By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Oct 28, 2023 at 10:06 AM

’Tis Dining Month, the tastiest time of year! This means we’re dishing up fun and fascinating food content throughout October. Dig in, Milwaukee! OnMilwaukee Dining Month is served up by Educators Credit Union and Potawatomi Casino Hotel

Since Zocalo Food Park opened its doors in 2019, the Zocalo Tavern has played a major role in bringing people together and instilling them with a sense of community and belonging. 

Designed with the help of local artist and MIAD graduate Gloria Santos Ruiz, the tavern’s look and feel was intended to capture both the aesthetic and welcoming vibe of Latina artist Frida Kahlo’s La Casa Azul (Blue House). The Blue House was not only the center of Kahlo’s creative universe, but a place where she orchestrated countless parties and entertained a multitude of guests.  

Photo of the tavernX

But after four years, Zocalo owners Jesus Gonzales and Sean Phelan, have decided to give the tavern an upgrade. As a result, beginning Monday, Oct. 30 the tavern will be closed to the public for renovations.

During the renovations, guests can still order their favorite beverages thanks to a temporary satellite bar, which will be located in The Shop. 

The remainder of the food park will also be fully operational, with food available from vendors including Anytime Arepas, Hot Box Pizza, Mazorca Tacos, Meat & Co., Modern Maki, Ruby’s Bagels and Scratch Ice Cream.

The tavern is expected to reopen on Thursday, Nov. 9, at which time guests are encouraged to stop in, check out the refreshed space and say hellow to Zocalo’s new manager, Rudy Montoya, who has been working hard on a new drink menu featuring fall and winter cocktails like the Smoking Pines and a Spicy Cilantro Margarita. 

The Tavern’s reopening will also coincide with the relaunch of Zocalo’s heated winter huts, which can accommodate groups up to 12 people for comfortable winter dining. Reservations for the huts will be available on the Zocalo Food Park website.

As we enter the holiday season, guests interested in hosting a gathering or private party at Zocalo Food Park are encouraged to inquire online.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.