It's a tavern owner's nightmare: customers are lined up 10-deep around the bar, all of them yelling and waving dollar bills in the air and ...
The beer has run out.
Chris Leffler, proprietor of Leff's Lucky Town, 7208 W. State St., Wauwatosa, lived through a version of that bad dream recently while putting together his annual Brewers opening day tailgate party.
The demand for the bash, slated for April 4 in the parking lot at Miller Park, far exceeded the supply of tickets, which sold out mere minutes after the online sale began.
Though he was able to accommodate nearly 2,000 fans of baseball and large gatherings, Leffler had to turn away hundreds of disappointed potential customers willing to spend $78.50 on a party package that included a ticket to the game and tailgate party featuring a giant tent, food, beer live music by the Love Monkeys and toilet facilities
"It was a hot ticket, no question," said Leffler, one of few local bar owners to have a large supply of tickets after the Brewers attached opening day tickets to the popular 10- and 20-game season ticket packages.
"People are excited about the Brewers this season and we just couldn't help everyone. It was disappointing."
From disappointment came inspiration.
Leffler began to think about keeping the tents and port-a-potties in place and throwing another tailgate party before the Brewers' second home game of the season.
Weeks later, the second-day party, dubbed "the encore," became reality. While much of the city recovers from the home opener, the tents and port-a-potties remain in place for another tailgate before the Brewers-Giants game Saturday, April 5.
Tickets for the encore cost $52 plus tax and are available at leffs.com.
Leffler said the second party, co-sponsored by 102.9 The Hog and OnMilwaukee.com, came together fairly easily.
"We had to get some of the groups to keep the price reasonable for the second day," he said. "But, it came together. The Brewers were very accommodating, too, so that helped a lot.
"The big thing for us now is just going to be getting the word out."
The band Old Mil, which has a devoted following, headlines the second party. Leffler is hoping for an attendance of between 500 and 750 people, but added "anything more than that would be welcome."
"It seems like every year we've done our tailgate party, we would get lots of complaints from teachers and other people who couldn't get out of work and they would all say ‘Why don't you do something when we can come?' Well, this is the chance. This is what they've been asking for. "
Although he and his staff may be a bit groggy after the home opener, Leffler is looking forward to the encore.
"The thing I like most is providing the opportunity for people to have a good time," he said. "That's how I get my enjoyment out of it."
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 OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.