Calling All Black Sheep

Black Sheep MKE

Calling All Black Sheep

Being referred to as the Black Sheep used to be a bad thing. Not anymore. Today, in Walkers Point, they celebrate Black Sheep--the restaurant and the moniker. According to the folks at one of Milwaukee’s newest tap wine bars, their customers identify as much with distinction as they do the location. Apparently, everyone aspires to be (or thinks they are) the family ne’er-do-well. Who wouldn’t? At 216 South Second Street it means eating gourmet hot dogs (Black Sheep calls ‘em haute dogs), and drinking excellent wine from a tapped bottle. Sign this author up! 

Originally a printing company, the building was renovated from top to bottom. With help from the Boelter Contract & Design team, restoration—from acquisition to opening—took only eight months. Working with KPH Construction and Black Sheep owner Keith Harenda, Boelter’s Mark Mouradian helped guide the design process through significant space and structural challenges—in the kitchen and the bar. Choosing the best equipment for the job, planning the perfect placement, venting kitchen hooding from the basement to the outside, were just a few elements of the collaborative effort that helped create the Black Sheep customers love.   

Known for their everyday happy hour and late night dining, Black Sheep opened last August as a high-end neighborhood lounge, with extensive drink options and a limited menu. The original idea was casual and fun with an inventive twist on gourmet. Since opening, though, Black Sheep learned the neighborhood wanted more—specifically, more food. So, Chef Frank Harroun dug deep and dramatically expanded the menu, adding delicious options from the garden, sea, and land. Not to worry hot dog fans, the gourmet franks are still on the menu. 

The menu is not the only inventive element that keeps Black Sheep customers coming back for more. Their tap bottled wine system has become a neighborhood favorite. Featuring sixteen rotating bottles of wine, the system is designed to offer great variety while preserving quality and freshness. Taps are air tight, all wines are kept at the ideal temperature, and the last glass tastes as good as the first. Best part: while the servers are always there to do what they do best, Black Sheep customers are allowed to help themselves to a 1.5 ounce taste, a 3 ounce half glass, or a 6 ounce full glass. Bellying up to your very own tap wine selection—seems like a bit of a “black sheep” maneuver, doesn’t it? 


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