Flappers bar and grill mixes modern times with roaring '20s
Nine years ago, Mark and Carolyn Silber embarked on a third business venture. They already owned two bars – the Fin 'N Feather in Greenfield and Brew City Tap on 31st and Forrest Home Avenue – but they decided to open another place in West Allis.
The couple found a building at 7527 W. Becher St. and when they found out it was built in 1936, they decided to go with a '20s and '30s theme and named the bar Flappers.
In the "roaring '20s," Flappers were a type of young woman who bucked "appropriate behavior" for women at the time and instead smoked, drank, hung out in jazz clubs and wore short skirts, bobbed hair and heavy make up.
"The building was built in the aftermath of the Flappers era, but we still went with the name because the building was not built long after," says Mark.
Flappers has a corner bar feel and also serves as a neighborhood sports bar. Shuttles run to and from Brewers games for night and weekend games and the bar also hosts chartered bus trips to Wrigley field when the Brewers play the Cubs.
About a year and a half ago, the Silbers hired Sue Der to operate the kitchen.
"We already had the kitchen, so it made sense to offer food," says Mark, who grew up on the South Side and raised, with his wife, four sons.
Der's menu continues the theme with "flappetizers" which include mini tacos, bruschetta, deep fried clams, stuffed portobella mushrooms, wontons and "half naked cheese curds" which are light on the breading.
The menu also features wings, salads, pizzas, wraps and sandwiches with era-appropriate names like The Great Gatsby grilled cheese, Al Capone club, Betty Boop burger, Bing Crosby BLT, Greta Garbo Chicken Sammie and the Progressive Era portobella sandwich.
The Friday night fish fry offers three kinds of cod – fried, baked or Cajun – and a lake perch dinner. All come with coleslaw, rye bread and a choice of fries, Cajun fries, tots or potato pancakes.
The kitchen is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. every day of the week.
As a passionate sports fan, Der sometimes offers dinner specials that reflect the visiting team's home town.
"For example, I make pierogis when the Pirates are in town because it's a Pittsburgh tradition," says Der.
The burgers are also sports-themed and are available as singles, doubles, triples or a home run which features four patties on one kaiser roll. There's also a grand slam that has four burgers as well as bacon.
"These burgers are $1 off during any live Brewers game or for shuttle riders," says Der.
Prices are moderate with appetizers and sandwiches between $6 and $8, pizzas $12-$15 and $10-$13 for the fish fry specials.
Flappers also hosts a Tuesday night poker game, with sessions starting at 7 and 10 p.m. "Everyone is invited to stop by and play," says Mark.
The bar also features drink specials every night.
Mark says the key to the bar's charm is the location – Becher Street is a busy street both day and night – and also his staff.
"I like to think we have some of the best staff in the city," he says. "There are a lot of bars out there with dedicated staffs, but I believe we truly have some of the best. And our customers are really friendly, too."
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