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New Wine and Tapas Bar Coming to Whitefish Bay

After receiving village approval, the aspiring restaurant owner now sets her sights on opening in the former Cutter's barbershop by March 1.

Silver Spring Drive could finally get the wining and dining it has been asking for over the last couple years.

Restaurateur Rose Niles approached village officials Tuesday night about opening a new wine and tapas bar at the space previously occupied by Cutters barbershop at 402 E. Silver Spring.

The restaurant would serve soups, paninis and some small plate options for lunch. For dinner, it would offer Italian food and Spanish small plate dishes, which have gained popularity in recent years. Niles said she also hopes to serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

"We want to create a warm, but still very trendy, atmosphere," Niles said. "Somewhere people can come in have a nice glass of wine or an import beer, and enjoy small plate dining."

Niles intends to apply for a liquor license to serve wine and beer. She also plans to sell bottles of wine and hold wine tastings. Niles said she does not yet have a name for the restaurant, but she is pushing to open the restaurant by March 1.

Niles' family ran the former Sardi's restaurant in Mequon for many years, and she said she may revive the Italian restaurant's popular spadinis into her new venture in Whitefish Bay. Her family also owns a frozen yogurt shop in Florida, where they vacation in the summer. Her husband Scott is the CEO of Seven Mile Fair outside of Racine. 

Niles grew up in Shorewood and is a Dominican High School graduate. Although she now lives in New Berlin, she said Whitefish Bay would be a great place for a wine and tapas bar.

"I think the area could use an upscale dining place," she said.

The restaurant received its conditional use permit from the Plan Commission Tuesday night. Because the restaurant plans to stay open past 10 p.m., the Village Board will have to take a vote at its Dec. 3 meeting to allow expanded hours.

She will also need Village Board approval for her outdoor seating, which she hopes to wrap around the west side of the building. The seating plan would have to be consistent with The Mandel Group's plan to redesign the Consaul Commons walkway, where the clock tower is located.

"My guess is there is going to be some strong scrutiny as to where are you going to put the seating and what kind of seating," said Village Manager Patrick DeGrave. "If they do permit it, it's going to have to be high-end."

Niles said she is willing to "weather the storm" of construction on the proposed Mandel apartment development, which she said will be good for business because it will bring more people to Silver Spring Drive.

aaaaaa November 22, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Read above - it also says Italian food NOT just tapas. AND soups, etc. for lunch AND brunch.
Absolutelyfabulous November 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM
wfb51- You need to get a grip. Seriously, I don't wish for anything to fail. I have no vested interest other than replying to a blog in between other things. You & yours have not supported so many other ventures in that little section that I hope that you back up your statements w/your wallets and that the offerings are good. It will only help in attracting that many more prospective tenants/offerings. Now, I remember reading the story about how great ThinkToys was for that little strip and then bye, bye..You didn't support the sales of the storefront. Dan Katz didn't even have to pay rent and Lixx was pretty decent. Open your wallets and support this business and not just when it opens it's doors. Time will tell. Back to the garden.
aaaaaa November 23, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Actually I DID support Berkeleys - as bad as it was........I also support and/or buy gifts at Winkies, Fitz',Fox Bay, Sendiks, Three Wishes, Brueggers and the froyo place. I WILL support a place if I like it (I didn't even like Berkeleys - LOL)....Huh? strange you keep saying "you" when I have fully supported places I like. AS for getting a grip I was just correcting your statement that they are only serving wine and tapas - they have other items they will be offering.
Santa Monica Guy December 08, 2012 at 01:50 AM
absolutelyfabulous, please stop talking.
Absolutely Annoyed December 15, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Absolutely Fabulous is Absolutely Idiotic. The restaurant isn't even built and she's bankrupting them with unbudgeted for grease traps and fume hoods. She's criticizing the non-existent plastic chairs and cheap umbrellas. And, oh, the noise this restaurant that isnt there yet causes. I beg you to sit on your hands and stop typing. Please. Leave the restaurant you've never been to and know nothing about alone. What do you have against small plates? Were you beaten with tapas as a child? Don't the non-stuffed shirts of this community deserve a place to eat, too?

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