It took a while for something even vaguely resembling summer to happen in Milwaukee this year but now it seems like we've finally gotten a hang of this social distanced outdoor fun – with masks and hand sanitizer and lower capacities.
The County Parks have extended some beer garden seasons and Broken Bat Brewery and MobCraft Beer have teamed up to host Party on Pitt, every full weekend in September and October, starting Friday, Sept. 4.
The pop-up beer patio adjacent to Broken Bat, at 117 E. Pittsburgh Ave. in Walker's Point, will include local beer, food, music and more. There will also be themed weekends like "City of Festivals" and "I Miss Alpine Valley."
Opening night will have food from Merriment Social, and live music by Patrick Van Bibber from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
"It was an empty surface lot that looked like it needed a party," said Broken Bat Co-Founder Tim Pauly about the large open space next to his brewery, which opened in June after moving from the Third Ward.
The patio will be open on Fridays in September, 3:30-9 p.m.; Saturdays, noon-9; and Sundays, noon-7. Hours in October will be Fridays, 3:30-7; Saturdays and Sundays, noon-7.
Guests can book 90-minute timed reservations on the Party on Pitt Eventbrite page.
Groups who book two consecutive reservations can remain at the tables in between reservation slots. Guests can walk up to check availability if they haven't reserved.
To control crowds and promote social distancing, there will be two kinds of 90-minute reservations for $30 each: a picnic table or a 10x10 plot of land. The $30 reservation fee turns into a beer voucher at check-in.
Tables and plots are all distanced at least six feet from one another. Masks are required at all times when guests are not seated at their table on their plot.
"As Tim and I talked about what we wanted to be able to offer to visitors, we found ourselves talking about what we missed most about a traditional Milwaukee summer. Sports, festivals, and concerts were common themes," said MobCraft's Event and Programming Manager Elise Strupp.
"We wanted to offer people the opportunity to get a piece of the patio to make their own. If they want to bring a beer pong table and recreate a tailgate experience, they can. If they want to keep the plot empty so they can polka, they can do that, too."
Pauly said he hopes Party on Pitt will be a "fun, safe, family friendly environment for all."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.