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Aliota's Reopens With New Ownership, New Energy

The overhaul of the Hampton Road restaurant includes a completely new interior, an expansive tap beer selection and a wide-ranging food menu.

After eight months of dormancy, Aliota's Pub and Grill opened Tuesday with a new name, new ownership, new menu and completely new interior.

Compared to the , the new space at 261 E. Hampton Road has a completely different look, with a new custom bar, new bathrooms, an expanded kitchen, exposed ductwork on the ceiling, food and drink specials written in chalk on the beams and seven large flat-screen televisions that provide a view for every seat in the bar and restaurant area.

"We replaced nearly everything," said David Aliota, the son of new owner John Aliota. "We didn't initially intend on stripping it the way we did, but once you peel the first layer of the onion, we kept finding new things to replace."

Without using the term "sports bar," Aliota said the bar still has a neighborhood feel to it, with a unique menu and plenty of sports games in the background. The bar will also have front patio seating in the warmer months.

For 31 years, TJ Aliota's was managed by Thomas Aliota, Sr. and then Thomas Aliota, Jr. In January, , and then Thomas, Jr.'s brother John Aliota .

While Aliota owns the building, he brought in experienced food service workers to manage the restaurant – including general manager Jennifer Montey, who used to work at The Dirty Martini in West Allis, and kitchen manager Colin Martin, who previously worked as a sous chef at Mequon Country Club.

Montey said 95 percent of what is served at the restaurant is made at the restaurant.

Martin has designed a menu that features everything from $5 burgers to $23 filet mignon. Other favorites include ghost chili cheese fries ($6) for an appetizer, strawberry spinach salad ($8), sandwiches like the buffalo chicken sandwich ($7), and unique house favorites, such as jambalaya ($11) and shark tacos ($12).

The tap beer selection features Miller Lite and 10 craft beers, including unique choices like Tyranena Fargo Weiss, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, Goose Island's Matilda and Sprecher's Bourbon Barrel Dopple Bock.

Aliota's is open from 11 a.m. to close every day, and the kitchen closes at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. every other day. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., featuring $2 domestics, bottles and drafts, $2.50 rail drinks and $3 glasses of wine.

very interesting September 08, 2012 at 06:04 PM
glad to see theyv'e reopened! not that it matters but isn't that really Milwaukee and not Whitefish Bay?
Jeff Rumage September 08, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Yup, it's Milwaukee, but it's still a story of interest for the Whitefish Bay community because it's so close.
Bob McBride September 08, 2012 at 10:27 PM
It's very blue.
WFB RES September 09, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Good food, good beer, nice server, good TV's (although it seems like the guys are still learning about their dish network and the channels)--a little loud--either needs carpeting or accoustic ceiling tiles to absorb some of the noise. Definitely a repeat
A WFB Resident September 09, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Didn't know there was a problem until they had a large crowd in the door. They will be fixing the ceiling during the week.
StaynConnected September 09, 2012 at 06:45 PM
We found the atmosphere VERY loud. They need to add some soft surfaces to absorb/reduce the noise level.
Baller September 13, 2012 at 06:00 PM
The new ownership is lousy and this place will not compare with the last ownership, that was the current owner's brother!!!! T.j had a great following and had the respect of his patron's that over the year's became friend's of his and his wife.
Peter September 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM
My wife & I have lived around the corner from Aliota's for a few years & we had always enjoyed the old place. We were disappointed when it closed & were quite excited when we saw it had reopened. We stopped by last Sunday for dinner & were pleasantly surprised by the decor. Much better than the old 70's look it used to have. I also enjoyed the improved tap beer selection, however we were a bit let down by the food and service. The sound system had the base turned up too high & the treble too low. You could hardly hear the game & the post game interviews sounded like the players had swallowed the mic. Result, base too loud & straining to hear the play-by-play, it simply gave us a headache. As for the food my wife ordered an eggplant parmesan wrap, I had a smoke burger (not sure if that was the actual name) both with fries. My burger was average. There was a nice smoke to the cheese & bacon but the onions had no smoke flavor. The bun was tasty but a bit small for the burger. It could have used some of the BBQ sauce that was supposed to be on the burger as well. My wife's wrap had decent flavor but was wrapped poorly and fell apart when she picked it up so she had to resort to a knife and fork. The fries on both of our orders were cold, overly salty, limp and greasy. We love fresh cut fries and these could have been outstanding but they were horribly prepared. We assume the small issues were because the place is new & we hope they get it together as we have missed Aliota's.
Scott September 19, 2012 at 01:21 AM
yeah, its not like the old TJs! I actually had to pay for my drinks!! Was in there Sunday and all sound issues have been solved! State of the art Sound Panels have been installed and surround sound is awesome!
Julie September 19, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I had my party in last week and it was great! The staff was excellent and the food was outstanding! Good Job Aliotas!!
Julie September 19, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I've been in 3 times so far. Bar has been open 2 weeks I think today? everytime has been an improvement!! I guess there will be learing pains.
brent October 18, 2012 at 04:41 PM
no, it's not in milwaukee proper, it's technically in whitefish bay/shorewood (not sure the exact divide line)
Jack Emery March 04, 2013 at 02:57 PM
The previous Aliota's was unquestionably much better. This place sucks; food, environment, everything. Take your money else where, even Culver's food is better.
AWD March 04, 2013 at 03:17 PM
@Jack Emery, pretty harsh comments. I enjoy the newly refurbished Aliota's. It's not as nice as the Shorewood selection of Pubs but in a pinch Aliota's is a good stop. Mr. Emery, I would suggest you stick with yelling “GET OFF MY LAWN!” at the neighbor kids and refrain from posting your thoughts on Patch.

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