By Drew Olson Special to Published Apr 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM

Not all of the customers who arrive at the Horny Goat Hideaway, 2011 S. 1st St., have spent time in southern California, but co-owner Jim Sorenson's simple explanation of the bar's expansion will strike a chord with those who have.

"It's sort of like ‘Santa Monica meets Milwaukee,'" Sorenson said, of the bar, which opened in October.

To accentuate the point, all he had to do was point at the four sand volleyball courts outside his window. The courts are part of a major outdoor expansion at the facility, which will bring an outdoor bar, concerts, fire pits, corn hole pits, a landscaped patio and other wrinkles to the banks of the Kinnickinnic River on the near South Side.

"We want to be known as more than a brewing company," Sorenson said. "We are an entertainment company. We are all about creating an experience.

"We have four acres of Downtown property on the river. We have a large lot with free parking. We have boat slips. Not many places can say that.

"We want to be a place where people come to have fun and drink good beer. If they like the beer, they can go to the store and take some of that fun home with them."

Rinka Chung Architecture of Milwaukee designed the outdoor project, which Sorenson hopes will be completed by late May or early June.

"The covered bar will have a modern industrial feel the reflects the feel of the surrounding neighborhood," said Bret Radke, project director for Rinka Chung.

"Inside patrons will be able to enjoy an ice cold Horny Goat beer while sitting at the bar or nearby tables. Outside the covered bar will be an expanse of tables for dining and a river boardwalk featuring gas fed fire pits."

Sorenson said more than 100 volleyball teams have signed up for spring play and that number will increase during the summer session. He does not, however, consider himself in competition with other establishments offering sand and spikes.

"Places like The Tracks (in Riverwest) and Fat Daddy's (Walker's Point) have great establishments," he said. "I'd like to see our teams play their teams some day. I think that would be great.

"A lot of bar owners don't want their customers to go to other bars. I think that's crazy. Nobody likes to go to the same place every day. We have relationships with a lot of partners like AJ Bombers and Bootleggers. We want people to come to our place, have fun and, when they go to another establishment, order a Horny Goat beer.

"It's a win-win situation for everybody."

Sorenson said that business at the restaurant has picked up in recent weeks and sales of the craft beer -- which come in six varieties -- are up 25 percent over last year.

"Things are going well," he said. "We think this is going to be a great summer for us. I don't think there is any place like this in town."

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.