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Brian Ward has opened his third Point Burger Bar location, but this one – at 322 W. State St. – is the first to use an "express" model, with a walk-up window as well as indoor seating.
The place opened with a bang at the beginning of the month by offering free burgers for a year for the first customers, sparking a long line of hopefuls on opening day.
Before this location even opened, news emerged that Ward is seeking to open a second express location near Highway 100 and Layton Avenue in Greenfield. There are two other Point Burger Bar locations already open – at 10950 Good Hope Rd., and at W229N1400 Westwood Dr., in Pewaukee.
We stopped in recently to have a look ... and a taste.
A main feature is the walk-up window that you can see in the main photograph above. But there is also a full bar – featuring Stevens Point Brewery products (hence the name) – and table seating.
Step inside and you find yourself in the line to order. The menu is up above and brightly lit, conjuring a fast food vibe, though the items, like like ghost peppers, truffle aioli and Sartori MontAmore cheese, clearly say otherwise.
I ordered the Point Burger, a quarter-pound of Angus beef with bacon and that truffle aioli and MontAmore, which is $7.99.
I added fries and drink by making it a combo for $3 more. I paid and took my seat. For a buck more you can get "premium sides" like potato salad, tots, cottage cheese, pickle fries and cheese curds.
Other options include the Hangover burger with American cheese, prime rib, a fried egg and "hangover sauce"; the Greek with feta, tzatzki sauce, arugula and kalamata olives; and the Heartstopper, with a whopping pound of meat, sauteed mushrooms, onions, bacon, American and provolone cheese; among others.
Kids meals are also available, as are shakes in boozy and non-boozy versions.
The interior of this beautiful, historic former Schlitz tied house has been wallpapered with TV screens showing a variety of sports events. I found the blue light glow to be a little much, but I know I'm not really the target audience for an express burger bar around the corner from the locus of the Old World 3rd Street bar scene.
And, if there's one thing that could make me tune out the glow it is the Point Burger, with its high-quality beef, crispy bacon and melted MontAmore, nestled into a really good bun.
I'll be back for this great burger, but I will likely pick it up at the walk-up window.
Point Burger Express is open from 10:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. daily, except Friday and Saturday, when it closes at 2:30 a.m.
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.