There is a slice of SoHo chic right in the center of the Tosa Village. Vesna Madunic, who started a catering company and opened Bjonda on Harwood Ave., invested more than a $1 million in renovations and reopened the eatery as the Firefly Urban Bar and Grill.
“The Skylight Lounge has industrial-size skylights and exposed beams and ductwork to give it an urban feel,” said Chris Prissel, the manager of Firefly, of the renovations that include a lounge open late every night, except Sunday.
Since 2007, the bar and grill has drawn a wide range of customers – from business people making their way home from downtown to local residents and families with kids.
Firefly specializes in “New American” cuisine and “Fly” cocktails.
“Ninety-nine percent of our food is made fresh, from scratch, in-house. That really is the difference in our menu,” Prissel said of entrees like bacon-wrapped tenderloin with sauteed spinach, ancho-chili onions and garlic mashed potatoes with crumbled Gorgonzola. A selection of fish and pasta is also included on the menu, as well as burgers, panini and other sandwiches.
“Our menu selection is comfort food with a twist,” he said.
Soups and salads like blackened duck salad and chevre, poached pear and walnut salad are available for lighter fare.
“Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6 p.m., our happy hour appetizers are $8,” Prissel said of selection like chicken wings, chicken lettuce wraps and beer-crust pizza.
“Fly” cocktails are their specialty drinks. On Thursday, sip and sample for only $5 per drink during happy hour. The Firefly is one of the bar’s signature drinks. This passion fruit Mojito has passion fruit puree, muddled mint and fresh lime. A Cherry Drop sounds as pretty as it tastes with cherry vodka, lemonade and seltzer served in a glass rimmed with vanilla citrus sugar. If your inner Mad Man is calling, sip and sample a martini from the Firefly’s selection, served in slim, swanky glasses.
There is also a wide choice of imported, domestic and craft beer and wine available.
Firefly has an endless Friday fish fry of beer-battered cod, potato pancakes or French fries served with cole slaw.
“On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, kids under 10 years old eat free when accompanied by a dining adult,” Prissel said. Kids’ menu includes mini burgers, chicken strips, grilled cheese and noodle and cheese. “Our kids’ selection comes with fresh fruit and fries,” he said.
For dessert, how fun is it to get table-side s’mores – complete with graham crackers, chocolate shortbread and marshmallows served with your own personal fire.
All are welcome to the Firefly lounge for Team Trivia night on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
“It’s free to play. No technology help allowed. It’s about fun seeing what kind of trivial knowledge you have,” Prissel said. “First, second and third prizes are Firefly gift cards.”
Friday and Saturday nights starting at around 9:30, Firefly cranks it up a bit with a live DJ. “We also have private rooms for holiday parties and private events,” Prissel said. “And until the weather holds, we have outdoor seating on our patio.”
_________ Let’s Go! _________
Firefly Urban Bar and Grill
Where: 7754 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 4:30 - 9 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday 4:30 - 10 p.m.
Saturday 5 -10 p.m.
Skylight Lounge open late nightly
Sunday - closed