The Oakcrest Tavern, 4022 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood, will soon have new life. The neighborhood bar, which opened in 2008, closed last month after nearly a decade in business.
But it will reopen – potentially as soon as Aug. 1 – as a second location for the Milwaukee Brat House, a bar and restaurant known far and wide thanks to appearances on a variety of Food Network and Travel Channel shows, including "Bizarre Foods" and "Top 5 Bar Foods in America."
"We’ve been looking for a while, hoping to open a second location," says co-owner Andrew Fronek "And we’ve looked at a handful of places over the past six months. But things have really worked out, and we’re really happy to be settling down in Shorewood. It’s a great market."
Froenek, who owns the Downtown location of Milwaukee Brat House with Scott Schaefer, says the two are excited to return to Shorewood, a market where Schaefer helped found Three Lions Pub in 2011. They will also be bringing in Darryl Towers, general manager of Jack’s American Pub on Brady Street (also owned by Schaefer), as a third owner of the Shorewood location.
He says the decor in the Shorewood location will largely resemble the newer, more modern look of the upstairs space at the Downtown Brat House, which features cleaner lines paired with vintage beer memorabilia.
The Milwaukee Brat House menu, which offers a wide variety of sausages, creative sandwiches, battered cheese curds and beer hall staples like soft pretzels, will be augmented for the Shorewood location, says Fronek.
"We’re really going to tailor it to the dining crowd in Shorewood," he says. "So we’ll do more with the wine list, craft cocktails. And we’ll be taking a look at the food menu and making some changes there, as well. For instance, we do a great fish fry Downtown right now. But we’ll have the opportunity to expand that."
Additions will include expanded salad offerings, along with a more extensive collection of dinner entrees, he says.
"The goal," Fronek says, "is really to offer Shorewood something that they don’t already have."
In keeping with that idea, Fronek says the Shorewood location will feature a variety of activities. There will be a pool table and dart boards, as well as Hammer-Schlagen. Another benefit the venue will bring to the neighborhood are its popular shuttles, offering Shorewood residents a lift to Milwaukee Bucks, Brewers and Marquette University basketball games.
Fronek says Milwaukee Brat House in Shorewood will be open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch on weekends. Late-night food service will also be available until 2 a.m.
Watch OnMilwaukee for additional information as it develops.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.