By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published May 11, 2023 at 12:08 PM

After a long winter, the weather is looking up. And that means patios (and rooftop patios) are reopening across the city. Two of them you can enjoy starting this week.

May 11: The Aviary 

Today (May 11), the folks at Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen, 320 E. Clybourn St. will be hosting a special happy hour to mark the official reopening of The Aviary, their sky high rooftop patio.

Tonight, May 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. guests can enjoy a special happy hour acoustic set with local musician Joe Wray as the sun begins to set over the city of Milwaukee.

Joe Wray on the rooftopX

The distillery will also be serving up its full line of Pour Ready Premium Cocktails, including Door County Cherry Vodka Lemonade and Vodka Mules along with newly released  Lemon Honey Bourbon Smash and Peach Bourbon Smash Cocktails.

“On May 11, we’re officially launching rooftop season at the Crafthouse & Kitchen,” McQuillan said. “We can't wait to get folks – Pour Ready Premium Cocktail in hand – up on our roof to enjoy the 360-degree views of the city and the lake. It’s truly a unique spot, especially in summer, here in Milwaukee.”

The Aviary's regular hours will be Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 am. to midnight.

May 12: The baaree

It’s also time to sit back and enjoy the garden-like ambiance at the baaree, 105 S. Main St. in Theinsville. The outdoor space officially opens for the season on Friday, May 12, bringing new schedule of live music plus delicious food and drink options.

A new menu from Chef Barkha Limbu Daily will feature favorites like fermented tea leaf salad, the cheel wings, dal, Milwaukee Pretzel Company pretzel bites, Wagyu beef sliders and Barbacoa Tacos from Daily Taco + Cantina.

the baareeX

Meanwhile, the bar will showcase classic favorites, plus a few new offerings created just for the summer season. That includes the Iced Yeti (vodka, lemon, spiced honey syrup, bitters, seltzer); Down in Mexico (tequila, apricot liqueur, hickory smoked lemon juice and simple syrup); Weller Special Reserve Old Fashioned (bourbon, bitters, amilo, Amarena cherry, seltzer). Zero proof options will include the Baaree Mocktail (Shoe’s Brew Kombucha, citrus, Himalayan spices).

On the music side, the season with a performance by Marvelous Mack and The Attack performing Soul and R&B Funk music on May 12.  Get the full lineup for the summer online.  The baaree will also offer outdoor movie nights every Monday starting June 6, plus Trivia on Thursdays beginning May 18.  

Hours at the baaree are Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to close and Saturday and Sunday from noon to close.

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.