By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 18, 2021 at 3:02 PM

Don’t worry, sausage fans, the Old German Beer Hall will continue its tradition of handing out free Usinger’s sausage on Tuesday, Feb. 23, which has been proclaimed Fred Usinger Day by Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive David Crowley, celebrating the sausage-making family’s more than 140 years in Milwaukee.

“Some things just can’t be cancelled,” said Hans Weissgerber III, who owns of the Old German Beer Hall,  located directly across King Drive from Usinger’s.

“With a little creativity and some extra effort, we are honored to be keeping this celebration of our German heritage and one Milwaukee’s most iconic brands.”

Weissgerber will hand out free Usinger’s brats – one per person, please – from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. that day.

In order to comply with City of Milwaukee health orders and promote social distancing, Old German Beer Hall will hand out brats via grab and go service on the sidewalks.

However, the bar and restaurant will be open with limited capacity via 45-minute seating sessions that can be reserved online at

Each seat is $10, which includes your choice of 1 liter of HB beer or a .5 liter of wine or soft drink, plus that free brat. Patrons must wear a mask when entering the restaurant and anytime they are not seated at their tables.

Across the street, the Usinger’s store – a Milwaukee landmark if ever there was one, if you ask me – there will be special deals on offer, too.
Happy Fred Usinger Day, Milwaukee!

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.