Last weekend, Gerry’s Diamond Tap, 939 E. Lincoln Ave., closed its doors for good.
Gerry’s was considered by many to be a gem in the South Side tavern scene with cheap drinks, incredible snack selection and an "everyone’s welcome here" vibe.
Ben Rivera worked there for three years.
"Everything at Gerry’s was unique from the customers to the almost 60 different snacks," says Rivera. "I've been bartending for 13 years at a lot of different places – I evened owned a bar – and Gerry’s was like a second home for me. It's sad to see it go."
Here’s what "College" Dave Mikolajek wrote about Gerry’s in an article from 2009:
"Gerry & Pete opened this pleasant place in 1987. Before that, it was Eddie's Diamond Tap, and before that, Flynn's. It was appropriately named the Diamond Tap because there used to be a softball diamond across the street where each bar in this Bay View area sponsored teams. Unfortunately, the softball diamond is now gone.
"This corner bar feels like it's on the corner of the planet, because there's really nothing to the north or east but land, bridges and the lake.
"I like it. When you're inside, you feel as if you've entered into an old lodge somewhere up north. Very nice woodwork graces the walls and bartop thanks to Bruce, who is a carpenter, a regular, and the Sunday morning bartender for the last 25 years. I was lucky to meet Bruce – a very nice man – the night we visited. Another nice guy who hangs out here is Nick Layne. Nick says this is "a small town bar in a big town atmosphere. Well put.
"There is no kitchen, but if you're hungry, you need not leave. This place offers four different types of pizzas and 61 different kinds of snacks including chips, nuts, jerky and candy. Does anybody remember the munchies? I tell you, if the big bomb hits, this where I want to be. There is also a great CD jukebox and small game room in back.
Pete passed away in 2008. Rest in peace, Pete Villari."
Somehow, I never wandered into Gerry's – and now I'm really sorry I didn't.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.