New Cidery and Poké Restaurant Move Closer to Opening in City

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Cameron Bren

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Plan Commission approved various items related to two new businesses planned to open soon in Middleton. With the approvals Hidden Cave Cidery and Poké Bar are a few steps closer to opening up shop.

Hidden Cave Cidery, a craft hard cider producer, which bottles its cider at its facility inside the Old Sugar Distillery on Main Street in Downtown Madison is moving its operation and opening a tasting room at 2500 Pleasant View Rd. in Middleton. The new location is expected to open in May.

Hidden Cave Cidery was founded by UW-Madison Alumni Walker Fanning. Fanning majored in Agronomy and worked as the Director of Urban Agriculture for FH King Students for Sustainable Agriculture while attending UW.

Fanning now also works as an orchard manager at Eplegaarden in Fitchburg and sources the locally grown apples to make his ciders.

Fanning requested design review from the plan commission for an outdoor patio seating area that will be adjacent to the bike path that runs perpendicular to Pleasant View Road south of Airport Road. 

Fanning’s design calls for roping off a portion of the property behind the building approximately five feet from the bike path leading into the Hidden Oaks neighborhood and less than a foot from the loading area behind the building. It will also be less than a foot from the rear property line. The area will remain grass with six picnic tables.

Planning staff said they are supportive of the patio but recommended a more permanent barrier between the seating area and the loading area using either a low fence with a gate or bollards. Fanning indicated the building landlord does not want permanent fencing.

Fanning said the patio space was primarily to help ease capacity under COVID-19 restrictions and that the design is meant to be temporary. Plan commission members agreed with staff that they would like something more permanent and approved the design for only a yearly basis, which Fanning was amenable to.

The Plan Commission also approved a sign design review for an awning sign for Hidden Cave Cidery. 

Another business planning to open in Middleton is Poké Bar which will be the first of its kind in Middleton. Poké restaurants have been growing in popularity and a few have opened in Madison.

Poké Bar plans to open at 7693 Elmwood Ave. and will offer a casual dining experience that serves Hawaian ‘poke’ style fish cut into cubes and served in a bowl with sushi rice and other ingredients. 

The Plan Commission unanimously approved a building plan modification for a sign design review for finalized building plans approved previously.

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