After eight months of dormancy, Aliota's Pub and Grill opened Tuesday with a new name, new ownership, new menu and completely new interior.
Compared to the , the new space at 261 E. Hampton Road has a completely different look, with a new custom bar, new bathrooms, an expanded kitchen, exposed ductwork on the ceiling, food and drink specials written in chalk on the beams and seven large flat-screen televisions that provide a view for every seat in the bar and restaurant area.
"We replaced nearly everything," said David Aliota, the son of new owner John Aliota. "We didn't initially intend on stripping it the way we did, but once you peel the first layer of the onion, we kept finding new things to replace."
Without using the term "sports bar," Aliota said the bar still has a neighborhood feel to it, with a unique menu and plenty of sports games in the background. The bar will also have front patio seating in the warmer months.
For 31 years, TJ Aliota's was managed by Thomas Aliota, Sr. and then Thomas Aliota, Jr. In January, , and then Thomas, Jr.'s brother John Aliota .
While Aliota owns the building, he brought in experienced food service workers to manage the restaurant – including general manager Jennifer Montey, who used to work at The Dirty Martini in West Allis, and kitchen manager Colin Martin, who previously worked as a sous chef at Mequon Country Club and as a chef at in Shorewood.
Montey said 95 percent of what is served at the restaurant is made at the restaurant.
Martin has designed a menu that features everything from $5 burgers to $23 filet mignon. Other favorites include ghost chili cheese fries ($6) for an appetizer, strawberry spinach salad ($8), sandwiches like the buffalo chicken sandwich ($7), and unique house favorites, such as jambalaya ($11) and shark tacos ($12).
The tap beer selection features Miller Lite and 10 craft beers, including unique choices like Tyranena Fargo Weiss, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, Goose Island's Matilda and Sprecher's Bourbon Barrel Dopple Bock.
Aliota's is open from 11 a.m. to close every day, and the kitchen closes at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. every other day. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring $2 domestics, bottles and drafts, $2.50 rail drinks and $3 glasses of wine.