By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 27, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Changes are in store on Old World 3rd Street, where Bootlegger's is giving way to a new establishment, Whiskey River.

Whiskey River will have more of a country theme than its predecessor, with a focus on live country and rock musical acts.

Manager Tate Kerkhoff says the idea to change concepts developed over the last few months, following a change in ownership.

"We really wanted to create a fun, new atmosphere," Kerhoff said. "Something a little different than what we were as Bootleggers."

Bootleggers opened in 2006, filling the space left vacant by Maders Art Gallery.

This will be the third Whiskey River location. The ownership group opened locations in Madison and La Crosse earlier this year. The Madison location is managed by former Bootleggers manager Josh Hurley.

"It's been pretty successful so far," Kerkoff says of the Madison location. Whiskey River La Crosse opened just a few weeks ago.

To facilitate the change, the bar's interior is being completely gutted and renovated. A front wall is being removed and the bar area is being extended.

"It's going to look completely different," says Kerkoff. "It's going to be a lot more of an open and brighter space."

Whiskey River is set to open before "Black Wednesday" -- the night before Thanksgiving.