Saint Kate’s Culinary Journey Begins

Posted in Hotel News

Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel, Milwaukee’s first-of-its kind independent arts hotel, unveiled today its new culinary and bar experiences: Aria Café & Bar, Proof Pizza, the Bar at Saint Kate and Giggly Champagne & Wine Bar. By sourcing the best quality and freshest ingredients from near and far, Saint Kate’s dining experiences will engage, connect and inspire locals and visitors alike as they discover something new, or simply enjoy a classic favorite. Whether to nosh, nourish or explore, dining and drinking at Saint Kate will be simply fresh, exciting and delicious.

Serving as the guiding and creative force of the dining and bar experiences will be Food and Beverage Director Brent Hockenberry, who will oversee food and beverage across the hotel, and Executive Chef Aaron Miles, who will lead the hotel’s culinary team. Both Hockenberry and Miles previously served as executive chefs at top hotels across the country, creating menus that challenged perspectives and created fresh culinary moments.

“Just as art is subjective, so is each person’s individual culinary journey,” said Hockenberry. “Our menus will use only the finest, best-in-market ingredients, allowing guests and locals to have fun discovering, creating and tasting new foods, flavors and smells. We believe in the simple things: allowing our guests to enjoy attentive service, great drinks and delicious food. But we also believe in taking risks and pushing beyond the familiar for those willing to leave their comfort zone for a bit. There will be something to inspire every palate at Saint Kate.”

Drink and Dine at Saint Kate

Aria Café & Bar

The heart of Saint Kate’s food and beverage is “Aria Café & Bar.” The all-day neighborhood café and restaurant, located on the second floor of the hotel, will specialize in simple, classic American cuisine handcrafted from the freshest, seasonal ingredients. Whether enjoying blueberry granola pancakes or house made corned beef hash in the morning, the return of the Milwaukee favorite Big Boy Burger for lunch, or sugar and spice crispy Amish chicken and shareable plates like charred Octopus with romesco for dinner, Aria will offer a friendly environment for socializing while noshing on humble, rebooted classics. The restaurant will also feature several select partnerships with local butchers, bakers, brewers and potters to celebrate art in all its forms. Just like the expressive melodies of an operatic aria, Aria Café & Bar will be a performance of sight, smells and flavors.

Proof Pizza

Located adjacent to Saint Kate on Water Street, “Proof Pizza” is Milwaukee’s newest neighborhood pizza joint – a pizzeria perfect for a quick lunch during a busy work day or a casual dinner before a performance. Inspired by the regional cuisine of southern Italy, Proof Pizza will be known for its specialty and build-your-own hand-made Neapolitan-style pizzas featuring 48-hour slow-rise dough and homemade tomato sauce, all cooked in under two minutes in a handcrafted 800-degree brick oven. Other menu items include Italian-style pocket sandwiches known as “tascas,” fresh seasonal salads, antipasti, playful desserts and other Italian classics reinterpreted with an artistic twist. Proof Pizza will also feature a simple and fun selection of imported and craft beers, as well as tasty wines.

the Bar

The focal point and primary gathering area at Saint Kate, “the Bar” will welcome artists of all stripes and walks of life to work and play around the clock. During the day, the Bar’s evocative collection of art and comfortable seating creates the neighborhood’s go to spot for work or casual pop-up meetings. Guests can be found sipping on locally roasted coffee, fresh squeezed all-natural juices and cocktails, or nibbling on house-made pastries. In the evening, the convivial space will transform into a vibrant, social spot, where guests and locals alike will mix, mingle and commune around the intimate bar while sipping cocktails made by expert craftsmen and experiencing pop-up sets from local DJs, performers and other artists. From the ice, juices and bitters made in-house, to “outside-of-the-glass” presentation, each hand-crafted cocktail will be created with the care and attention of an artist. The Bar will also feature draft cocktails with shareable drink options, nitro cold brew cocktails, local craft beers on tap, a crowd-sourced beer can art program, approachable wines, and a special focus on non-alcoholic drinks. Guests will be able to enjoy bites from the new “Proof Pizza” throughout the night. Also, for guests who prefer to enjoy a drink in the privacy of their room, the Bar will provide “Do it Yourself” cocktail room service.

Giggly Champagne & Wine Bar

Also found on the second floor of Saint Kate will be “Giggly Champagne & Wine Bar,” Milwaukee’s only champagne bar. A hidden gem overlooking Milwaukee’s theatre and entertainment district, Giggly (for short) will tickle the senses. Giggly will be the place to make every day a party – to “faire la fete.” A collection of champagne and international sparkling wines from the world’s finest vintners will be available by the glass and bottle, as well as a full selection of cocktails, beer and bar bites. An inviting wine list will take guests from sweet to dry and showcase different variations of sparkling wine, while the cocktails will highlight the fun you can have when pairing sparkling wine and spirits. You will be able to find some non-alcoholic fizzy lifting drinks and bubbly desserts, too!

F&B Leadership Team

Chef Brent Hockenberry, food and beverage director: Overseeing all drinking and dining experiences, as well as banquets and catering for the 219-room hotel, Hockenberry has more than a decade of culinary and management experience in top resort properties, business hotels and fine dining restaurants across the globe. Prior to joining Saint Kate, Hockenberry designed and led the culinary concepts at the recently opened Omaha Marriott Downtown at The Capitol District, which is also managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts. He previously served as executive sous chef at the Grand Hyatt D.C. and has worked in prestigious resorts and restaurants across the Caribbean and Costa Rica.

Chef Aaron Miles, executive chef: The driving force behind Saint Kate’s culinary team, and especially Aria Café & Bar, will be chef Aaron Miles, who has built a successful career at Marcus Hotels & Resorts properties. He is returning to Milwaukee after working as the executive chef at the iconic Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Prior to his position at the Skirvin Hilton, Miles was executive chef of the InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel and executive sous chef at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, both owned by Marcus Hotels & Resorts. While in Milwaukee, Miles was also an active member of Milwaukee Public Schools’ ProStart program to mentor students about careers in the culinary industry, as well as working with other Milwaukee-area culinary schools. He plans to continue his community involvement at Saint Kate, too.

Saint Kate will celebrate art in all its many forms, from music to dance, painting to sculpture, film to poetry and more. Located in the heart of Milwaukee’s theatre and entertainment district, the 219-room hotel will feature art-inspired guestrooms, 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, 11 event rooms and three restaurants, as well as bars and lounges. Design plans include a theatre that will feature plays, lectures, classes and musical and dance performances; world-class gallery space; a working Artist-in-Residence studio that will give guests a window into the creative process; and event spaces to host rotating exhibitions, screenings, workshops and more.

Stonehill Taylor, a hospitality-focused architecture and interior design firm based in New York City, designed all four culinary spaces for Saint Kate. For more information about Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel, visit the new website:

Saintkate Arts

Executive Chef, Aaron Miles

Saintkate Arts

Food & Beverage Director, Brent Hockenberry

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