Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette is a newer purveyor of unusually oversized bagels and some culturally Jewish foods, off the beaten path on a Walker’s Point, Milwaukee, side street.
Yet the weekend line of 20-somethings can stretch out the door, waiting for food rooted in Jewish culture.
“I have some Catholic family members and Jewish family members, so I grew up celebrating all the holidays, and really celebrating lots of the food most importantly,” said Staci Lopez, co-founder and co-owner of Allie Boy’s, 135 E National Ave.
Lopez opened Allie Boy’s in 2020 with her husband, Ben Nerenhausen. The couple wrote a menu that includes a number of traditionally Jewish foods. Customers can choose from bagels baked fresh every day, matzo ball soup, latke waffles, chopped lox and more. Allie Boy’s is not certified kosher.
“We do a pastrami brisket, and stuff like that is really rooted in what I have grown up with in that culture. I think that connecting us to the community is through those familiar flavors,” Lopez said. “We have done lots of catering events for different members of the Jewish community and different congregations. When we first opened up, we did a break the fast box for Yom Kippur.”
Allie Boy’s began as an idea for the couple, while they ran a different restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey, Lopez said.
“We were actually planning on going to Madison, and had some contacts here in Milwaukee, so we came through here first. We had jobs right off the bat and wound up really liking it, so we stayed and were working for other people while we were trying to fully develop our concept and see if this was a good fit for us, and kind of how that would pan out,” Lopez said.
Originally from New York, Lopez said she never spent much time in the Midwest before opening Allie Boy’s but is enjoying Milwaukee’s environment.
“Even from the moment we moved here, people were very welcoming, and it seemed like a really supportive environment within the restaurant industry as well,” Lopez said.