By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published May 04, 2023 at 11:02 AM

In case you missed the news, PufferFish, the tropical drink brand which launched three years ago as a pop-up, will now be a permanent fixture on the rooftop at Hotel Metro, 411 E. Mason St.

Even better, the rooftop bar officially opens tomorrow (Friday, May 5) beginning at 5 p.m., offering a menu of tropical cocktails, classics, zero-proof quaffs and a short and sweet, but tasty, menu created by Oggie’s Chef Aaron Miles.

For easy access, enter through the side door of Hotel Metro on Mason Street and take the elevator to the 6th floor. From there, it's just a matter of following the signage to the 7th floor rooftop, where the art deco vibe transitions into an escapist tropical wonderland, complete with indoor/outdoor seating and plenty of space to take in the urban rooftop vibes.

Take a seat inside in the beautifully appointed lounge area where soft seating is arranged in groupings perfect for socialization.

LoungeX

Or cozy up to the double-sided fireplace for a more intimate chat.

FireplaceX

If the weather is fine, head out to the newly refreshed patio, where you can take in unique views of the city.

PatioX

On the menu

Step up to the bar – a beautiful NEW bar built by the folks at Three Sixty – and order any number of nicely balanced drinks, all of which will transport you to a sunnier place, regardless of the weather outside.

BarX

The menu is easy to navigate, showcasing marked gauges that indicate the booziness of the drink (refreshing to spiritous) and familiarity (comforting to adventurous), along with a complete list of ingredients for each.  A few of the drinks are also available in shareable sizes for small groups.

Guests will find familiar selections including the signature PufferFish (gin, falernum, orgeat, passion fruit, lemon and Bittercube PufferFish bitters; available as a single drink for $12 and a shareable sipper for $48); and Ocean Eyes featuring a combination of tequilas and rums, orgeat, Blue Curacao, lime, grapefruit, saline and Bittercube Jamaican #2 bitters ($14 or $56).

Ocean Eyes and PufferFish
Ocean Eyes and PufferFish
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Fans of Lost Whale’s “Jenny from the Block” will appreciate the Hey Siri: It’s Boba Time (rum, more rum, creme de framboises, white tea syrup, lime, Bittercube Jamaican #2 bitters, saline and mango bursting boba). The drink is available as a single for $13 or a shareable quaff for $52.

Meanwhile, die-hards will likely find their happy place in drinks like Get Lost, a riff on the Lost Lake featuring light and dark rum, papaya, lemon, pineapple, maraschino, Meletti Red Bitter and Bittercube PufferFish bitters ($13). 

The Get Lost
The Get Lost
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Classic cocktails run the gamut from the Meh-Tai and classic Old Fashioned to Manhattans, margaritas, daiquiris and lemon drops (all priced $12-15). A shortlist of beer, wine and ready-to-drink options are also available.

Even better, there’s a full menu of “Spiritless” options, from a zero-proof version of the PufferFish and Meh-Tai to the Flip the Bird featuring Lyres Spiced, White and Apertif Rosso/Orange Sec blend, pineapple, smoked honey, lime and Disco Inferno.  All are priced $9-12).

More patioX

Hungry?

In case you didn’t already enjoy dinner downstairs at Oggie’s, PufferFish also offers a small curated menu of food options, all of which sync up well with tropical drinks.

Order up spam musubi featuring Cairose rice topped with griddled SPAM, Funyun furikake, toasted nori and served with chili crisp and teriyaki mayo ($6).

Musubi
Spam Musubi
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Or delve into a plate of Puffy Wings with pineapple glaze, fried garlic, scallions and toasted sesame ($15).

Puffy wings
Puffy wings
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You can also order up a Long Dog (chargrilled footlong with compressed pineapple, teriyaki mayo and Funyun furikake on a buttered Hawaiian roll, $13) or the Banh Mi Chopped Cheese featuring a chopped smash patty, fried onions, Velveeta, pickled vegetables, jalapeno and cilantro on a soft demi-baguette ($13).

Bahn mi chopped cheeseX

You can even assuage your sweet tooth with a Coconut Lime Tart (key lime curd, salted rum caramel and tahini coconut crumble ($9).

More PufferFish to come

An adorable sign currently marks the door leading to “The Fish Bowl,” a PufferFish expansion that will offer additional seating and an aquatic-themed rentable private event space, which will be available will year-round.

Fish bowl signX

Just outside of The Fish Bowl on the northeast corner of the building, there will also be a second patio/cigar deck where guests can congregate during events or regular PufferFish hours.

The Fish Bowl will also be the site for regular programming, including “Flight School,” a series of spirits and cocktail classes that will take place on one Tuesday each month. Construction is slated to be finished on the addition right around June 1.

Beginning May 5, PufferFish will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.