A group of sisters with three restaurants in the La Crosse area are opening a new tapas bar and restaurant in Verona.
Four Sisters Wine & Tapas restaurant could open as early as October at 958 Liberty Drive, Suite 106, in the same building, but opposite Verona Woods, a nearly 6,000-square foot-restaurant that opened in January.
The development is on Highway M, in a newly-developing area of Verona across from Sugar River Pizza Company.
The restaurant's executive chef, Jake Suskey, said the Verona Four Sisters will be just over 3,000 square feet and will probably seat about 100 people. It's in the final stages of its build out now. His wife, Kate Suskey, is the new restaurant's general manager.
Suskey started his restaurant career in Milwaukee at Balzac Wine Bar, a tapas restaurant off Brady Street. He's worked at restaurants in Chicago and San Francisco, and spent the last six years as executive chef at the fine-dining Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern in La Crosse.
He described the Verona Four Sisters as "a seafood-heavy tapas restaurant" with some Spanish influences and a fine-dining approach.
"Nothing too heavy on the plate," Suskey said. "It won't be a sit down, get a soup, a salad and an entree type of restaurant. We're hoping people come in and have a variety of different meals and/or plates and share them among the group and then come back and try the rest."
The drink side of the menu will feature a long list of wines, six beers on tap, and craft cocktails, he said.
Corynn Wieland owns the new restaurant with sisters Traci Weber and Lori Helke. A fourth sister, Kathy Wilhelm, helped open the original restaurant, but is no longer involved.
The women opened their first La Crosse venture, Four Sisters Wine Bar & Tapas restaurant, in November 2010. They later opened Four Sisters 4th Street Bar and Catering, and finally Creekside Pub and Grill in May in the nearby town of Medary. The sisters also run wedding and catering businesses.
Wieland said they were attracted to Verona for their fourth restaurant because of the area's growth, especially with the success of Epic Systems.
She said the Verona location will be similar to the original Four Sisters restaurant in terms of offering small plates, but will have a different ambiance. "It's definitely not a chain and we don't want it to have that look or feel."
Wieland said she completely trusts her executive chef and general manager. "We have gone through the menu with them, but we feel that the Madison and Verona surrounding area has a different appeal and a different market in terms of the kind of food that they might like," she said.
The Verona restaurant will be able to take more risks than they do in La Crosse, Wieland said.
"The Verona market allows us to go a little more fine dining than they do in La Crosse," Chef Suskey said. "Our menus will be different, but the concepts will be similar."