Featured bartender: Missy Tucker at Puddler's Hall
Missy Tucker has worked at Puddler's Hall, 2463 S. St. Clair St., since January and already, she says, it's her favorite job of all time.
"The staff here is amazing," says Tucker.
Built in 1873, the hall was a gathering place for ironworkers – called "puddlers" – who worked at Bay View's Rolling Mills in the 1800s. Today it serves as a drinking and gathering place for people from all walks of life and hosts a variety of activities including trivia and a guitar circle.
Prior to Puddler's, Tucker worked as the general manager for Transfer Pizzeria and Cafe, but decided she preferred bar tending to managing. Before she was Transfer's GM, Tucker tended bar for eight years, but in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Recently, OnMilwaukee.com stopped in at Puddler's Hall for a beer, a chat with Tucker and a suspiciously delicious pretzel.
OnMilwaukee.com: When did you move to Milwaukee?
Missy Tucker: About three years ago.
OMC: Did you move here for the job at Transfer?
MT: Nope. I moved here for a boy.
OMC: How'd that work out?
MT: He's nice, but not my boy.
OMC: Do you live in Bay View?
MT: Yes, right up the street.
OMC: What do you like about Milwaukee so far?
MT: Milwaukee is a bigger version of Grand Rapids. And there are houses that were converted into bars here. That doesn't happen just anywhere. I love my job at Puddler's, too. It's my favorite job ever, actually.
The owner, Casey (Foltz), is amazing. He's a really stand-up guy. Family-oriented. Not some creepy, old guy trying to make money off of booze. Last week I had a date and another bartender couldn't make it to the shift on time and Casey said, "I'll work for you, go."
OMC: Do you plan to stay in Milwaukee?
MT: Yeah, I like it here. It's very humble, very down to earth. It has a homey feel – especially in Bay View where everyone will help everyone out. I have friends here. And I like that Harley's based here.
OMC: Are you a biker?
MT: I'm not, but my daddy is. I was raised like that. I had a bike once but I was going to kill myself so I had to get rid of it.
My dad came to visit me last summer but I joke he didn't come to see me. He came to go to the (Harley-Davidson) museum.
OMC: What's your favorite drink to make?
MT: I like to make cocktails, but this is a beer and a shot kind of place so I don't make too many these days.
OMC: What do you like to drink?
MT: I like whiskey.
OMC: What do you like to do when you're not tending bar?
MT: Visit all my friends at other bars – Cactus Club, Club G (Garibaldi), Burnhearts. Anywhere in Bay View.
OMC: Why are the (hot) pretzels so good here? Just between you and me, is there crack in them?
MT: There's definitely not crack in them, but there might be a little meth in them. Oh, and a lot of cheese.
OMC: Any future hopes, dreams, plans?
MT: I would like to backpack through Europe. And one day, I hope to own my own bar. Maybe like a blend of this place and Burnhearts with a small space for local artists.
OMC: Do you see a lot of local music?
OMC: Do you play any instruments?
MT: I tried to do that, but I failed. I tried to play guitar, bass and violin, but I don't count well.
OMC: Do you get hit on a lot while tending bar?
MT: Nah, it's not that kind of bar. The regulars might say crass things once in a while, but I'm not very flirtations. I just shoot 'em down if need to be ... Dating is awkward to me.
OMC: So, how was your date the other night?
MT: Wonderful. He's a gem.
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