Ten Bells will soon be the bar formerly known as Ten Bells. But the new name is yet to be decided even though the space already has a completely different look, feel and purpose.Â
While many establishments close during the remodeling process, Ten Bells didnâ€™t. Instead, customers have been able to witness the transformation. And it is still a work in progress.
The first change was the walls went from metal gray to warmer tones of burgundy and gold. The back bar was rebuilt and looks like vintage wooden boxes filled with booze bottles and knick-knacks. Thereâ€™s also an intimate back lounge thatâ€™s potentially ideal for a "date night."
"The one thing the neighborhood was missing is a place thatâ€™s comfortable for people to go before or after dinner and enjoy a drink in a warm, casual space," says managing partner, Samuel Berman.
The lighting is extremely ambient â€“ with â€˜70s chandeliers, candles and a faux fireplace â€“ and the walls have a mix of hangings, from thrift store scores to photos from Bermanâ€™s parentâ€™s â€˜70s wedding.Â
Itâ€™s a mash-up of Bay Viewâ€™s Burnhearts and a tasteful grandmaâ€™s house. Itâ€™s classy meets cozy.
"We only want things in here that have a feel of time. We want to make the space feel older but not antiquated," he says.
But drinkers canâ€™t get too attached to the adornments because the plan is to change them up often.
"We want an environment thatâ€™s eclectic and changeable. The walls will start one way but things are going to move and develop over time â€“ change to represent not just the people who operate the bar, but the people who come to the bar," says Berman.
Ten Bells opened in 2009, and although it had a good run, Berman says it was never the same after Lee Guk left to open Lucky Joeâ€™s Tiki Room.
"Lee was a big part of what made Bells really successful. He was the heartbeat, and when he left, the place essentially went into a coma," says Berman.
Coincidentally, while trying to figure out exactly what to do with the space, Bermanâ€™s friend, bartender Tom Julio, moved back to Milwaukee with a vision and a willingness to commit to a new concept.
And now? The words "Ten Bells" are still displayed on the exterior despite the fact the interior outgrew the name weeks ago. There is so much more to come, but for now, Berman says they will reintroduce the space on or around Feb. 1.
"And weâ€™ll have a name by then," he says.
No Talkbacks for 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 Molly Snyder
Published July 23, 2016
OnMilwaukee recently asked La Perla's co-owner what happened to the pepper now that the restaurant was sold.
Published July 22, 2016
Every time we visit "Kosy" we wonder why we don't stop by more. It's peaceful, accessible and a great way to take a quick break from the city bustle and take in some serenity for five minutes, 10 minutes or more.
Published July 21, 2016
Award-winning musician Evan Christian plans to open a Walker's Point jazz and acoustic live music boutique called Gibraltar in the former Felipe's Place, 538 W. National Ave.
Published July 21, 2016
Yesterday, OnMilwaukee got a super early sneak peek of Vue, the new rooftop patio and venue coming to Old World Third Street. Watch the Facebook Live video here.
Published July 20, 2016
Here are 10 ways to stay cool on a hot summer night.
Published July 20, 2016
The Bristol Renaissance Faire - which runs weekends through Labor Day - is one of the most earnest, genuine, non-ironic places, populated with some of the most earnest, genuine and non-ironic people. It is, for many, a place of joy.
Published July 18, 2016
DJ Grand Master O is one of Milwaukee's busiest DJs, with multiple standing weekly gigs including Fridays on the Edelweiss Boat Line's late night cruises. We recently caught up with Grand Master O and chatted about his music, family, goals, hair and more.
Published July 15, 2016
In 2013, brother and sister Dave and Juliet Popovic opened Rusty Sprocket Antiques, a corner antique shop located at 3391 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View. By the end of the summer, they will open the Sprocket Cafe in the space next door.
Published July 14, 2016
After 21 years of offering Mexican food and mechanical pepper rides, La Perla, 734 S 5th St., will close on Saturday, July 16. La Perla opened in 1995 with just 10 tables and later expanded to occupy three buildings with two outdoor patios.
Published July 13, 2016
Bay View's Bounce Milwaukee is as much of a grown-up destination as it is a kid zone. Adults can jump, slide, laser, climb, box, play video games, sumo wrestle and more, in between drinking beers or cocktails and eating healthy (or not healthy) food.