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A public beer garden for Pere Marquette Park?

Plan pitched for Pere Marquette Park


Downtown Milwaukee, with all of its beer pride and glory, doesn't have a great outdoor beer garden. Sure, a lot of places in have outdoor dining and patios, but we lack a destination beer garden that celebrates our history, roots and our brews.

Think about Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave., for a minute. Its location is perfect, but its staging and seating areas are pitiful. The bandshell is too small and there's nowhere to sit, except a few picnic tables. Nonetheless, the Westown Association puts on great events there, including River Rhythms and River Flicks. It also owns the liquor license for the park.

So, why not make Pere Marquette a true destination urban park with a nod to Brew City's German and beer pasts? That's the thought of one proposal that being bantered around that seeks to transform the park into "the Milwaukee Public Beer Garden."

Under the plan, that's still in the conceptual stages, but that I got wind of yesterday -- a newly developed beer garden space could be owned and operated by the Westown Association, maintained by Milwaukee County and be open every day from May to October.

I say, move it forward and build it now!

Pere Marquette Park is perfectly situated for redevelopment and reuse. Some type of permanent structure(s) could remake that Milwaukee River hugging park into a destination that complements the Riverwalk's ever-growing list of bars and restaurants. This is the type of creativity Milwaukee needs.

Obviously, this is just an idea and funds would need to be raised, plans approved and positioned. The Westown Association tells me that it's studying the idea, but needs additional information. There's no firm time table for development of the project, though.

Milwaukee is still Brew City, but I think this is a chance to have a Downtown beer garden that toasts our town's tradition!

Keep reading OnMilwaukee.com, as I'll post more details as I get them. Cheers!


Talkbacks

jakeyd | Oct. 21, 2008 at 1:24 p.m. (report)

We do need a public anything! There are plenty of great places to have a beer outside. How's the Public Market doing?

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CrustyJoe | Oct. 17, 2008 at 11:20 a.m. (report)

Love the beer garden idea. Sitting outside at the Brat House the other night, I was thinking how much this idea would enhance Old World Third Street... You have the historical society there, Usingers, German Beer Hall, Maders, and the Brat House all within two blocks.... add a summer beer garden for relaxing by the river and you have a perfect German-eque setting for both tourists AND locals. I don't think it would detract from businesses, but instead add to the businesses... since right after our dinner at the Brat House, we went in to the Beer Hall for some more beer. If Usingers were open, we would have bought some food for the next day!

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FunkyBrewster | Oct. 11, 2008 at 11:34 a.m. (report)

Milwaukee IS a public beer garden!

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rhinobrau | Oct. 10, 2008 at 2:43 p.m. (report)

What an awesome idea. A Milwaukee beergarden that features Milwaukee beers would be a great way to utilize a beautiful piece of land on the river that is currently underused. I think it would blend nicely with the other German-themed establishments in the area.

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MilwaukeeD | Oct. 10, 2008 at 8:08 a.m. (report)

dave, wouldn't this bring more traffic to the Third Street area? I know that I probably only go there a few times a year right now. I would at least double my trips because of this...and I would patronize some of the establishments along the street in addition to the beer garden.

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