Fat Abbey Biercafé opened last weekend in the former Lodge space, so we caught up with co-owner Mike Eitel of the Diablos Rojos Restaurant Group to find out a little more about his latest venture.
OnMilwaukee.com: What are your thoughts on opening a bar in the Water Street area?
Mike Eitel: We're really excited to be adding to the mix near Water Street. Fat Abbey is in the heart of it all: new hotels, new office buildings and really close to places like the Marcus Center, the Bradley Center and The Pabst.
Even though The Lodge was always viewed as a "Water Street" bar, we are kind of feeling like we are filling a niche as a "Downtown" bar with great food, huge outdoor patio and amazing beers in a casual environment.
There really are not that many options for the biz crowd down here. Fat Abbey provides a great meal in a fun environment -- whether you're wearing your streets or your suit.
OMC: Do you think Fat Abbey will attract people who wouldn't normally "do" Water Street?
ME: Yeah. I mean, I really hope so. We're banking on sort of an "off-Water" crowd. Our concept probably won't jibe with the Water Street crowd as much as it will with those of us who don't really hit the main drag. We just figure there are so many people down here who don't go to those spots that are still in the area and wanting to go out.
Every great city has its "Water Street," and they’re typically encircled with something different right around each corner.
OMC: What about smoking?
ME: We are bucking the trend with smoking and going non-smoking on the first floor, smoking on the second floor. Both bars already have a totally different vibe. We are planning to do some outdoor live music once we've finished the stage, the deck and the patio. We’re looking forward to installing the city's first fountain made from copper cheese kettles. Mmmm, cheese.
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.