In Bars & Clubs

Barnacle Bud's is a hidden patio gem tucked away in plain sight. (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

7 perfect patios for savoring the final days of summer

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!

Even though it feels like summer still just began, the days of warm sun and carefree nights are dwindling away. But while we may be running out of summer, there's no shortage of outstanding patios in Milwaukee for one to waste those remaining days and nights away.

From gorgeous views to tasty brews, hiding in plain sight or tucked away like a secret escape, here are just a few of Brew City's outstanding patios that we've been exploring over the past several weeks that shine in the summer sunlight, deserve a moment in the spotlight and certainly merit a visit before the seasons no longer behave like our friend – and maybe even after, too, depending on how thick your Wisconsin-hardened skin is.

The Backyard

2155 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
(414) 751-4087
thebackyardmke.com

"It's a gorgeous summer night, and the warm air is filled with the soundtrack of brats and burgers sizzling on the grill, good conversations echoing from each part of the yard and a mid-season baseball game providing the modest background music. It feels like a simple, easy-going night with friends in your backyard – close, but it's actually The Backyard, a Bay View bar that asks why hang out on a mere patio when you can relax in a miniature beer garden filled with green grass, fun games, good beer and great company."

Barnacle Bud's

1955 S. Hilbert St.
(414) 481-9974
barnaclebuds.com

"Beyond a concrete jungle of cement lots and warehouses on Bay View's North Edge lies one of Milwaukee's most hidden venues, and one of the city's worst kept secrets: Barnacle Bud's.

"The venue, located at 1955 S. Hilbert St., was created by the owners of Skipper Bud's to service boaters who docked along the banks of the Kinnickinnic River. In fact, when Gene and Victoria McKiernan signed a lease on the space in 1993, the 'yacht club' was little more than a small shack with an ordering window surrounded by a few picnic tables overlooking the river."

Boone & Crockett

818 S. Water St.
(414) 212-8115
boone-crockett.org

"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 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."

Camino

434 S. 2nd St.
(414) 800-5641
caminomke.com

"(Owner Casey) Rataczak says he modeled Camino after craft beer bars he'd experienced in Chicago; spots with great beer lists and maybe a few sandwiches to keep guests satiated.

"What he didn't anticipate was that his from-scratch bar menu featuring exceedingly well executed burgers, inventive sandwiches like a beet reuben and a Brussels sprouts grinder and some of the city's best house-made fried cheese curds would eventually catch on like wildfire.

"Ahem. It's also a spot with a really great patio."

Cloud Red

4488 N. Oakland Ave.
(414) 231-9660
cloudredmke.com

"When Rebecca Goldberger and Lis Duggan opened Cloud Red in the former Village Pub at 4488 N. Oakland Ave., in Shorewood, in 2016, Goldberger told OnMilwaukee, 'What we're most passionate about is making Cloud Red feel like an extension of people's homes; somewhere customers can simply be with friends and family.' The bar and restaurant's new patio is the perfect embodiment of this passion."

The Ivy House and the Fernweh

906 S. Barclay St.
(414) 539-3339
ivyhousemke.com/fernweh/

"When you buy a giant hospitality space near the harbor in Walker's Point, what on earth do you do with it? Well, you create a concert venue and an event space and, of course, you build an amazing patio.

"That's exactly what Ramsey Renno and Tyler Curran did last summer when they opened The Ivy House and the Fernweh (German for 'wanderlust') patio in the space that formerly housed The Point and The Sangria Bar. While the Ivy House is perfect for concerts and comedy performances, as well as corporate events and weddings, Fernweh brings the party outside."

Natty Oaks Pub & Grill

11505 W. National Ave.
(414) 543-2255
nattyoaks.com

"The 'Natio," a play on the name Natty Oaks and the word 'patio,' is a covered area attached to the building with comfortable, new furniture, fire pits and strings of classic patio lights. The second spot is called the 'pawtio' and is, aptly, dog friendly. The pawtio features a large grassy area next to the building with picnic tables, horseshoe and bags games along with a massive chair – made out of oak, of course – for pups and their caregivers to take photos."

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