For the seventh straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2013."
Last week, Molly Snyder was on hand on opening day to check out Milwaukee’s first Sprecher’s Pub, located on the main square at Bayshore Town Center, just a hop, skip and jump from Sprecher Brewery, which is also located in Glendale.
I heard the large new pub, located in the space that was formerly home to Bravo! Cucina, has some happy hour specials, so I took that as an opportunity to see the place for myself.
Interestingly, the interior hasn’t changed much. Sure, there’s some breweriana in there now, but the layout, seating and walls don’t seem much, if at all, different. Which is fine, because it works. It’s casual but nice and warm.
On the far left is the bar, which may have changed a bit, I can’t recall ever visiting the bar at Bravo!, though I did dine on the patio and in the dining room at least once. There is a long bar stretching across the east wall and opposite there are high-top tables.
My server was friendly and let me know that tap beers are $3 (there are wine and cocktail specials, too) and that full-size appetizers are $6 each from 3 until 7 p.m. weekdays.
I made the mistake of ordering off what I thought were indicators of what was available, but turned out simply to be decorative posters featuring Sprecher beers. The pub was out of Oktoberfest, my first choice, and doesn’t yet carry Winter Brew – even if it already feels like late November outside! – and so I tried a Pipers Scotch Ale, which arrived quickly and super chilled.
Among the appetizers on the menu are cheese curds, nachos, deep-fried stuffed mushrooms, reuben bites, Thai mussels, blackened chicken and veggie quesadillas, chicken wings and a trio of dips (spicy crab, hummus, and creamy spinach and artichoke) served with tortilla chips, hot soft pretzels and Thai lettuce wraps.
The appetizers range in price from $7 to $12 but during happy hour are $6 each for full portions.
I tried the reuben bites and the wings.
The former were eight balls of corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese breaded and deep fried and served with cups of thousand island dressing and horseradish sauce. The bits were lighter than you’d expect and were fried at just the right temperature so they weren’t a bit greasy.
The wings appetizer is a pound of bone-in wings and drumsticks in a house buffalo sauce served with bleu cheese on the side. The sauce was lightly applied, so the wings weren’t too messy to eat, and had a touch of spice, but not much. They were meaty, but a bit dry. The wings were OK – not bad, but they didn’t have me raving.
The restaurant was doing a decent, though not bustling service while I was there from about 5:15 until a bit after 6 p.m. on a Wednesday night. But it was early, it was a weeknight and the early chill in the air meant Bayshore itself wasn’t doing a brisk business last night.
With a decent menu and a hometown connection in Glendale, this fourth Sprecher’s location – others are in Madison, the Dells and Lake Geneva – seems a good fit for the mall. It’s happy hour specials make it a relatively inexpensive light dinner or after-work drink stop, too.
Just do yourself a favor and ignore the "for your convenience" gratuity calculation at the bottom of your check. On my $16.04 ticket, the restaurant said a 15% percent tip would be $3.68 (which is actually 23%) and a 20% gratuity would be $4.91, which is actually slightly above 30%.
(NOTE: Thank you to the alert talkbacker who noted that the tip calculation is based on the price of the dishes before the happy hour discount. Surely, that was the case (though, like me, no one I talked to about it later had guessed that was the case). A quick web search showed that I was not the first to misunderstand this, and that a debate rages on whether one ought to tip on the actual bill or the theoretical bill. Debate aside, I do wish I'd left another buck or so because I'm inclined to think one tips on the regular price. Apologies to my server.)
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published July 31, 2015
Last week, I got a message from Paul Walter, a co-facilitator at the Slinger Authors' Camp, a youth program that's part of the Fox Valley Writing Project (which is, in turn, affiliated with the National Writing Project). The 17 kids in the program are suburban spelunking in their town.
Published July 30, 2015
There's no need to massage the statistics: men are hitting spas across the country - and right here in Milwaukee - in bigger numbers than ever before.
Published July 28, 2015
Some details of the plan for the new development in the trio of National Ace Hardware buildings on 4th and McKinley have emerged, right as plans for a new arena and entertainment district across the street have taken steps forward.
Published July 25, 2015
One of the Milwaukee area's most interesting parks is a bit off the beaten path, but it's worth making tracks to Lizard Mound County Park in Farmington, just north of West Bend in Washington County. A wooded path twists and turns through 28 Native American effigy mounds, including the one shaped like a huge lizard which gives the park its name.
Published July 24, 2015
Green Lake is a place of superlatives. Here are eight of the many reasons to fall in love with Green Lake, which is an easy 90-minute drive from Milwaukee.
Published July 24, 2015
What a long strange trip it was. While theaters like the Downer and Oriental have venerable histories as long-running cinema houses, consider, if you will, the the more varied history of the now-dilapidated State Theater, 2616 W. State St. Originally a movie theater, the State has served a number of purposes - rock venue, prudish dance hall and strip club - in its nearly 100-year history.
Published July 22, 2015
There were about 500 people on hand to watch U2 at The Palms on April 15, 1981. The show was part of the Irish band's first U.S. tour. Here's a look back...
Published July 21, 2015
Come with me to see the progress on the restoration of The Pabst Mansion's third floor and also peek into the basement and attic, and experience the view from the roof of this Milwaukee landmark.
Published July 17, 2015
Milwaukee neighborhoods were once awash in movie theaters, as hard as that may be to imagine these days when you can count the number of non-googleplex cinemas in the city limits on one hand. While many are lost, a few remain. At 3804 W. Vliet St. is a former longtime carpet store that's been closed the past few years. But, originally, the building was home to The Lyric Theater, which operated from 1917 to 1952.
Published July 14, 2015
In 2012, I toured the surviving Alexander Eschweiler-designed Agricultural College buildings on the County Grounds, when their roofs gaped open to the stars - and the elements - and weeds encircled their exteriors. Despite talk of tearing them down, and an ongoing battle to save them from demolition, four of the buildings survive, even as six new apartment buildings are rising around them.