The owner of a popular Milwaukee waterfront restaurant continues to expand his foray into the corner bar circuit.
Gene McKiernan, the once ever-present white-bearded owner of Barnacle Bud's on the Kininnickinnic River, has been expanding his empire for the past couple years and is planning to do it again.
McKiernan opened McKiernan's, at 2066 S. 37th St., just north of Lincoln Avenue, a couple years ago and rebooted his fascination with the corner bar project.
Last year he opened Ducky's, 3172 S. 8th St., an even smaller corner joint. His next effort will be taking over the old View Inn, 1100 E. Potter Ave., in Bay View, about two miles south of his Bud's HQ.
McKiernan applied for a license earlier this month and plans to call it Victoria's, after his wife. He's keeping the bar names in the family, as Ducky's is named after his father.
The owners of the View Inn were trying to sell the entire building, but then settled for a lease option. The View Inn has been at that corner for decades, but within the past year was known for some nefarious activity in front of the bar that created consternation among the neighbors. Most of the time it was the quintessential corner tap, kitty-corner from another corner relic, Hayshaker's. McKiernan is known as a solid operator, however.
The new bar will have to wait for a license until sometime in September since the Common Council Licenses Committee is not scheduled to meet until then. Elected folks at City Hall to take the month of August off in terms of meetings.
An avid outdoors person he regularly takes extended paddling trips in the wilderness, preferring the hinterlands of northern Canada and Alaska. After a bet with a bunch of sailors, he paddled across Lake Michigan in a canoe.
He lives in Bay View.