RNC Milwaukee 2024; restaurant food delivery, preparation

From full refrigerators to bottles of booze limiting shelf space, many bars and restaurants near the epicenter of the Republican National Convention are preparing for the likelihood of large crowds.

Those closest to the security zone have more logistical challenges than others.

In the heart of downtown Milwaukee, Amilinda owner Gregory León describes his good food, and the uncertainty of what the Republican National Convention will bring to his restaurant at Wisconsin and Broadway next week. 

"We describe it as a small, independently owned restaurant,"León said. "That specializes in food inspired by the Iberian Peninsula, so both Spain and Portugal."

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He noted that the restaurant is outside the RNC security zone.

"I don’t think we’re going to get a lot of the delegates," he said. "Hopefully, the press are going to come and visit us. A lot of them are staying in the hotel next door."

León said they are not doing anything additional when it comes to food and drink deliveries.

"We’re not opening for lunch," he said. "We’re just going to be open at 5 p.m. like we normally do."

But down the street?

Joahn Martinez with Build-a-Breakfast/Build-a-Burger, on Wisconsin and James Lovell, isn’t taking chances.

"We already got all our deliveries pre-delivered for the RNC," Martinez said.

The spot sits in this yellow soft security zone, where vehicle screening is required. It could get more foot traffic.

"We’re not too sure what to expect, this is a once in a lifetime event," Martinez said. "We don’t know what is going to happen."

Places even closer to the hard security perimeter aren’t sure how long food trunk delivery screenings could take. They don’t want to mess around with needing huge orders, so a lot of pre-ordering has been done.

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"I’m hoping it's not going to impact that," Mader's Restaurant head chef Tony Hood said. "But I like to get all my deliveries kind of early."

The director of operations at Milwaukee Brat House said they are trying to limit the amount of deliveries during the RNC. The restaurant is preparing for what they call "Bucks Championship-level of busy" next week.

"We’re going to try to stay open until 3 a.m.," Hood said of Mader’s.

All these restaurants hope they will leave a lasting impression.

"[I hope] that convention goers leave with a different opinion of Milwaukee," León said.