Big Head Brewing Company

On the outer edge of the imposing, sterile shadow cast by the behemoth macro-brewer and namesake of Miller Valley there sits another brewery. This one, Big Head Brewing Company (6204 W. State St., Wauwatosa) isn’t nearly as big, both in terms of size and output. I’d wager Miller will spill more beer by the end of this sentence than Big Head has ever brewed. I even missed the new microbrewery on my first pass down State Street. But once I got arrived, I found a welcome addition to the already stacked roster of Milwaukee-area brewers. After locating the nondescript warehouse—that,…

Ugly’s Pub

Image courtesy of Ugly’s Pub.  Although Ugly’s Pub (1125 N. Old World Third St.) has been open since late July and as much as the name intrigued me, it took me a while to make a visit. Unless I am going to a Buck’s game or am forced by an out-of-town bachelorette, I don’t frequent bars in that area. Call me an old 20-something, call me lame, but it just isn’t my scene. I tried my best to keep an open mind when my friend Kari and I headed to Ugly’s on a recent Saturday afternoon to grab drinks and…

Saint Francis Brewing Co.

The smallest and holiest city in all of Milwaukee County, St. Francis, is regarded as a quiet lakeside haven with a centuries-long Roman Catholic connection. While the city is much more known for its pious past than its modern day affiliation to the beers and bars of its northern neighbor (that has rightfully earned the “Brew City” moniker), there are a few drinking establishments throughout St. Francis, should residents or visitors seek liquid indulgence. Of the handful of watering holes clustered in the shadow of the St. Francis Seminary, only one actually brews its own beer. Since 2009, Saint Francis…

Malone’s On Brady

Image via Shutterstock.   Over the last 60 years, the nine-block stretch of shops, restaurants and taverns lining Brady Street has changed a great deal. Glorioso’s moved across the street; local hero Pepperoni Cannoli died; countless tenants have come and gone, and a few national franchises like Jimmy John’s and Walgreens squeezed their way into that parcel of Milwaukee’s East Side. But during the last six-plus decades, the one constant in the ever-changing district was the understated black and white sign reading “Listwan’s” affixed to a beloved neighborhood bar.   Since the outset of the 1950’s, Listwan’s served up cold…

Blue Jacket’s Bar

Images by Kaitlin Corner. Early this summer I drove around my new neighborhood of Walker’s Point and noticed a small building under construction next to La Merenda. The sign above the entrance had a sail boat with the words “Blue Jacket” underneath. At the time I thought, “That will be a cute store, too bad I don’t sail.” Fast forward three months, and I’m glad Blue Jacket (135 E. National Ave.) caters to taste buds and not athleticism. The first time I tried Blue Jacket was in early August as I met my friend Cat for post-work drinks during the…

Gerry’s Diamond Tap

The story of Gerry’s Diamond Tap (939 E. Lincoln Ave.), at least recently, is a one predicated on tragedy. Gerry, the namesake of the 25-year-old Bay View tavern, passed away this summer. Her husband Pete died in 2008. A longtime bartender of some 20 years passed on since. But after a short and uncertain hiatus, daughter Rhonda Torres (relatively inexperienced in the bar industry) and her husband Joe fortunately opted to keep this gem around. Gerry’s Diamond Tap re-opened a few weeks ago to little fanfare. Learning of the revitalization of a bar I’d lamented never visiting before it had…

Stonefly Brewery

As we’ve been reminded by Alterra’s recent Colectivo transformation, Palomino’s change in ownership (and everything else, really) and Pizza Man’s revival within shouting distance of its charred former haunts, alterations of any magnitude have a recognizable impact on most restaurants, bars and cafes. While I can’t personally confirm it, Stonefly Brewery (735 E. Center St.) seems to fall into that classification after the Riverwest brewpub replaced Onapa Brewing Company in 2006. I’d never been to Onapa during its lengthy run, but I’ve heard more than a few nostalgic rehashings of great shows (The National played there in 2004!) and unforgettable…

Black Sheep

The ongoing facelift of Walker’s Point neighborhood has injected a dash of culinary culture and refreshment refinement into the once-industrial, brick and mortar Milwaukee neighborhood. In recent years, places like Industri, Zak’s Café, Crazy Water, Loft and Lucky Joe’s Tiki Room have popped up in the historic and traditionally no-frills region. Earlier this week, yet another rundown Cream City brick façade was restored, welcoming in Black Sheep (206 S. Second St.), yet another high end bar and eatery to the neighborhood. I stopped by Black Sheep on its second evening of operation to see whether the establishment brought anything new…

Millioke

Image courtesy of Millioke.  As a downtown nine-to-fiver, I frequently find myself grabbing lunch or an after-work drink at restaurants or bars within walking distance of my office. After taking a client to lunch at Millioke (323 E. Wisconsin Ave.), which is attached to the new Marriott, and having nothing short of perfect service and food, I knew I had to make a stop for happy hour.  With a tagline of “Meat. Cheese. Beer,” Millioke celebrates the food and drink for which our fine city is known. While my History of Western Great Lakes Indians class at UW-Milwaukee taught me…

Studio Lounge

Image courtesy of Studio Lounge.  With a quarterly gallery night, local renderings hanging on the walls of more than a few businesses and Sky High Gallery hosting regular exhibitions, Bay View has shown it has quite a proclivity for the arts. Amid the menagerie of artist-friendly drinking establishments in the Kinnickinnic Avenue corridor, one bar, Studio Lounge (2246 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), takes the neighborhood’s affinity for locally sourced artwork and craft cocktails a step further. Excluding my failed attempt to drop in on a recent Monday (Studio Lounge is closed Mondays and Tuesdays), I’d last visited Studio Lounge during the summer…