Northdown Cafe and Taproom

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This Lakeview spot aims to be a friendly meeting place for nearby neighbors, serving up American Midwestern fare in a casual environment. Named for a type of English hop, you can tell there are beer lovers behind the spot, including Tom Lee (of The Map Room). The other partners, brother-and-sister Valerie and Adam Lucks, grew up in Chicago but own two restaurants in Milwaukee, and consider this project a return to their roots. "This is a homecoming of sorts for us," said Adam. The menu is a laid-back as the atmosphere, with about a dozen sandwiches, seasonal entrees, salads and a handful of appetizers, many of which can be made vegan or vegetarian. Sandwiches will include a shortrib sandwich and an open-faced meatloaf on salted rye with Wisconsin-raised, grass-fed beef, bacon and bell peppers, served with bacon, chives and mashed potatoes and a dark-beer gravy. Lucks' relationship with southeastern 45 local farmers isn't only seen on the menu; the interior will also feature reclaimed barn wood throughout.