Since opening in February, Three Lions Pub, 4515 N. Oakland Ave., in Shorewood, has become a haven for transplants from the Commonwealth and a gathering place for those with fond memories of the old Brit Inn.
Adding to the authenticity is the large number of English-born bartenders, including Luca Musker, who came to Milwaukee several years ago to play soccer at Cardinal Stritch University.
OnMilwaukee.com stopped in to chat with Musker about his life behind the bar and his thoughts on the Brew City.
OnMilwaukee.com: Where are you from originally, and how did you end up in Milwaukee?
Luca Musker: I am originally from a town outside of Manchester, England. Ended up in Milwaukee because I was offered a soccer scholarship at Cardinal Stritch University.
OMC: How long have you been tending bar and how long have you been at your bar?
LM: I actually haven't been bartending long. I started bartending when Three Lions opened.
OMC: How did you get started?
LM: It was kind of a "who you know" situation. I know (owners Chris Tinker and David Price) and when I heard they were opening the Three Lions I just asked them upfront if they would take me on.
OMC: Do you prefer nights, days or weekends?
LM: It doesn't really bother me what shift I work, but I enjoy the weekends mostly just because there is always a good crowd of people and the shift doesn't seem to drag.
OMC: What's your favorite drink to make?
LM: The one I created! (laughs) The Red Lion! You should try it sometime.
OMC: What's your least favorite drink to make?
LM: Old fashioned. Only because it is time consuming and when I was first asked for one, I didn't have a clue what it was.
OMC: I hate the "Hmmm, I dunno! Make me something good!" order.
LM: Yes I do, too. Only because it is not certain that what I would drink, or like, is liked by the customer.
OMC: What do you like most about Three Lions?
LM: The clientele is what I like most about the Three Lions. They help make it a good atmosphere to work in and are a fun group of people.
OMC: It's based upon a traditional English pub; how close is it?
LM: It actually isn't too far from it. The selection of beers is different, but the options we have at Three Lions are close to some options back home.
OMC: What do you like about Milwaukee? Any similarities/differences to home?
LM: I love how much Milwaukee has to offer. There is so much to do, especially throughout the summer. I like how it is a city, but it isn't too big of a city, where it is annoyingly busy. However the winters are brutal and too long. Compared to back home, Milwaukee is completely different to my hometown, due to the size. However, looking at similarities we are on the same page as we all love a drink.
OMC: Have you ever had to clean up puke or break up a fight?
LM: Actually the weekend just gone I had to clean up somebody's puke. Not the best job, but it had to be cleaned as it was a right mess!
OMC: Do guys get hit on when bartending? What's the worst pickup line you've heard (on you, or anyone else)?
LM: I wouldn't say guys get hit on – or maybe it's just me – but the accent definitely draws attention. I can't say I have heard any pickup lines.
OMC: How do you know when to cut people off and how do you go about not serving them anymore?
LM: You know when to cut people off when there is a change in character. The people, who come in to Three Lions are regulars and you either know them or you see them enough to notice when they have had too much. If someone has had too much, I either mention it to their friend that they should try get that person home, or I be blunt – in the nicest way possible – and tell them that I am not serving them.
OMC: Do you drink behind the bar?
LM: I actually don't. If I am playing dice, or somebody wants to buy me a shot I will take a shot, but I don't drink on the job.
OMC: What's a fair tip?
LM: Any tip is a fair tip.
OMC: When you're not working, what do you like to do?
LM: When I am not working, I like to be on the other side of the bar, whether it be at Three Lions or elsewhere.
OMC: What's your favorite bar, besides your own?
LM: I liked Live when it was open, but I like how it is now, so Hotel Foster is definitely up there as one of my favorites. I just like how different it is and the selection of beers they have – only because they do Magners on tap (laughs).
OMC: What do you drink when you're on the other side of the bar?
LM: I am quite partial to a Strongbow!!
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