Boone & Crockett's new patio serves classic Brew City views, summer-y drinks
Summer is in full swing and so is our need to hit up the hottest patios in the city. There's no time like patio time in summertime - especially when it's Miller Time!
Boone & Crockett transplanted from Kinnickinnic Avenue to its new digs next to the Kinnickinnic River in the spring of 2018. Since then, the bar has transformed from bare bones to the ripest of fruits by offering more drinks, more food trucks, more seating, more iconic Milwaukee views and more nature.
Boone's new patio – which is still a work in progress – has greatly contributed to the evolution of the space. Last summer, the southwest corner of the parking lot served as the the outdoor drinking spot, with a dozen tables and chairs and the Taco Moto food truck dividing patrons from parked cars.
About a month ago, however, owner John Revord introduced a brand new patio, still on the North Side of the building, but now with an outdoor bar, enclosed seating area in view of the buttered-corn-yellow Hoan Bridge and an extension that leads to the riverfront where even more seating is available. Brew City Kayak is also on site with kayak and SUP rentals.
"It's almost like we're building our own boardwalk," says Revord. "Our goal is really to activate the space all along the river and around the building. And with the great view and all the activity … you really can't get more Milwaukee than this spot."
Like the bar itself, Revord did much of the patio construction himself and says it was a challenge, but also an exceptional learning experience.
"While it definitely works for Boone aesthetically, it also happens to be the limits of what I've taught myself," says Revord. "Huzzah for wainscoting as an easy-to-work-with material."
The building also houses an events venue, an extension of Boone & Crockett, called The Cooperage. The name reference's the site's history where grain barrels were produced for area brewers before Prohibition. The Cooperage hosts concerts, storytelling events, comedy shows, weddings and other gatherings.
Taco Moto – with chef/owner Mitchell Ciohon – resumed its spot this season on the Boone patio, serving up fresh and inventive tacos along with notable sides like the large and flavorful corn cup. Bad English Asian Kitchen food truck joins the patio party this year with dairy- and nut-free Filipino fusion eats.
Both trucks serve lunch and dinner, seven days a week. A Hawthorne Coffee truck is also on sight many afternoons and early evenings.
Dylan Shanahan has tended bar on the patio since the first day. "It's been really fun. I'm serving a lot of sangria, rosewater lemonades, simple cocktails, beers and shots out here," says Shanahan. "The fancier cocktails are inside (and can be brought onto the patio)."
Boone & Crockett has a reputation for its classic-yet-innovative cocktail menu including favorites like the gin bramble (in photo) and the Tom Collins. There's also a Manhattan and Negroni on tap. And Boone's mocktail menu is one of the city's most consistent with the popular Backseat Bingo and Cardinal Punch (in photo).
"Inclusiveness is really important to us," says General Manager Katrina Cary. "Everyone is welcome here. Everyone can have fun here, regardless of what you like to drink."
Boone & Crockett's patio is also family- and dog-friendly, with treats and water available for the furry guys.
So far, Revord says the reception from customers, friends and neighbors has been fantastic. As the Harborview neighborhood continues to develop, Boone & Crockett will definitely become more and more of an anchor.
"It's only going to get better from here," says Revord.
Boone & Crockett is open Monday-Thursday from 3 p.m. to close and Friday through Sunday from noon to bar close. The food trucks and patio open for lunch.
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