By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 12, 2023 at 10:03 AM

In 2021, The Bitsy Bar – a restored and tricked-out vintage three-wheeled Italian Ape Car bar on wheels – debuted in Milwaukee. Now owners Joey and Sam Paschke have added a second vehicle to the lineup.

Keeping with the theme, this one is a refurbished fully-electric 1960s Italian Vespa scooter with a two-tap system in its sidecar. Like its predecessor, this one was imported from Barcelona.

In addition to the draft system, the Vespa has a Bluetooth Marshall speaker that allows music to be played from phones and laptops.

Again, like the Ape car (named Daisy), the Paschkes believe this vehicle (named Duke) is the first of its kind in Wisconsin.

Daisy, the Ape Car bar. (PHOTO: Prairie Lynn Photography)

Joey says The Bitsy Bar’s first full year of operation was a successful one.

“Things are going well,” he says. “It was a great first year and definitely a busy summer/fall for us.

“There was a learning curve but super fun to celebrate with all of our clients and be apart of their special day while getting the word out about this new option for people to have at their events.”

Paschke says The Bitsy Bar was tapped for weddings, bridal showers, kids birthday parties, graduation parties, receptions and corporate events, from Downtown Milwaukee to Lake Geneva, “and everywhere in between.”

“We also got to use both the Ape Truck and the ‘Vesbar’ at the Vince Lombardi Charity Foundation Wine and Dine event at The Pfister hotel and feature a number of local breweries like Lion's Tail, Mobcraft, Lakefront, Titletown and some more. It has been a lot of fun forming connections with local companies from breweries to coffee shops to kombucha to cocktails.”

Paschke says that while Daisy is small, Duke is even more capable or squeezing into tight places and more intimate events, allowing event planners more flexibility.

“We can go indoors if there is a double door allowing us to work through the winter for indoor events,” Paschke says. “The truck can be a little big to use inside but with the scooter being completely electric and still with the ability to drive it makes it fairly easy to drive inside a double door to the spot of the event.”

Despite its small size and just two taps, Duke is not limited to beer.

“(It has) the ability to serve anything in a keg, Prosecco, cold brew, beer, wine, cocktails, mocktails, tea, lemonade, and even milk, which we served on tap at a 1-year-old’s birthday party – Milk for the kids, coffee for the adults!

The Bitsy Bar is currently lining up gigs for Daisy and Duke and they can be rented together as a combo package. Che bello!

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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.