POWERING THE COMMUNITY ONE TACO AT A TIME
It’s not surprising that Oak Creek’s recent housing development boom has led to a rise in new premier dining destinations. Over the past few years, the City of Oak Creek has attracted a variety of unique, high-quality restaurants and preferred eateries. A perfect example is BelAir Cantina, which recently opened in Drexel Town Square.
This Mexican restaurant with a California flair offers a warm, inviting atmosphere, a “fun” menu featuring fresh ingredients, and prompt and friendly customer service. BelAir is known for its amazing selection of tacos (oh, those tacos! ), the most popular being Carne Asada, Korean Beef, Ninja Pig and Baja Tilapia (order three tacos and rice and beans are included). For appetizers, their guacamole is always a hit, as well Queso Fundido (a delicious dip made with cheese, garlic and jalapeños). You can also find oversize burritos and chimichangas, and a full brunch menu served on Saturday and Sunday. Plus, BelAir Cantina is known for its daily specials, including “Taco Tuesdays and Thursdays” featuring select tacos and tamales for only $2 each, with mystery tequila shots and various Mexican beers, also only $2 each. Take advantage of 25% off on burritos on Mondays and a rotating enchilada special on Wednesdays. There is also a Monday-Friday happy hour from 3-7 p.m.
BelAir is the brainchild of restauranteur partners Kristyn Eitel, Leslie Montemurro, Scott Johnson and Executive Chef Noe Zamora. With extensive restaurant experience (and their talented hands in other Milwaukee-area eateries), this partnership has put a new twist on Mexican food and is creating a dominating presence in the area. The innovative restaurant group embraces bold core values – namely, to be passionate about their work and food, to serve only the freshest of ingredients, to provide prompt, friendly service, to serve their communities by giving back, and to take great pride in their work while having fun!
Oak Creek is very fortunate to land such an award-winning restaurant. According to Eitel, “It all started in October 2014 when we were approached by our good friend Sean Phelan of Phelan Development – a partner in the Forge & Flair mixed-used development, now home to Oak Creek’s BelAir. When he shared Oak Creek’s plans for Drexel Town Square, the partners agreed that the concept would align well with BelAir’s mission to bring people together in a bold, new way,” Eitel says. “So we jumped on board with plans for a ground-level restaurant at this new location.”
Fortunately for Oak Creek, BelAir Cantina does much more than serve delicious tacos and other great food. The restaurant also prides itself in supporting its communities and giving back wherever they can. One of their special programs includes a “street team” of BelAir staff that works with local non-profit organizations as volunteers. For example, during BelAir’s Oak Creek grand opening weekend (Sept. 8-11, 2016), they partnered with the Lion’s Club of Oak Creek. In addition, they have worked with the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District, offering volunteers to help with various events (one such event was the Knights Against Substance Abuse 5K Walk and Resource Fair last May). The Oak Creek team has also partnered with the Humane Society.
Another important BelAir initiative, the “Powered by Tacos” program, enables the restaurant to be more connected with the communities it serves. Each summer the restaurant selects a nonprofit organization to be its partner. BelAir then works with the group to create a signature taco that is included on their fall/winter menu. The non-profit organization receives a minimum of $25,000 that is raised through the proceeds of the sale of their special taco created in partnership with the executive chef and featured on all location menus for six months. Past recipients of the Powered by Taco award include the Tosa Skate Park, Urban Ecology Center and Playworks. (Visit belaircantina.com/powered-by-tacos/ for more information.) There’s little wonder why Belair is such a popular eatery and has a loyal following dating back seven years to the opening of their first location on Milwaukee’s lower Eastside. Today, in addition to Oak Creek, you can find a BelAir restaurant in Milwaukee at North Water Street and Humboldt Blvd. (the original location) and on North Downer Avenue – and in Brookfield at the new Corners. They expect their sixth location to open this August in Madison.
When asked how BelAir Cantina likes being in Oak Creek, Eitel says, “We absolutely love being here. The people are amazing, and we are so proud to be a part of the community.” She describes how exciting it is to build new teams and is quick to point out that “our team in Oak Creek is outstanding.”
If the large crowds seen regularly at BelAir in Oak Creek are any indication, the feelings are certainly mutual. Stop in soon for a frosty beverage on the patio and to enjoy your favorite menu items. Experience BelAir Cantina – making a difference one taco at a time!
BelAir Cantina 410 W. Town Square Way • 414-215-7995 • belaircantina.com Open weekdays 11 a.m.-bar close • Weekends 10 a.m.-bar close.