By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 06, 2021 at 5:18 PM

The owners of the Corner Pub, 7602 W. Lisbon Ave., have retired and closed their tavern on Sept. 2. The business is being sold.

The Corner Pub opened in 1953 as Eddie & Esther's Tavern and has been run since 1990 by Dave and Diane Peschek.

"We were very fortunate to have had such great patrons over the years," says Diane Peschek. "We hope that someone buys it and has as much success as we had."

According to College Dave Mikolajek, Dave's father, Augie, had previously owned the bar and he had taken it over from his sister Esther Maasch, who had, in turn, run it after her mother-in-law had it.

A 1957 news story shows Augie was tending bar there already in 1957.

The elder Peschek told the Milwaukee Journal in 1982 that the site goes way back.

"It was founded in 1852 as Purdie's," he recounted. "The farmers used Purdie's scale to weigh their hay. They could use the scale free if they bought a drink."

(A similarly old tavern site is just a few blocks east on Lisbon.)

Eddie and Esther's
The current building under construction. (PHOTO: Courtesy of Joseph Pesetski)

"Eddie (Maasch) and Esther built the building standing now in 1953," says Diane Peschek. "Augie carried the cash register over from the old place. Eddie's grandma owned the old bar opened in 1880s. Ran it and rented to a couple people until Eddie took it over."

The Journal article described the earlier structure as, "a wooden country shack with a rickety porch."

Eddie and Esther's
(PHOTO: Old Milwaukee Facebook)

In the 1930s it housed the Old Time Tavern.

According to Diane Peschek, after Eddie died, the pub became, simply, Esther's, until she remarried and it was renamed, coincidentally, Purdy's – but this time because of Esther's second husband Charles Purdy.

Augie dubbed it The Corner Pub when he took over in 1976 after the passing of Purdy and Esther.

Corner PubX

A classic, well, corner pub, with classic old pine panelled interior, The Corner Tap also had a small kitchen from which food – including beloved wings and tacos on a popular taco night – was served.

According to a Facebook post from the Pescheks in early August, "As we come upon our 31st year of business, we have made the decision to retire.

"We will be selling The Corner Pub and hope that any future proprietors find the same success as we did."

Stay tuned for more information on the new owners and their plans. In the meantime, happy retirement Dave and Diane.

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.