A long production line, an expansive oyster and seafood bar and extraordinary views of Milwaukee museums and Lake Michigan set this upscale seafood restaurant apart from Bartolotta Management Group’s other restaurants in this classic Midwestern city.
The adage that location, location, location is the key to success is certainly apropos to Harbor House. located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the restaurant sits on a filled-in lakebed situated between two of Milwaukee’s most popular and world-renowned structures — Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Calatrava Wing.
Harbor House’s location is one of the restaurant’s most appealing attributes and one of its riskiest. “The restaurant is on a lease from the city of Milwaukee that expires in 2018,” says John Wise, COO. “We hope that the public will embrace the new restaurant and the city will believe we are important enough to Milwaukee to permit us to continue after 2018 with a new lease.”
The lease rights were purchased for $1 million from Specialty Restaurants in July 2009 by Michael Cudahy, a Milwaukee businessman and philanthropist. Cudahy partnered with Bartolotta Management Group, which owns and/or operates 12 other venues in Milwaukee, now with five near the lake, to remake the restaurant.