Although delayed by pandemic, Pomona Cider still planned for East Side
In February, Door County’s Island Orchard Cider announced it would open Pomona Cider Co. on Milwaukee’s East Side at 2163 N. Farwell Ave.
The company said it had plans to renovate the 2,100-square-foot building into a tasting room that would also serve a limited array of craft beer and wine and would use a wood-fired oven to make appetizers, including flatbreads. All of the cider on draft in the tasting room would be made on-site.
As you might expect in this pandemic year, Pomona has not yet opened. But co-owner Tom Gabert – who is opening the place with Yannique and Bob Purman, who own Island Orchard – says the plan is still moving ahead.
“The cidery is still a go, however, COVID did sidetrack us greatly,” he tells me. “With both of us already having companies, we all went into safety mode to ensure that they would withstand the current circumstances. As we are nearing the end of 2020 Pomona is still on the table and meetings have happened over the last few weeks with efforts of once again moving forward with everything.”
Gabert, who has served as an Island Orchard sales rep and owns Pour Inc. professional bartending service, says the goal now is to open at some time in 2021.
“With so many uncertainties in today's world, we are treading lightly and cautiously,” says Gabert. “One concern of ours from the beginning was getting people excited for the cidery and then have it be pushed back and people lose interest.
“Obviously, this situation wasn't entirely in our control but now we are once again trying to avoid the ‘excitement to the let-down’ scenario. We want to make sure all our ducks are in a row before we go public again with where we stand on opening and what not.”
While Milwaukee may have to wait a bit longer for its cider fix on the East Side, it’s encouraging to hear that Pomona Cider Co. in still on tap for the neighborhood.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.