By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jul 24, 2020 at 7:31 AM

Play ball! Baseball is back as (re)opening day is finally here, featuring our beloved Brewers taking on the rival Chicago Cubs, with first pitch at 6:10 p.m. on Friday, July 24. And while we may not be able to watch from the seats at a game, much less in our usual tailgating fashion or even at a crowded regular bar, we can still cheer on the Crew while being safe and social distanced with the help of some local outdoor bar patios and yard spaces.

To help you get the most out of today's nine-inning debut, here are nine local bars offering outdoor spaces to watch the Brewers and support the home team while also staying safe. (Though, to do so, be sure to still social distance and to still wear your mask within six feet of other people.)

1. The Yard at The Iron Horse Hotel

What more fitting place to celebrate the return to the ol' ballyard than The Yard, found at The Iron Horse Hotel. Opened back to the public in early June, The Yard offers a wide outdoor patio space perfect relaxing while social distancing – or, in the case of Friday night beginning at 5 p.m., cheering on the Crew as they battle the Baby Bears down at Wrigley, complete with the game on the venue's big screens, specials on classic ballpark grub and beer, and even snausage treats for any furry four-legged Milwaukee fans that come along. 

2. SportClub

Between the Brewers and Bucks both blazing back into action, SportClub – found at 750 N. Jefferson St. down the block from Cathedral Square – picked the right time to reopen. The sports bar cracked its doors back open on Thursday, July 23, just in time to bring fans back to watch the Brewers on Opening Day 2.0 – of course, with safety precautions including an emphasis on outdoor seating such as sidewalk seating and its patio space complete with the Brewers-Cubs game blasting on the big screen. Celebrate the reopening – and hopefully a Brew Crew win as well.

3. Good City Brewing

Good City Brewing has outdoor seating for the summer on lock – especially at its East Side location, where it has a refreshing rooftop and outdoor patio seating to offer alongside their refreshing brews. If you're looking for Brewers and a brew outside, though, you'll want to make your way to Good City's Downtown location by Fiserv Forum, where the hoppy hub will feature outdoor patio seating to watch the opening day – which sounds like a pretty great way to spend a day at Good City.

4. Stubby's Gastrogrub & Beer Bar

Enjoy a scenic view of the river while (hopefully) enjoying a scenic view of the Crew kicking the Cubs all around the diamond at Stubby's, which will have its lovely patio setup ready for first pitch at 6:10 p.m. – complete with its excellent array of scrumptious bar grub, delicious brews and the game on its several television screens on the outdoor deck. Remember your mask, remember social distancing and remember to get there early because the patio seating is first come, first served – so beat the tag rush and slide in early and safe this Friday night!

5. Steny's

Steny's is a sports bar staple, so it should come as no surprise that the Walker's Point hangout will have the Brewers opening game on their plentiful screens – most importantly on their outdoor patio out back. Enjoy beers and the Brewers in a well aired space that also comes covered in case the forecast starts rooting for a rainout. But Steny's back patio is like the Miller Park of patios: There's no such thing as a rainout there. 

6. Nomad World Pub

This Brady Street staple is normal known as a place to kick it for soccer (which get over there for the final day Premier League on Sunday too!) but on Friday night, Nomad's lovely outdoor patio space will belong to the Brewers, with the game on TVs for all to cheer. Plus, there's something special cooking over at the Nomad World Pub these days: the Burger Shack, a patio bar serving up beach-esque eats including burgers, tacos, burritos and street eats. Baseball and colorful, flavorful food? Summer has finally arrived.

7. The MECCA Sports Bar and Grill

The DNC may have ditched and the Bucks may be hooping it up in Florida, but at least there's still The MECCA and its bounty of tasty bar eats and, most important of all, its hefty collection of televisions all showing the return of sports. The Bucks have an off night on Friday, so the Brew Crew should have the screens mostly to themselves on both floors of The MECCA's outdoor patio space, giving you plenty of space to social distance responsibly while also cheering on the hometown squad.

8. Leff's Lucky Town

This may be a very strange baseball season in a very unusual year, but at least two things remain constant: Christian Yelich is good at baseball, and Leff's Lucky Town has a terrific patio. Even without a game on, Leff's patio is a destination, comfortable and spacious – plus a tasty menu of bar eats and brews to help wash down a gorgeous summer day. But it's even better with sports, with the game on its screens and a lively (social distanced) crowd cheering on Milwaukee. If you choose Leff's patio as your (re)opening day choice, you won't need luck – or even a Brewers win – to have a good time. (Though we'd obviously prefer a Brewers win too.) 

9. The Backyard

By this time, you might be sick of your personal backyard – so not why go to The Backyard's instead. Open air and with plenty of room to sit, roam and social distance, The Backyard only gets more satisfyingly summery when you add a baseball game to the mix – which they will Friday night with the Brewers-Cubs game playing on its screens to drink in along with their usual tasty lineup of brews and cocktails. 

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.