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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

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In Bars & Clubs

Proud owners of Romo's Silver City Sports Bar.

In Bars & Clubs

Romo's is super pool friendly.

In Bars & Clubs

Stop in on a Friday for a Fish Bowl.

In Bars & Clubs

The bar has some old school charm.

In Bars & Clubs

West gets creative behind the bar.

In Bars & Clubs

A classic Pabst sign beams up Silver City.

Local politician opens Silver City bar

12 District County Supervisor Peggy Romo West is serving more than the City of Milwaukee these days. She's also serving drinks at Romo's Silver City Sports Bar, a corner tap at 3530 W. National Ave. that she co-owns with her husband, Junior Romo.

Finding time to balance budgets and bar tabs has been a challenge for West, but one that she is enjoying.

"One night I did the county budget and then immediately after ran over here to bartend because somebody called in sick," she says, laughing. "But I really like bartending. I like talking to people. Junior is really good with people, too, and plus he knows the bar business."

Romo owned the now-defunct Fat's Place on Greenfield Avenue – he and West opened Romo's at the end of 2013.

Prior, the space housed Frank and Barb's Silver City. Romo, supervisor for a landscaping company, brought his crew to Frank and Barb's for an after-work drink this summer and found out the bar was available.

"It was good timing for us," says West. "I always wanted to own a bar."

Although the word "sports" is in the bar's name, Romo's also specializes in darts, pool, DJs and unique cocktails. Poetry readings and karaoke might also be in the bar's future. And one Saturday a month Romo's has a Tejano music night. ("Tejano" is a mix of Texan and Mexican cultures.)

"We don't want to limit the entertainment possibilities here," says West.

The bar features numerous flat screens for sports watching and although the owners are avid Packers backers some of Romo's family are Dallas fans, so they played both games this season.

They plan to host Wave watching parties this summer, among other sports-related events.

"We'll have shuttles to and from Brewers games this summer," says Romo.

Every Wednesday, Romo's hosts open-to-the-public dart and pool games starting at 7 p.m. It also has pool leagues at 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Every weekend at 9 p.m. DJs play music. On Fridays, the DJs focus on old school music.

"That means different things to different people," says West. "Anything from freestyle to house to '50s and '60s music."

Romo and West live in the Silver City neighborhood with her three daughters. West, who grew up in South Milwaukee and Walker's Point, has served on the County Board of Supervisors since 2004. She is currently in her third term and was the first Latino / Hispanic American to be elected to the Milwaukee County Board.

Bar ownership runs in West's family. Her grandfather owned a bar in Antigo, and her new tavern has been a family affair. Two of her three daughters, ages 21 and 22, work as bartenders and her father helps out with pool table maintenance and other projects.

Romo's features domestic taps, domestic and imported bottles, a full bar and a good selection of Mexican beers. The bartenders also like to concoct drinks such as the Girl Scout Cookie and Friday Fish Bowls that are, aptly, served in fish bowls with Nerds candy at the bottom for "gravel," Swedish fish and a boozy liquid that, according to West, is a "little bit of everything."

Romo's has a happy hour every day from 4 to 7 p.m. featuring $2 domestic bottles, $2 pint tappers, $5 pitchers, $3 rails and more.

Giving back to the community is one of the couple's missions. Although their bar has been open for a short period of time, they have already used the space to raise money for a scholarship and a burial fund. They also sponsored a toy drive for the holidays.

"Giving back is important to us," says West.

Owning a bar has been fun for Romo and West, but a lot more work than they expected.

"It's been quite the learning curve. I thought, 'I'm an organized person. I help run a $1.8 billion county. It can't be too hard, right?'" she says. "Wrong."

In the future, the owners have remodeling plans for their establishment, but for now, they are settling into their new life as bar owners.

"We're a cute, little corner bar where people can stop in, have some drinks, play some darts and have a good time," says West.


fetlarpo | Jan. 15, 2014 at 6:47 p.m. (report)

Interesting in a previous article on this website Peggy despised the recycling companies in her district along 1st and Barclay. I think we found something worse than people trying to collect scrap so they can pay their county tax bill. Just what Milwaukee needs another peddler of the legal drug alcohol.

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emills81 | Jan. 13, 2014 at 3:53 p.m. (report)

When asked about the competition form west Milwaukee bars, Peggy didnt seem to mind since they didnt share a border.

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