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Buddha Lounge serves lunch and dinner daily.
Buddha Lounge serves lunch and dinner daily.
The vision is for couples to come on date night.
The vision is for couples to come on date night.
Owner Josef Goldstein and a Buddha Lounge server.
Owner Josef Goldstein and a Buddha Lounge server.
Thumbs up for the Buddha bar.
Thumbs up for the Buddha bar.
Lucky Buddha beer bottle. Makes a great flower vase after the brew's gone.
Lucky Buddha beer bottle. Makes a great flower vase after the brew's gone.

First Look: Buddha Lounge

Last night, we stopped in at the Buddha Lounge, 1504 E. North Ave., which opened on Monday. It was originally scheduled to open on Jan. 1, but the extensive amount of remodeling set back the opening date a few weeks.

The Asian-themed bar and restaurant is divided into two areas. The front space is a cozy-meets-classy dining area with deep red walls, large Buddha statues, servers dressed in traditional Asian garb and ambient lighting.

"We’re going for upscale Asian," says co-owner Josef Goldstein. "A place for a date night."

The menu features a mix of Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, American and Chinese dishes. Most of the entree prices are between $12 and $18.

Signature dishes include the Buddha Bowl – beef or pork marinated in a house sauce and served with an eggroll on top of rice noodles, shrimp in a blanket – deep fried shrimp wrapped in wonton wrappers, bahn mi sandwiches, sushi and pho.

We sampled a spicy tuna sushi roll – six pieces for $9 – and although it wasn’t stand out, it was fresh and flavorful.

The bar in the back has more of an upbeat, social environment. There are flat screen TVs on the wall and a drink menu featuring beer (with a large selection of Asian beer, including our favorite, Lucky Buddha), wine, martinis and a "Buddha Mary," which is a Bloody Mary made with saki instead of vodka and garnished with a full egg roll, "shrimp in a blanket" and a celery stick.

Goldstein and his business partner Dr. Michael Nguyen also own two dental practices called Dr. Molar Family Dentistry. Goldstein says he originally met Nguyen as a dental patient. Later, the two became friends and decided to go into business together.

Originally, they wanted to open a restaurant in the former Barclay Cafe – now 88Nine Radio Milwaukee / Stone Creek Coffee – but they lost in the bidding process.

"We both really love food and were excited this place became available," says Goldstein. "We are excited to finally do something of our own."

Even though the…

One more year for The Waxwing.
One more year for The Waxwing. (Photo: Stephanie Bartz)

The Waxwing will remain open!

Earlier this month, broke the news that Steph Davies' art and gift consignment shop, Waxwing, would close at the end of February because the building owner, Nat Davauer, wanted to expand his next-door business, Draft & Vessel, into the space.

Well, after much consideration and an overwhelming reaction from the Shorewood community, loyal shoppers and local artists, plans have changed and The Waxwing will remain open through January 2016. 

"Nat and I have both been completely blown away by the community’s response to the news that The Waxwing would close this February. So, just like an encore from your favorite band, you've brought us back for one more year," says Davies. "Although Nat and I had both found peace with that decision, the overwhelming response from the Shorewood community encouraged us to give it more consideration and reimagine a way for The Waxwing to exist in its current space a little longer."

Davies says the extra year will give them another year to consider options and she will be able to scout out new spaces as they become available.

Davies planned a farewell bash at the shop for February, Feb. 28 from 5 to 10 p.m. It’s still happening, but with a new focus.

"We’ll be changing our farewell bash to a three-year anniversary bash and hope you will all come out to celebrate with us," says Davies. "We really appreciate your support of both of our locally owned businesses."

What is wrong with people?
What is wrong with people? (Photo: Estabrook Beer Garden/Facebook)

$1,000 reward offered after beer garden vandalized

Earlier this week, the Estabrook Beer Garden was vandalized. According to the surveillance video, it appears as if sections of the building which serves the beer and food were smashed in by two or more individuals.

Although insurance will cover the cost of repair, a $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest of the people responsible for the vandalism.

To evoke happier thoughts, here are a few shots of the Estabrook Beer Garden at its finest. Warning: these shots might also make you jones for summer. Sorry about that.

Kent Knapp: iron man.
Kent Knapp: iron man.

Now this is hot: Milwaukee Blacksmith to offer more classes

Kent Knapp – aka the "Milwaukee Blacksmith" – is expanding his classes and will offer Blacksmith 102 in 2015. The classes will take place at the School Of Iron, located in Knapp's large blacksmithing studio, at 518 E. Erie St.

"This class is for anyone who has taken 101 and is ready to take the next step," says Knapp.

Blacksmith 102 will refresh the the skills acquired in the 101 class, including tapering, scrolling, twisting, bending, hammer and tong control. It will introduce chamfering, fish tail scrolling, turning round stock square, controlled bending around the anvil horn, drill press and riveting.

All students will make and take a hook rack.

"All of the parts will be forged and assembled by the students," says Knapp. "The hook rack will be suitable for keys, coats, kitchen utensils or any other household needs."

Blacksmith 102 starts Saturday, Jan. 31 and will be offered bi-weekly. It will run from noon to 5 p.m. The cost is $150, payable via paypal to or people can send an email to request an invoice through a card processor. Lunch is included in the price.

Blacksmith 101 classes are also available. Send a message to the above email for more information.

Knapp created iron work for the George P. Miller Mansion, the Iron Block Building, the Charles Allis Museum, the Soho Building, the Emanuel D. Adler House and others.