In Bars & Clubs

When was your last visit to Von Trier?

In Bars & Clubs

It's a perfect stop before or after a movie.

In Bars & Clubs

Von Trier opened in 1978.

In Bars & Clubs

A hidden patio that could use some updating.

If Von Trier closes are we to blame?

There are several places around town that I, sadly, think to myself "it's only a matter of time." As much as I love it, Von Trier, 2235 N. Farwell Ave., is one of these spots.

It's a living relic of a bygone pub era and that's why I love it so much. Truth be told, though, I haven't been there in probably five years (and, a further punch to the face, I work across the street).

Fess up, you haven't been there in years, either. Yet, if this landmark closes I know the chorus will sing, "Oh, I'll miss this place, it's my favorite, how could this happen ..."

That's usually the way these things go.

Owner Mark Eckert is a good guy. A former OnMilwaukee.com salesperson once helped him clean up his bar late one night. To return the favor, Eckert bought ads with OnMilwaukee.com. This was years ago when few bars his size were buying online. Innovative even in its old school charm.

Anyway, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported Friday that Von Trier might be for sale, and public records note a foreclosure suit on the Milwaukee icon.

Von Trier, even at 31-years old, is a bit of a hidden gem. Its patio is quaint, but could use some love. Overall, the dark building with its stained glass at Farwell and North just doesn't play well in today's bar hopping culture. But, it should and could with the right changes, and to use a term we've coined here, "Trocadero-fying."

Design matters, as I've said before, and Von Trier could use a spit shine and a wider open, more welcoming patio. Take a cue from Trocadero, Hollander, etc.

But the courts may ultimately decide this tavern's fate. I'll blame myself a bit for not frequenting it as much as I should. But maybe it's just time for the only certain thing in life - change.

In the meantime, bar's still open. So, stop in and down a pint before or after your next movie at the Oriental Theater. Cheers.


Talkbacks

bring_it | Sept. 28, 2009 at 10:36 a.m. (report)

I don't think we're to blame. The owner(s) have had it for 31 years...surely they should've been able to pay their mortgage and be fiscally smart enough in their hay-day to sock some away for a rainy day. I personally stopped going there when their beer selection kept dwindling.

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alba | Aug. 24, 2009 at 10:27 a.m. (report)

Yes, just read that Mike Eitel of Diabolos Rojos purchased the building. If they're serving food I assume Twisted Fork will be in trouble.

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Esider | Aug. 5, 2009 at 3:43 p.m. (report)

Rumor on the street is that the new owner is RC Schmidt....Ugh!!! Mike Eitel and gang don't look so bad now, do they?

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Aardvark | Aug. 3, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. (report)

This place just needs a facelift. Look how the Old German Beer Hall does it right. Clean up this place and make it a little more lively. It is always dead and stinks. Most people don't even know there is a patio.

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JKrunken | July 24, 2009 at 9:09 p.m. (report)

I'd like to see it play up and update the german theme, mix in some fun german music, get the prices back in line, clean it up, and come up with some fun theme-nights that bring excitment back. Last month when I was there, it smelled, the shots were outrageously priced, and it looked like we were bothering the owner from watching the news on TV. Which brings me to another complaint; why do all of these places eventually give up any potential theme, and end up turning on the TV? Recently every bar seems to be turning into the same boring sports-on-the-tube bar. Do we really need more of them? And why do oriental restaurants play Bob Dylan on the music system? A recent trip to Vegas found Trader Vics to be a sports bar with U2 on the music system; the Mai Tai was a horrible mix in a plastic cup! I want to see theme-bars and more of them! Hail Foundation!

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