40+ notable opens, reopens and what’s coming soon

Another wild year has given rise to the fun and unexpected in the Madison-area food scene.
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Photo courtesy of Blind Shot Social Club

The new businesses joining the dining and drink scene have been anything but predictable. DeForest recently welcomed a part-butchery, part-eatery, part-specialty grocer. There’s now a golf simulator business with outstanding food and N/A drink menus in the Starkweather neighborhood. You can find a coffee counter inside a board shop on the east side. On Regent Street, a cafe is selling pizza, cocktails and books. There’s a “deli” specializing in peanut butter and jelly on State Street. See what we mean?

It’s been another wild year, which might explain this ascension of the fun and unexpected. The food industry has experienced more than its fair share of hardship during the pandemic, but that hasn’t slowed down the number of new opens, reopens and soon-to-opens in the greater Madison area. Restaurateurs, chefs and business owners are demonstrating more creativity and innovation than ever. Here are 41 names that are new (or reopening) in town.

Aftershock Classic Arcade

Photo Courtesy of Brad Van

Next door to Parched Eagle Brewery is Aftershock Classic Arcade (1444 E. Washington Ave.), which features more than 100 arcade games and a full bar menu. Click here for a feature story on Aftershock, which opened December 2021.

Artemis Provisions and Cheese


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COMING SOON: Kingsley and Melissa Gobourne plan to open a brick-and-mortar butcher shop, restaurant and catering space — Artemis Provisions & Cheese — on Main Street in Mount Horeb. They expect to open summer 2022.

Blind Shot Social Club

Courtesy of Blind Shot Golf and Social Club

This indoor golf, restaurant and social club that has an impressive N/A cocktail menu is at 177 S. Fair Oaks Ave. Read a feature on Blink Shot Social Club by clicking here.

Branch + Daughter

Photo by Clear and Quiet

Opened in July 2021, this place is part-butchery, part-eatery and part-specialty grocery store at 6601 Traveler Trail, Windsor. Read more about Branch + Daughter in “4 new protein purveyors in the Madison area.”

Broken Board Coffee

Broken Board coffee cup with a pastry next to it in the coffee shop

Courtesy of Broken Board Coffee

A coffee shop opened inside Focus Boardshop at 2358 E. Springs Dr. Read a feature on Broken Board Coffee by clicking here.

The Botanist Social

The interior of The Botanist Social at the bar

Photo by Maija Inveiss

The Botanist Social opened at 206 State St. (formerly The Icon) serving gin cocktails, late night eats and other herbaceous offerings. Read a feature on The Botanist Social by clicking here.

Camp Beef Butter

Photo courtesy of Camp Beef Butter. An aerial view of Camp Beef Butter, located at 5407 County Highway M in Westport

Patrick Riha of Beef Butter BBQ opened a summer-exclusive “outdoor entertainment extravaganza” in 2021 — Camp Beef Butter at 5407 County Highway M in Wesport. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 9 p.m. during the summer, the event features barbecue and live music. Read a feature on Camp Beef Butter by clicking here.

Chasers 2.0


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The bar Chasers is now Chasers 2.0, located at the former Brickhouse BBQ location and Nomade World Pub building at 408 W. Gorham St. The bar (featuring a rooftop space) opened in August 2021.

Cranberry Club

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Photo courtesy of Oz by Oz. The owners of Oz by Oz plan to open Cranberry Club on Madison’s north side.

COMING SOON: The owners of Settle Down Tavern and Oz by Oz plan to open a supper club-inspired eatery at 617 N. Sherman Ave. (in the former Jacobsen Brothers Meats & Deli space. Watch for a feature on Cranberry Club in the April 2022 issue of Madison Magazine.

Darkhorse ArtBar


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Patrick DePula opened Darkhorse ArtBar (756 E. Washington Ave.,) along with art curator and business partner Samuel Johnson in mid-October 2021. The bar/art gallery took over the Star Bar space next door to the Salvatore’s Tomato Pies East Washington Ave. location.

Dive Inn


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Dive Inn opened in 2021 at 521 Cottage Grove Road oferring drag brunches, meat raffles and all the other elements you’d want in a Wisconsin dive bar.

Driftless Social

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A screengrab of a photo that hung on the wall at Schubert’s from its past.

COMING SOON: Matt and Tim Schmock, the grandsons of Smoky’s Club founders, are taking over the former Schubert’s space in Mount Horeb (128 E. Main St., Mount Horeb) to open a restaurant. The historic building has housed a restaurant since 1911. Read Doug Moe’s story on Smoky’s Club’s closing by clicking here, and watch for a feature on Driftless Social in the April issue of Madison Magazine.

East Johnson Family Restaurant

COMING SOON: Kyle Johnson and Gwen Shales — owners of Johnson Public House, which recently underwent a remodel (pictured) — plan to open a restaurant at at 824 E. Jonson St., just down the way from their coffee shop.

Forage Kitchen

Forage Kitchen

Forage Kitchen, the locally owned fast-casual spot serving salad and grain bowl, has opened multiple locations in the area, the latest being the location at 8430 Old Sauk Road in Middleton. Click here for a Forage Kitchen mention in “4 spots elevating salads in the Madison area.”


Forma, next to the Italian-influenced restaurant 107 State, is a 24-seat private dining room and “curated urban gallery.” Owner Nathan Mergen “designed it to be a classic Italian dinning experience in an urban cultural environment.”

Grace Coffee Co.

latte art on top of a cup of coffee

Photo by Larry Chua

Grace Coffee Co. continues its expansive footprint in the the Madison area with two new locations: 1004 S. Park St. and 150 West End Circle, Verona. Click here for a feature on Grace Coffee Co.


A glimpse of the bar and seating inside Graft. (Photo courtesy of Travis Vaughn)

Graft restaurant reopened at 18 N. Carroll St. after a pandemic-era closure. Graft Executive Chef Travis Vaughn experimented with recipes during the restaurant’s closure and is bringing a new menu to the table. Read a feature on the reopening of Graft by clicking here.

Good News Ice Cream

The owner of Madison’s opened an artisan homemade ice cream shop at 117 King St., in a former part of the bar.

The Harvey House


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A modern supper club-inspired eatery built in a historic train depot has become the talk of the town since its July 2021 opening. Read a story from right before The Harvey House’s opening by clicking here. Watch for a feature on The Harvey House, located at 644 W. Washington Ave., in the April issue of Madison Magazine.


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Photo courtesy of Homecoming

Homecoming is an evolution of Pizza Night at the White School in Spring Green. The new restaurant at 242 N. Lexington St., Spring Green, still serves wood-fired pizza just like the pizza nights, but there are more fine-dining touches at Homecoming. What for a feature on Homecoming in the March issue of Madison Magazine.



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In March 2021 on East Johnson Street, restaurateur Michael Parks opened up his first venture in the space previously inhabited by Forequarter. The restaurant serves elevated, international cuisine. Click here to read more about Hone in a feature story.

Hook & Fade

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Photo courtesy of Hook & Fade

Hook & Fade is a golf simulator lounge and bar that opened at 113 S. Hamilton St. Check out an “In the 608” segment featuring Hook & Fade by clicking here.


A new Chinese restaurant opened with a short by impressive menu. Hutong is located at 410 E. Wilson St.

Ice Cream Social

Photo by Katrina Ervin

COMING SOON: Ice Cream Social owner Katrina Ervin is opening a shop expected to open winter 2022 at 2421 University Ave. Click the following links to read a guest column written by Ervin, a feature on Ice Cream Social’s upcoming shop or a feature on Ice Cream Social’s start.


COMING SOON: The folks from RED are opening another restaurant, Jacknife, at 1046 E. Washington Ave. The new eatery will serve dumplings, sushi rolls and bowls. Watch for a Jacknife mention in the March issue of Madison Magazine.

Kettle Black Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Brian Hamilton

Chef and owner Brian Hamilton balances casual and fine dining at this 1835 Monroe St. eatery offering French-inspired American cuisine. Read a feature of Kettle Black Kitchen by clicking here.

Leopold’s Books-Bar-Caffé

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Photo courtesy of Leopold’s

This is a dreamy little spot in the former Greenbush Bakery spot at 1301 Regent St. Here you can pick up a new book, order a coffee or sip on a cocktail. Read a feature on Leopold’s by clicking here.

Little Palace

Little Palace

Photo by Andrea Behling

This American Chinese restaurant at 224 King St. was opened by former Ha Long Bay general manager Stephanie Le, her sister Jacqueline and Jacqueline’s fiancé, Phillip Lee. Watch for a mention of Little Palace in the March issue of Madison Magazine.

Marigold Kitchen

Best of Madison 2015: Food & Drink

After closing Marigold Kitchen due to the pandemic, John Gadau and Phillip Hurley sold it to longtime employees Kristy Blossom Heine and Clark Heine, who gave the downtown cafe at 118 S. Pinckney St. a facelift before reopening in July 2021.

Marquette Hotel Café


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Marquette Hotel has long flown under the radar, as has the opening of its cafe serving breakfast usually from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. There are lots of vegan options on the menu.

Meat People Butcher

Pip Freeman holding a huge cut of meat

Photo by Jenny Griep

Jenny Griep and Pip Freeman opened Meat People — a whole-animal butchery that also offers deli meats, groceries and prepared lunches — in May 2021. Read more about Meat People in “4 new protein purveyors in the Madison area.”


Interior Of Merchant

Photo Courtesy of Merchant Madison

COMING SOON: Merchant, which opened in December 2010, closed in September to undergo a massive renovation to add aviation-style windows, new finishes, wraparound seating and an expanded kitchen. In addition to the new decor, it will also have a new menu created by a new chef. Read more in a feature story about the new Merchant by clicking here.

Mercie’s Coffee

Black, white and purple balloons hang above in celebration of Mercies Coffee grand opening in January 2022. (Photo courtesy of Mallory Orr)

The former Cool Beans owner approached Mallory Orr in August 2021 and asked if she wanted to take over the 2600-foot space at 1748 Eagan Road. From there, Mercie’s Coffee was born. Read a feature story on Mercies Coffee by clicking here.

One Barrel Brewing

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Courtesy of Steve Doty/One Barrel Brewing Co.

After being closed for 18 months, One Barrel Brewing Co. reopened with a boutique barbecue food concept, introducing barbecue to accompany its brews. Read the feature on the One Barrel reopening by clicking here.

Oz by Oz

clear bloody mary from Oz by Oz

The Freezer Bloody Mary — it’s clear! — is made with tomato and celery gin and house celery bitters. (Photo by Ryan Huber)

A new “cocktail and spirits snackeasy” opened at 113 King St. from the same folks who brought us Settle Down Tavern. Learn more about Oz by Oz by clicking here to read a feature.

Patricia’s Taqueria & Groceries

Patricia’s Taqueria & Groceries is a Mexican restaurant and grocery store that opened its first spot in January 2021 next to The Farm Sports Pub at 1701 Moorland Road, and its second spot in November at 601 N. Sherman Ave.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli opened at 511 State St. in the fall of 2021. The first location of what has become “the world’s largest peanut butter and jelly shop” was opened in West Allis. Madison is the second location for the sandwich and retail shop. Click here to read a feature on Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli.

POKE BAR Middleton

POKE BAR Middleton is the newest poke restaurant on the scene. It opened in May 2021 in the heart of downtown Middleton at 7603 Elmwood Ave. Click here to read more about Poke Bar in “7 fresh and flavorful poke options in the Madison area.”

Starkweather Brewing


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What started as a friendship quickly brewed into a business partnership between Peter Schroder, Michael Chronister, Tom Gosse and Thomas McVary. Starkweather Brewing Co., which occupies the former Next Door Brewing Co. space at 2439 Atwood Ave., offers a wide selection of beers on 17 tap lines. Watch for a mention of Starkweather in the March issue of Madison Magazine.

Taco Local

three tacos on top of a counter

Photo by Sharon Vanorny

David Rodriguez opened Taco Local in the former Underground Butcher building at 811 Williamson St. Read a feature on Taco Local by clicking here.


Takarajima is a Takara offshoot on the east side specializing in sushi. Find the restaurant at 4674 Cottage Grove Road.

Takara Sushi Station

Sushi lovers can stop at Takara Sushi Station, formerly Takara Japanese Restaurant, for an all-you-can-eat, conveyor-belt sushi experience. The restaurant is at 696 S. Whitney Way. Find a mention of Takara Sushi Station in the March issue of Madison Magazine.

Gaby Vinick contributed to this article.

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