MILWAUKEE- The Tandem restaurant located in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Height’s neighborhood has been through quite an evolution over the last year.
The original business concept was a restaurant focusing on southern comfort food but when the pandemic hit, they had to pivot.
The Tandem transitioned into a soup kitchen meeting the needs of food insecurity in their neighborhood. And if that wasn’t enough, the business also took on the challenge of being a tutoring place where kids, who were struggling while going to school online last year, could get one-on-one help and use free wi-fi.
But a year later the winds of change are blowing again and the Tandem is ready to come full circle.
Owner and chef Caitlin Cullen says they will be opening up as a restaurant once again, likely in August with a Wednesday through Saturday schedule.
“I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m tired and I’m looking forward to cooking again. I’m really happy to see the evolution of our restaurant continue to move forward and change the way we do business for the better. I am overwhelmed but optimistic,” said Cullen.
She says they will continue to be an establishment highlighting southern food but there will be a twist.
“When we reopen we’re also going to take our menu and pretty much make it half vegan. We’re going to have vegan fried chicken and vegan mac, in addition to our regular down-home sides.”
Cullen says she’s not worried about finding good help when they open their doors, knowing full well other restaurants and employers are struggling to find workers.
She says her employees will start at $15 and hour.
“Our real goal is to have living wage jobs and careers for young people in the city as opposed the first-step job. We’re going for paid time off, health insurance.. the whole nine,” Cullen said. “You know if you’re paying a dishwasher $9 an hour, you’re unlikely to find someone to want to do that job. But if we have a $15 an hour flat minimum wage, it’s a lot easier to find folks to come to work.”
The Tandem is located at 1848 West Fond du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee.
Learn more about the Tandem by clicking HERE.