By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Apr 30, 2019 at 2:16 PM

Becher Street in West Allis could have a new beer garden before summer’s end. That’s thanks to the work of Mark Lutz, owner of The West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe at 6832 W. Becher St.

Lutz purchased the former A.R.S. Auto, located just to the east of the cheese shop at 6800 W. Becher St. earlier this year, and has announced plans to turn the property into a multi-purpose beer garden.

"I bought it with the intention of providing additional space for our West Allis Cheese shop guests," he says. "On weekends, especially when we can’t rely on the patio for additional seating, we’re really strapped for seating. So I’m really focused on the idea of creating a bar for the brunch crowd and an area for people to relax and hang out."

The building, which Lutz says is in relatively good condition, will be renovated over the next few months to accommodate both an indoor bar and outdoor patio space, each occupying about 1300 square feet of space.

Interior plans will include a 22-foot bar and the installation of two fully operational glass garage-style doors along with a bar height glass door near the bar. Meanwhile, the exterior will feature a fire pit, landscaping and lounge area along with a pergola.

Lutz says the menu at the venue, which has not yet been named, will include craft beer; but it will be inclusive of a wider audience as well, featuring Stone Creek Coffee and a cocktail menu focusing on Bloody Marys and summer slushies. Snack foods like Milwaukee pretzel company pretzels and bakery will also be available for purchase

Guests will also be encouraged to carry in food from The West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe as well as Wild Roots, the new restaurant just across the street at 6807 W. Becher St.

Lutz, who is also planning to open Becher Meats at 2079 S. 69th St. sometime in late fall, says the menu will likely be expanded in the future to include sausages from the butcher shop as well. 

"I’ve hired someone with a background in craft beer and beverages, as well as some great experience running tap rooms, to manage the operation," he says, "I think it’s going to be really good."

Lutz says that the new beer garden will function largely as an extension of the West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe and Cafe, but that it will feature extended hours for guests. Tentative hours for the venue are expected to be Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m., Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.