Shaker's is regularly on lists of the most haunted bars in America.
Shaker's is regularly on lists of the most haunted bars in America.

In search of the perfect pizza: Shaker's Cigar Bar

Searching for the perfect pizza doesn’t limit me to traditional restaurants and pizzerias. I’m not even limited to traditional bars and pubs that serve it. So when friends recommended pizza at Shaker's Cigar Bar, known more for its haunted tours than food or even cigars, I had to give the pie a try.

The website for Shaker's Cigar Bar includes enough articles to provide much of the information I try to learn about a business, including a couple featured right here at OnMilwaukee. Current owner and chef Bob Weiss opened Shakers, 422 S. 2nd St., in 1986.

Weiss inherited a building that came with "guests," leading to stories and testimonies from customers that landed Shaker's on lists for most haunted bars in America. People pay to go on haunted tours, and some will pay to spend the night on the third floor, hoping to have an encounter with a ghost. I think it’s cool that Shaker's brings more publicity to Milwaukee.

Weiss owned several smoke shops, but closed them after cigars seemed to lose popularity. He affiliated cigars with "big-ticket" experiences and sought to provide a premium experience with Shaker's, which explains the visit I had with some of my Yelp friends a few weeks ago on a Monday night.

I reviewed the menu online before I visited to get a feel for what I might want to try and also to give my friends an idea of what to expect.

The menu tends to change monthly and is small, which is wise considering the kitchen is right behind the bar and doesn’t allow for much flexibility. The June menu featured a handful of appetizers, including Moroccan hummus and larb, which I was very surprised to see on the menu. Larb is a staple in Laotian cuisine, typically very spicy, flavorful and made with ground chicken or beef. I don’t even find the dish on most Southeast Asian menus in town, so I’d never expect to see it at a cigar bar. The small list of entrees shared a theme and featured Cajun flavors with andouille etouffee, bayou jambalaya and cajun garlic shr…