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This winter some of us are playing a new game called “how to stay safe and sane while socializing.” It’s a tricky game, but one that many bars and restaurants are trying to help us win by offering new, temporary structures for outdoor drinking and eating.
These structures come in many forms: tents, domes, yurts, tents and more. Below is a list of places with one of these options, and we will update this guide as new opportunities pop up. Most places offer between 75-minute and two-hour time slots, require a rental fee or deposit and have a minimum purchase policy. Follow the links for specific requirements at each location. For CDC guidelines on dining outdoors, go here.
Mask up and choose your posses wisely, Milwaukee, so we can get through this winter with happiness and in good health.
2501 S. Delaware Ave., (414) 481-8030
“Magic Forest” features seven heated, greenhouse-style “cocktail huts.” A festive cocktail menu is available. Go here to read more. Make your reservation online.
Bass Bay Brewhouse
S79W15851 Aud Mar Dr., Muskego, (414) 377-9449
Bass Bay Brewhouse offers private, heated “Bubbles on the Bay” for up to eight people. They have two different food options and provide a warm, free cookie at the end of your visit. Go here for more info and to book your bubble.
606 Genesee St., Delafield (262) 303-5066
The Belfre Kitchen offers heated Domes for parties of up to six people. Reservations and pre-orders are required. Click here to make it happen.
1101 S. 2nd St., (414) 212-8843
Braise offers limited seating on their rooftop deck dome and dog-friendly street side tables. Reservations not required but encouraged. Go here for more.
W61 N480 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, (262) 618-4683
Brandywine has three heated domes that are available to rent for two-hour timeframes. Call or go here for more information.
Buckatabon Tavern & Supper Club
7700 W Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 271-7700
Buckatabon features three cozy Frank & Larry’s Northwoods Shanties, “quintessentially Wisco” which aim to bring the best of the Northwoods ice fishing experience to you (no fishing license required).
346 N. Broadway, (414) 501-2500
Cafe Benelux has brought back their Lux Domes experience as well as the new Lux Winter Loft Bar. The rooftop experience features six private domes and one large heated tent for additional socially distanced outdoor dining. The ground-floor features an uber-cozy enclosed porch on Broadway with heated canopy dining.
Cafe Hollander - Brookfield
20150 Union St., Brookfield, (262) 785-4490
After shopping at Corners of Brookfield, guests can celebrate winter in Amsterdam-style canal houses on the rooftop! For more information and to make a reservation, visit Lowlands Winter Experiences.
Cafe Hollander - East Side
2608 N. Downer Ave., 414-963-6366
Dine inside, outside, or in the East Side Hollander’s new socially distanced Dome Village, which features four patio-side domes, and four additional canal houses dotting the adjacent Downer Ave. parklet. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Lowlands Winter Experiences.
Cafe Hollander - Mequon
5900 W. Mequon Rd., (262) 236-0107
Hollander in Mequon conjures the North Pole with five cozy, decked-out canal houses in their Holiday Row on the Patio. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Lowlands Winter Experiences.
Cafe Hollander - Wauwatosa Village
7677 W State St., Wauwatosa, (414) 475-6771
It’s Holiday Row on the Bridge at Hollander Tosa where guests will find six cozy canal houses, providing family-ready photo opps and the spirit of Amsterdam to the Village. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Lowlands Winter Experiences.
Centraal Grand Café and Tappery
2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 755-0378
The Winter Garden of Eten in the Centraal courtyard now features a sizeable heated tent with clear oof panels and whimsical Bohemian decor. Socially distanced seating is available, along with a live music series on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings through the end of March. But guests can also enjoy a similarly Bohemian experience in the new Streetcar on Lincoln, a winter dining experience that will stick around as the spring thaw approaches. For more information or to make a reservation, visit Lowlands Winter Experiences.
Draft & Vessel
4417 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 533-5599
Draft & Vessel enclosed their parquet and now features three separate “booths” (as shown in pic above). Small groups only; dog-friendly. Go to the website or give them a call for more info.
2300 N. Mayfair Rd.
Enjoy a warm, private "stuga" (which is Swedish for "cabin") that accomodates up to six guests. The new Stuga Experience Package offers a two-hour-long reservations with a meal of pre-selected beverage and food offerings for $200. Go here for more info and to book.
Hubbard Park Lodge & Beer Garden
3565 N. Morris Blvd., Shorewood, (414) 273-8300
Hubbard Park features winter camp dining domes from November 2020 through April 2021. Various drinking and dining packages available; kid-friendly. More here.
5901 W. National Ave., (414) 257-9999
Kegel’s has introduced three “party yurts” in their winter-friendly Brrr Garden. The structures, which can withstand 100 mph winds and 20 feet of snow are available by reservation only for groups of six to 12 people. Read more about this unique experience, inspired by Medieval royal hunting tents. Reservations can be made online.
Lakefront Brewery & Beer Hall
1872 N Commerce St., (414) 372-8800
Lakefront Brewery erected on-the-river winterized “greenhouses” that are available for rental by small groups. Must be 21 years old. For reservations, go here.
240 E. Pittsburgh Ave., (414) 645-0240
Merriment Social will hosts several "supper shacks" featuring special meal packages (for either 1-2 people or 4-6 people) and Northwoods-style private heated greenhouses for a tasty escape. For reservations, click here.
Nomad World Pub
1401 E. Brady St., (414) 224-8111
Nomad has numerous outdoor heated structures they called “Nano-Climates” on their large outdoor patio. The soace includes covered and open air seating for small groups, wind walls and a fire pit lead to the Nomad’s "Endless Summer” – a heated 1000-square-foot tent with live palm trees, a slushee bar, tTVs and a giant screen/webcam of surf breaks around the world. It is also converting its summer parklet into five separate heated table areas for groups of 4. Book here.
Packed Picnic Company, (414) 502-7097
Rent your own heated bubble dome from packed Picnic ompany and they'll set it up in a yard or park of your choice, or at the Little Red Store in Tosa who offers a special if you rent the space. Go here for more information.
Third Space Brewing
1505 W. St. Paul Ave., (414) 909-2337
Third Space now has four geodescic "Happy Domes" in their beer garden for groups of 4 to 6 people. Cost is $5/person on weekdays; $10 on weekends for 90 minutes. Groups can order a Happy Domes exclusive beer tasting package that come pre-prepared in the domes or they can choose their own craft beer adventure. A minimum spend of $100 is required. Book here.
5513 W. North Ave., (414) 763-2095
You can dine in or carry out at this cozy North Avenue eatery; but you can also rent a cozy outdoor tent, which offers a view of the winter street without the brisk wind. Call Tusk to reserve yours!
13425 Watertown Plank Rd., Elm Grove, (262) 794-3924
Enjoy heated domes (in pic above) on the Zister’s patio. Must be 21 years old. For more information and to make reservations, go here.
“Tom & Jerry Pop-Up” at Zócalo Food Park
636 S. 6th St., (414) 433-9747
Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge will host a festive, outdoor “Tom & Jerry” pop-up lounge with heated greenhouses at Zócolo Food Park. Tom & Jerry’s are a traditional holiday cocktail that Food Writer Lori Fredrich says "tastes a bit like boozy spiced custard.” Holiday punch and other cocktails will also be available. Go here to read more and here to reserve.
Lori Fredrich contributed to this report.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.