The West Side’s newest sports bar, ABV Social, opens to the public on Wednesday at 11200 W. Burleigh St. in Wauwatosa.
ABV is the second of four Bartolotta Restaurant Group-managed restaurants to open at the Mayfair Collection. Among the restaurants, the fast casual Osgoods was the first to launch this fall. And two more – Taqueria El Jefe and Cafe Grace – will open by July.
The bar and grill features creatively textured walls, exposed metal beams and exposed brick walls, all of which conspire to create an environment reminiscent of an old warehouse.
What that means is the space is somewhat rustic. And it can get loud at times.
What that doesn’t mean is it’s an uncomfortable place to while away your time. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Banquettes, tables and bar stools offer a variety of seating.
Myriad television screens (15 in all) give sports fans plenty of places to catch the game, whatever type it might be. ABV will be broadcasting sports from a variety of networks on a regular basis. Meanwhile, a game room offers distractions like "old school" video games, Golden Tee and table shuffleboard; a patio offers up not only fresh air, but also pastimes like bag toss and over-sized Jenga.
On the food side, you can expect pub fare. Snacks and appetizers include seasoned popcorn, jalapeno poppers and items like "A Whale of a Cheese Curd" featuring oversized Carr Valley white cheese curds, which come battered and fried with ranch dressing ($6.50).
And just in case that photo doesn’t give you a good enough sense of the size of the curds, here’s another with some perspective.
There are also "Hush Shrimpies," a cross between a hush puppy and a shrimp fritter. They’re fried and served with zesty ranch dressing ($9.95).
Burgers are big and juicy and include choices like a classic patty melt, the "Black ‘n’ Blue" with blackening spices, worcestershire, blue cheese butter and pickled onions ($10.50) and the "Bourbon-Peppercorn" with sauteed mushrooms, crispy onions and bourbon-peppercorn sauce ($9.95).
Or you can go tropical and order the "Aloha Mr. Hand" featuring grilled pineapple, avocado, ham and habanero sauce on a sesame bun ($10.95).
Sandwiches, which are served with house waffle chips, include a steak sandwich ($11.95), a fried chicken sandwich ($9.95), the "Veggie Muffolotta" with grilled zucchini, roasted tomato, fennel, red onion, Swiss cheese, sliced cucumbers and olive spread ($9.50) and a Baja walleye sandwich featuring beer battered walleye with poblano and avocado-cilantro cream ($12.95).
Or you could try the Pig Monster with Berkshire ham, bacon and pulled pork with Carolina Gold sauce and crunchy slaw ($11.95), or the Reuben the Cuban, in which there lies deli-style corned beef, pulled pork, sauerkraut, mustard mayo, pickles and Swiss cheese ($10.50).
Entrees include items like Tavern Steak Frites, featuring butcher’s-cut steak served alongside broccolini and fries ($18.50).
There’s also Wisconsin mac 'n' cheese with beer cheese sauce and pretzel crumbs ($9.95 or $12.95 with ham and fried corned beef); chicken fried chicken with potato puree and mushroom-sausage gravy ($12.50); a German sausage platter with potato salad, sauerkraut and grainy mustard ($16.95); and pan roasted walleye with caraway spaetzle and zucchini with dill lemon creme fraiche ($19.95).
Starting today, ABV Social is open for lunch and dinner, Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.