By Drew Olson Special to Published Jun 11, 2007 at 5:36 AM

For many longtime residents, the intersection of Kinnickinic and Lincoln Avenues constitutes part of "downtown" Bay View. Well, the nightlife "downtown" is about to get a little more lively.

Bruno Johnson and his wife, Adrienne Pierluissi, proprietors of the Palm Tavern at 2989 S. Kinnickinic Ave., will open The Sugar Maple, a new bar just off the K.K./Lincoln intersection at 441 E. Lincoln Ave., a building that now houses the Sikh Temple.

Why the Sugar Maple?

"It's the state tree," Johnson said. "We thought about doing something with just a maple leaf, but that makes everybody think of Canada."

The Sikh Temple, which was formed in 1997 and moved into the Lincoln Avenue location in 1999, is constructing a new location for its 400-member congregation on 13 acres at 7502 S. Howell, Ave., in Oak Creek. The construction of a 17,500 square-foot Gurudwara is expected to be complete in April.

Johnson, who opened in June 2003, is working to secure a liquor license and expects renovations to last three to four months. Though the Sugar Maple will have a different feel than Palm Tavern, there will be some similarities.

"If you've got your wits about you, you should notice a few similarities," he said. "But, there will be differences. The Palm is more like a lounge. This will be more like a bar. It will be similar to the Palm, but with more rock music and TVs."

Much like the Palm, which is known for its huge selection of Belgian beers and whiskeys, The Sugar Maple will feature a lot of options for thirsty customers.

"We'll have 50 draft beers, all American small-craft beers and microbrews, mostly from Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois," Johnson said.

Johnson expects to construct an outdoor deck "not this year, but next year," and could designate the back bar as a non-smoking area that could house jazz concerts and live music.

Johnson likes the location of the new building. "It's sort of like downtown Bay View," he said. "I like Bay View. We've got Café Lulu and Riviera Maya and The Highbury. This should be a good fit."

Word on the street is that property next to The Sugar Maple, the unit at 2306 S. Kinnickinic Ave., is being renovated and will open as "Merryweather's," a restaurant/bar with the backing of the Diablos Rojos group led by Mike Eitel.

Johnson did not confirm that development, saying only "That's the rumor."

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.