The New Third Ward Beer Garden Opens This Week

It’ll be in Catalano Square through September.

One of Milwaukee’s most popular neighborhoods for cuisine, culture and shopping is adding another attraction with the Third Ward Beer Garden, which opens Friday in Catalano Square. 

Featuring a menu of local craft beer, imported beer and more, the seasonal beer garden will operate June through September. The beer garden will feature a custom two-level pop-up container bar with a rooftop stage. Additional seating will be available at German-style picnic tables, while high-top tables crafted from beer barrels will also dot the landscape. 

The bar also features a unique rooftop green space, where musicians will give acoustic performances on Thursdays and Saturdays. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Historic Third Ward Association and BID #2, with funds raised supporting improvements to Catalano Square. 


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“This beer garden is a place for our neighborhood residents and visitors to come together, raise a glass and celebrate summer in one of our favorite Third Ward parks,” Historic Third Ward Association Executive Director Jim Plaisted said. “With local brews and local musicians drawing beer lovers to Catalano Square, we are excited to show off all the incredible businesses that populate this area of the Third Ward.” 

Catalano Square is located at the southern end of Broadway Street at Menomonee Street. It was created as part of a neighborhood streetscape project in 1992. The park boasts many artistic and historic amenities, including an urban amphitheater surrounding the Dragotta Fountain, a refurbished vintage bus shelter donated by the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail, the “New Pink Planet” sculpture by artist Richard Edelman and rotating works from SculpureMKE. 

The Third Ward Beer Garden will be managed by longtime hospitality industry veterans Leanne and Dave Hock, who are also Third Ward residents. Leanne Hock is owner and general manager of The Hock Group, which includes the Bud Pavilion and the popular summertime live music series, Wednesday Night Live, at Wisconsin State Fair Park. Dave Hock has 30-plus years of beverage and hospitality experience with Beechwood Sales and Service in New Berlin and served as CEO of Milwaukee Brewing Co. and Future Libations. Dave is currently a beverage industry consultant.   

“Like other neighborhood beer gardens around the city, this beer garden will be a social gathering spot,” Leanne Hock says. “We are excited to welcome our Third Ward neighbors and visitors to enjoy summer days and evenings with friends and family, cold beverages, great music and lots of good cheer. It’s what Milwaukee summers are all about.”  

The beer garden will feature a seasonal menu of beer, wine and ready-to-drink cocktails. Live music performances will be held most Thursdays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m.  

After the opening on Friday, the Third Ward Beer Garden will operate Wednesdays through Sundays through September. Hours will be 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays; noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Visit Third Ward Beer Garden’s website for information on weather and special event closures, as hours may vary. 



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.