from Minneapolis where he was the bar manager at the Town Talk Diner. You can get more information on us at our website, bittercube.

As of now, we don't have a set opening date, but things are moving along fairly quickly. If you have any questions please feel feel to email us or post here. We will definitely keep the eGullet community up to date on our progress.

ira

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Very exciting, and in MKE, my old stomping grounds (UWM grad school).

From the Journal Sentinel:

Part apothecary, part experimental kitchen - a craft cocktail lounge is planned for downtown, and two of the region's noted muddlers and shakers are involved in it.

Named distil, the lounge's specialty will be pre-Prohibition and other classic cocktails with a modern twist at 722 N. Milwaukee St., said Nick Kosevich. It's the previous site of the nightclub Three. Kosevich is a managing partner along with Noah Heaney, and the owner is Michael Polaski.

There are no plans to serve food at distil, which has a targeted opening of late November, but there'll be lots of cooking going on, with the staff making bitters, tonics, syrups and other key cocktail elements. Expect to see some molecular gastronomy, too, Kosevich said, with foams, fruit "caviar" and other techniques for cocktails.

Ira, what's the plan to get Milwaukeeans to take to your concept? The city is rather famous for sticking to its pretty staid culinary guns, and though there were about a dozen bars within a two-block radius of my Riverwest house back in the day, none had anything remotely like a "cocktail program."

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I grew up in Milwaukee, and was a regular of Ira's at the Violet Hour. I was surprised when he told me about the move, but I think Milwaukee just might be ready for this. The formerly somewhat clubby Blu at the top of the Pfister hotel has apparently just undergone a remodel and significant cocktail update with the help of a Chicago consultant. The Whiskey Bar opened just off Cathedral Square Park. There have always been a couple nicer places to drink in MKE. People shouldn't have to be bothered to drive down to Chicago for an injection of cocktail culture. I'm eagerly looking forward to Distil.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 3 weeks later...
Ira, what's the plan to get Milwaukeeans to take to your concept? The city is rather famous for sticking to its pretty staid culinary guns, and though there were about a dozen bars within a two-block radius of my Riverwest house back in the day, none had anything remotely like a "cocktail program."

That's a good question. One thing I've noticed so far about Milwaukee is that the city may stick to its "guns" but those guns include supporting an assortment of local cheese and meat purveyors, not to mention an expansive amount of local breweries. Milwaukee is definitely a beer and vodka town at the moment, but I believe that there are a lot of people here looking for and are excited about the craft cocktail movement. There are also a couple of local distilleries excited about our project.

Nick and I are running a bar on Cathedral Square while distil. is in demolition and rebuild. We recently started a 'Speakeasy' night on Mondays from 9-midnight, where we feature six cocktails of mine and Nick's creation, as well as an American Whiskey list. This blurb was recently in the Journal Sentinel...

Pre-Prohibition cocktails get a modern update at "Speakeasy Night with Nick and Ira" at 9 tonight in the Skylight Room at Mikey's, 811 N. Jefferson St.

Nick Kosevich, previously of Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis, specializes in contemporary cocktails and crafting components such as bitters and liqueurs; Ira Koplowitz previously worked at the Violet Hour in Chicago, where he specialized in classic cocktails.

Speakeasy Night is to continue on Mondays at Mikey's.

If anyone knows people from Milwaukee let them know...

ira

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  • 2 months later...

Nick and I have parted ways with our investor from distil. We began to have creative differences with the investor and didn't want to be involved in a concept that we didn't fully believe in.

There is good news though! Nick and I landed as the resident mixologists with the bartolotta group, and just debuted a Winter Cocktail Menu at Bacchus. I am going to start a thread about the menu, so catch up with us there.

Ira

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  • 4 weeks later...

Nick and I have parted ways with our investor from distil. We began to have creative differences with the investor and didn't want to be involved in a concept that we didn't fully believe in.

There is good news though! Nick and I landed as the resident mixologists with the bartolotta group, and just debuted a Winter Cocktail Menu at Bacchus. I am going to start a thread about the menu, so catch up with us there.

Ira

Ira I remember you from the violet hour, thanks again for the cherry wheat beer, I'm sorry to hear about what happened with that investor, but I'm glad to hear that Nick and you are still mixing together. I'll have to make it out there one of these days and visit you guys. I hope all is well. Take care

Brian

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"

Oscar Wilde

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is the speakeasy cocktail night still happening each Monday in Cathedral Square? I'm going to be in Milwaukee over Easter - sounds like a fun thing to check out.

thanks

Salty

I live in Milwaukee and can tell you that Nick & Ira are no longer doing the speakeasy, but I highly suggest you visit them at Bacchus and check out what they have done with the bar. Top notch. As for the speakeasy concept the fine folks at Bryant's Cocktail Lounge are continuing with something they call Blind Pig. Chad Doll is behind the Blind Pig at Bryant's and is a maestro behind the stick.

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I agree with jneu. I was at Bacchus last night and had a wonderful time. The new cocktail menu is inventive and the drinks I had were very well made and delicious. Ira and Nick are doing a great job and I will definitely be going back. Best cocktails in Milwaukee.

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