It's time for Dining Month, presented by Deer District and its spooky Halloween-themed alter ego, Fear District. Throughout the month of October, we'll be serving up fun and fascinating content about all things food. The signature dish, however, is our 2019 Best of Dining poll, who's winners we will dish out all month long. Get hungry, Milwaukee!
More fun is on its way to Brookfield beginning next week. That’s because WhirlyBall, a unique two-story entertainment destination, will officially open its doors to the public at Brookfield Square, 185 S. Moorland Rd., on Monday, Oct. 7.
The new 45,000-square foot venue will feature two WhirlyBall courts, 12 bowling lanes and a multi-level LaserTag arena along with multiple event spaces and a full service restaurant and craft beer bar called The Pivot Room.
What the heck is WhirlyBall?
If you haven’t been to one of the WhirlyBall locations in Chicagoland or Colorado, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. But, WhirlyBall might just be the most fun you can have while gliding around a court at 4 miles per hour.
Often described as a cross between lacrosse, hockey, bumper cars and basketball, the competitive game combines the elements of both skill and chance, pitting two teams of five players against one another in a ball-passing sport. Each team member is equipped with a WhirlyBug, a specialized bumper car designed for agility and precise steering. While driving across the court, teammates utilize handheld scoops to deftly pass a 16-inch Wiffle ball to and fro and – ultimately – at a scoring target, which resembles a basketball backboard with a hold in the middle and a net behind it.
Hit the target, you get two points. A half-court goal will earn you three points. And, much like basketball, when you score the other team has an opportunity to take possession of the ball.
Bowling & LaserTag
Of course, if WhirlyBall isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Try your hand at LaserTag in the multi-level arena, enjoy bowling with lane-side service at one of eight bowling lanes or get the VIP treatment at the second-level four-lane VIP Bowling Suite.
There’s also HypberBowling, a revolutionary new game that blends technology, lights and sensors to deliver a one-of-a-kind bowling experience.
And there’s more where that came from. WhirlyBall will also feature an outdoor patio and two rooftop terraces. There are also multiple private and semi-private event spaces, along with customizeable catering packages, to accommodate groups of any size for events including birthdays, corporate team-building and any number of other gatherings.
The Pivot Room
Of course, all that fun is bound to make you hungry. Fortunately, WhirlyBall also features a 75-seat full-service restaurant and bar called The Pivot Room.
The restaurant’s dynamic modern interior, which welcomes guests with an overhead wooden trellis, was designed with assistance from Studio K Creative and features a soft color palette, cascading greenery, whimsical accessories and pop-culture inspired posters.
The menu, created by Exeuctive Chef Larry Donahue using a variety of local seasonal ingredients, includes a combination of shareable snacks, handheld sandwiches and burgers, salads, large format entrees and sides along with a full-service bar.
Among the crave-able snacks you’ll find Gutter Balls (chicken fried Clock Shadow Creamery cheese curds with spicy ranch dressing, $9); a hummus board featuring house-made hummus, pesto, warm pitas, fresh cut vegetables and crispy chick peas ($9); and bourbon onion dip with caramelized bourbon onions and sour cream serviced with salt & pepper chips ($8).
There are also shareable items like craft pizzas (12") and flatbreads, which include creative toppings like Korean glazed pork belly, pineapple, cheddar and arugula ($10).
The Pivot chopped salad is comprised of Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, green onions, corn, chicken and crispy chickpeas with a citrus vinaigrette ($11).
Meanwhile, handheld features include a variety of sliders, the Mediterranean veggie sandwich featuring a baguette stuffed with oven roasted zucchini, squash, peppers, tomatoes and portobello mushrooms with arugula and pesto aioli ($12); and The Pivot Burger with a half-pound Angus patty, Niesvig’s smoked gouda, bourbon onions, bacon jam, arugula and garlic aioli ($12).
On the sweeter side, options include a Stout brownie sundae with Purple Door Nutella ice cream, chocolate sauce, Cointreau cream and candied orange zest ($8); and the "U Shake It" Crispy Churro Bag featuring cinnamon sugar, dulce dulce de leche filled churros ($6).
The Pivot Room also offers a Signature Menu, available in the dining room only, which showcases a rotating selection of chef’s favorite dishes including grilled wings, Detroit-style pizza, chicken and waffles, short ribs (pictured) and brick chicken.
On the beverage side, craft beer rules. The Pivot Room will feature 24 rotating taps with an emphasis on local and regional breweries including selections from Third Space Brewing, Milwaukee Brewing Co. and Raised Grain Brewing Co. as well as Lagunitas (Chicago) and Founders (Michigan)
Additional options include wine, seasonal cocktails, a wide variety of spirits and non-alcoholic options including Colectivo coffee service. Daily happy hour deals and monthly featured beers sweeten the deal.
"We’re thrilled to join the Brookfield and Milwaukee communities with the opening of WhirlyBall and The Pivot Room," noted Adam Elias, WhirlyBall’s Vice President of Strategic Planning. "Our first location was founded over 25 years ago with the mission of providing memorable experiences and premium offerings for our guests. We look forward to continuing this tradition in Wisconsin for locals and visitors to enjoy."
WhirlyBall is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.
The Pivot Room is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Reservations for The Pivot Table are currently available by phone at (262) 786-7777 and on OpenTable starting Saturday, Oct. 5. For more information or to book events at WhirlyBall, visit whirlyball.com.
Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.