If you've been to The Historic Red Mill in the past, but stopped going because you thought it turned into a tavern, Luke Grant wants you to come back. As general manager and co-owner of this cozy Brookfield landmark, Grant knows there are many people who were patrons during the 1960s, '70s and '80s but haven't been to his restaurant in a while.
"A lot of people used to come here for the food and live music," Grant explained. "We want them to know that we're back to making this a restaurant first - a supper club with live music and great food."
He and his parents, Mike and Pam Grant and Brian Normoyle, became the owners of The Historic Red Mill in June 2008. The building dates back to 1847 and has been home to an interesting variety of businesses, including a general store, a stage coach and even a brothel. Elm Grove and Brookfield residents may know that it has been a restaurant for the past 80-plus years. It is one of the oldest buildings within a 5-mile radius.
The new owners of The Historic Red Mill have made a lot of changes in the past 2 1/2 years: "We did a lot of interior remodeling - ceilings, floors, kitchen updates - but we left the outside the same," Grant said. "And other than the fish fry, which has always been popular, we've completely revamped the menu."
Some of the signature dishes are The Red Mill Fish Fry, available on Wednesday and Friday (cod $11.95, perch $13.95), steak salad ($10.99), five-onion French onion soup ($4.99), Red Mill pot roast ($12.99) and Ultimate Stuffed Chicken ($14.99). On the 17th of the month, they also offer a corned beef dinner.
Along with the reasonably priced comfort food comes a comfortable setting.
In an era of chain restaurants and impersonal service, it's nice to know that there's at least one area restaurant that does things the old-fashioned supper club way.
NAME: The Historic Red Mill
ADDRESS: 1005 S. Elm Grove Road, Brookfield
PHONE: (262) 797-9133
HOURS: 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday
PRICE RANGE: $7.99 to $24.99
LOOKING TO 'GRAB A BITE'?
"Grab a Bite" is an informal look at the food scene in the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Elm Grove area by freelance writer Karen Waldkirch. Whether you're looking for a place for a "date night" or a casual spot for lunch, Waldkirch will be out and about scouting eateries for you. If you have a suggestion for a column, e-mail her at email@example.com.
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