UPDATED: Beer gardens are making a comeback
As other cities plot to make streetside dining more available as a means for reopening struggling restaurants and bars, Milwaukee-area beer gardens are slowly dipping their toes into the water, and some are fully reopening.
Last week, The Landing at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa reopened, first for pre-order pick-up only, and by Memorial Day weekend, also for on-site quaffing.
Shorewood's Hubbard Park Beer Garden also reopened on Friday, May 22, offering what it calls "full service beer and food."
It will also has table limits, timed cleaning and sanitation schedules and employees serving as "dedicated safety officers" to enforce social distancing.
The Franklin Beer Garden at Croatian Park, 9100 S. 76th St., will open on Thursday, June 4 and will celebrate the start of its sixth season by giving away free Croatian Park Ale – brewed by Miller – to each patron while supplies last.
The beer garden, which sits on 30 acres, has live music, food, mixers and wine, as well as import and domestic beers. Happy hour, from 5 until 6 p.m., offers $2. It's open every Thursday, 5-10 p.m., through Sept. 17.
In mid-May, Hans Weissberger III told Kathy Flanigan of the Journal Sentinel that he would like to reopen the Estabrook Park Beer Garden in Shorewood on May 26.
Even then, he said, he may only do carryout. To that end, he's stocked up on plastic growlers.
The County Parks' traveling beer gardens season, which was to have launched already in Juneau and Wisconsin Avenue Parks, has been delayed.
When that delay was announced last on May 9, the county said that it was working to develop "Safe Start" plans for its three beer gardens at South Shore, Whitnall and Humboldt Parks.
"The county has a reopening work group that is reviewing our current operations, be they contracted or in-house," says District 14 Supervisor Jason Haas. "In order to open, they need to have a COVID-19 operations plan. Vendor requests are being reviewed with this in mind.
"An earlier plan was to have Traveling Beer Gardens open later in the summer. Hopefully by then outbreaks in the area will have subsided."
Stay tuned for more on the reopening of Milwaukee's beloved beer gardens as soon as there is news.
Until then, and even after then, please be safe so that we help keep each other healthy and so that we don't have to shut it all down again.
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