While the Harley-Davidson Museum’s exhibits have so far been shrouded in mystery, perhaps the destination’s best kept secret has been its two new restaurants, Motor and Cafe Racer.
On July 12, Motor and Cafe Racer will throw their doors open and treat the hungry to a whole new eating experience. This isn’t your typical Museum restaurant.
"After a ride, bikers often gather to share stories of the day’s journey — the Harley-Davidson experience is made of those moments of connection, " said Stacey Schiesl, Harley-Davidson Museum Director. "From the menu selection to the space design, Motor and Cafe Racer offer bold flavors of the open road in a space that fosters the camaraderie Harley-Davidson is known for."
At the 150-seat restaurant Motor, a menu of bold American classics with a twist celebrates the discoveries of the open road. The peach cobbler, painstakingly perfected, will look, taste and go down exactly like it does in the roadside diners of Georgia. There will be hints of Little Rock in the smoked BBQ ribs, echoes of an endless ride through the countryside in the "One Pounder" pork chop, and deep-laid memories of Kansas City in the strip steak. As far west, east, north and south as the menu travels, it will always keep one foot planted firmly in the restaurant’s hometown. Milwaukee’s best sausage and bratwurst, sharp Wisconsin cheddar, walleye straight from the lake, locally farmed produce, and macro- and micro-brews will all be offered.
Menu items such as the triple-portion "Potato Potato Potato, " a Reuben-on-potato pancake creation inspired by the signature sound of the Harley-Davidson engine, or the flatbreads whose length mirror that of a motorcycle tire skidmark, keep the Harley-Davidson story present throughout.
If the food is designed for triggering memories, the space is designed for sharing them. Communal tables and horseshoe-shaped bars make every seat a perfect spot for starting conversations, either with an old friend, or the new friend one seat over. In addition to indoor seating, Motor offers 100 outdoor seats with beautiful views of the Menomonee River and Museum grounds.
Paying homage to the restaurant’s name, Motor boasts a piece of welded artwork featuring actual Harley-Davidson motor parts used to divide the restaurant into separate gathering spaces. The metal piece uses engine parts that came directly from Harley-Davidson’s Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations facility in Milwaukee. Flywheels, gears and other parts inspire the namesake space with Harley-Davidson heritage.
The culinary road trip continues at Cafe Racer, designed as the perfect place to quickly refuel. The cafe offers straightforward fare, engineered for grab-and-go eating. Selections such as the Breakfast Burrito, Bobber Brat and Kick-n-the-Pants Buffalo Chicken sandwich are packed with a lot of punch. Signature items like the Clutch Pie, a delicious hand-held dessert, will be gone before you get back to your bike. The familiar favorite PBJ is offered, but taken to a whole new level with potato chips layered inside.
Cafe Racer welcomes visitors to come and go as they please and is as casual as a Sunday ride on an open road. For those with time to stay and chat, the racing stripe-inspired color palette and the walls lined with Harley-Davidson and Buell racing action shots enhance the colorful conversations to be had inside the cafe. The cafe encourages eating outdoors as well on I-beam benches in the Founder’s Plaza and around the Hillclimber statue for those who want to picnic.
Motor is open to the general public for lunch and dinner while Cafe Racer is open for breakfast, lunch and light dinner. A Museum ticket is not needed to eat at either Motor or Cafe Racer.
"Motor and Cafe Racer will certainly ‘wow’ visitors to our Museum, " said Schiesl. "And they’re sure to be local favorites for people who like good American food with a bold spin that will keep them coming back again and again."
"Designing a menu that embraces the Harley-Davidson legacy is one of the most fun and gratifying challenges I could take on, " says Robin Rosenberg, Master Chef of Motor and Cafe Racer. "There’s a rich heritage in Harley-Davidson. To have a chance to bring that culture to life through food is one of the greatest things I’ve ever been a part of."
Motor is open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Cafe Racer is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Final kitchen orders are taken one hour prior to close. Call 1-877-HD-MUSEUM (1-877-436-8738) or visit www.h-dmuseum.com for more information.
About the Harley-Davidson Motor Company
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the only major U.S.-based motorcycle manufacturer, produces heavyweight motorcycles and a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s web site at www.harley-davidson.com.