Raise your glasses to beer gardens.
Raise your glasses to beer gardens.

2020 Milwaukee beer garden guide

As area cities plot to make streetside dining more available as a means for reopening struggling restaurants and bars, Milwaukee-area beer gardens have come back online. Here's the latest news:

The dog- and family-friendly Baaree beer garden in Thiensville is open, serving food and froth, as well as live music and trivia nights. Opens at 2 p.m. daily, except Mondays.

The beer offerings change often, but a recent menu listed New Glarus' Spotted Cow, 3 Sheeps' Cashmere Hammer nitro stout, Central Waters' HHG APA American pale ale and Good City's pils alongside a number of national craft brews from Surly, Alaskan Brewing, WarPigs, Bell's, Rogue and Big Sky, with a couple imports, too.

The Deer District beer garden at the Fiserv Forum is open and there is a new food truck on-site. Details here.

Estabrook Park Beer Garden has reopened with its regular hours, noon to 10 p.m., much to the relief of its many fans.

The Franklin Beer Garden at Croatian Park, 9100 S. 76th St., is now open. 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.

The Landing at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa is open for on-site quaffing.

Shorewood's Hubbard Park Beer Garden is 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 Vine at Humboldt Park and South Shore Terrace have now reopened, too.

Kegel's Inn in West Allis is open Wednesdays through Saturdays. Details here:

84South's owners and the nearby Brass Tap are collaborating on the new Lokal Beer Garden, at 84th an…

A rendering of the new Crossroads Plaza being created at Schlitz Park.
A rendering of the new Crossroads Plaza being created at Schlitz Park. (Photo: RINKA)

WATCH: New owners giving Schlitz Park a makeover

A year after Crestlight Capital and TPG Real Estate bought Schlitz Park from the Grunau and Sampson families – who purchased the property in 1983 af the brewery had ceased operations there and converted it into an office park – the 32-acre site is getting a refresh.

The first publicly visible sign of that is the announcement that the Brown Bottle Pub – which was shuttered right after the sale – will reopen.

But the changes run deeper than that, according to Crestlight’s John Coury, who says the $6 million makeover includes a new plaza, a pedestrian bridge and other features to connect the five buildings on the site, a mural and more.

Coury also said that elements from the impressive cache of historical architectural elements that the Grunaus had collected – and which once filled the lower-level of a Pleasant Street parking structure like the storage area of a mini-museum – will be incorporated around the campus as mementos and reminders of the heritage and history of Schlitz Park.

(I admit I panicked a little the day I noticed all of that stuff had been removed.)

After launching on 4th and Juneau in 1849, Schlitz moved to what is now Schiltz Park in 1870 and operated there until it closed the brewery and sold out to Stroh’s in 1982.

Sadly, many of the brewery buildings have been demolished over time, including the stunning brewhouse.

Others, including the stables and garage, still exist but are located across the street from Schlitz Park and are under different ownership.

Milwaukee Public Schools owns the former malt house on the corner of King Drive and Pleasant Street and it is home to the Golda Meir Middle and High School programs.

"Crestlight and TPG’s plan is to not only invest financially, but fully embrace the rich history of Schlitz Park and celebrate the legacy that gives so many Wisconsinites nostalgia for being on campus," reads a statement from the ownership.

Currently 31 tenants – including the Milwaukee Bucks – occupy 92…

The Milwaukee Public Museum is reopening.
The Milwaukee Public Museum is reopening.

Milwaukee Public Museum will reopen on Aug. 21

The Milwaukee Public Museum announced Monday that it will reopen to the public on Friday, Aug. 21.

Museum members and donors will be able to visit beginning on Aug. 13.

"We’re excited to welcome people back to the Museum," said MPM President and CEO Dr. Ellen Censky in a statement.

"Though visits in this first phase of reopening may look a little different, we are excited to offer new and unique ways to safely connect our visitors to nature and culture."

Masks will be required during the first phase of the reopening, and visitors will be expected to follow a one-way path through the museum.

Admission will be via timed tickets to help limit the number of guests and allow for social distancing.

Some exhibits and spaces will remain closed during this initial phase.

Visitors will enter on Wells Street and exit via the MacArthur Square parking garage to maintain distance.

MPM plans to launch monthly programming videos to enhance some exhibits and is making WiFi free help visitors access them.

"The safety of our staff and visitors is our highest priority," said Censky. "As we carefully and cautiously welcome visitors back to MPM, we look forward to providing members, visitors, and the community with new, innovative ways to encounter our collections."

Tickets and member reservations can be made online beginning Thursday, Aug. 6. Museum members must create a new account online to receive benefits, and visitors must also create one to receive special promotions like the Milwaukee County resident discount.

For more information visit mpm.edu.

Walk the streets of Milwaukee with me.
Walk the streets of Milwaukee with me.

Milwaukee walks: Exploring Brew City neighborhoods

For the past couple years, I've been walking Milwaukee-area neighborhoods with readers via a series of Facebook lives. They're unrehearsed, unplanned beyond picking a place to start, and so, they're casual and hopefully informative and interesting and maybe even fun.

Here is an ongoing collection of the walks, which you can watch any time via the embedded links below. Keep checking back because I'll add more as I do them.

Schlitz Park


Harbor District (south and west)

Horlick Malted Milk complex in Racine

5th Street in Walker's Point

East Tosa

Wauwatosa Village

Brewery District

Westown (Part I)


Harbor District (with Lilith Fowler)

East Wisconsin Avenue