In Dining

Erv Kazik founded Erv's Mug, and his daughter, Danielle Baerwald, now owns and operates it.

In Dining

The exterior of Erv's Mug is nothing special, but the restaurant and bar has its own distinctive personality.

In Dining

It takes 28 people eight hours to put up the massive amount of Christmas decorations at Erv's every November.

Mugging with Erv's in Oak Creek

Businesses work to establish a signature item or image that raises their profile with the public. The State Fair has its cream puffs. Klement's has racing sausages.

Erv's Mug, the Oak Creek pub and restaurant, is famous for three things. That probably explains why it is doing better than ever after 32 years on Ryan Road.

The Mug's fish fry, which is offered on Wednesdays and Fridays, has a huge following. Erv's serves 500 customers on an average Friday, and the bulk of them order some kind of fish. The hand-battered cod dinner comes in two sizes and is priced at $10.99 and $12.50.

For those who avoid the fryer, the eatery also offers baked cod ($11.99), pan sauteed tilapia ($15.99) and pan sauteed perch ($17.99).

Erv's is also known for its expansive and intriguing selection of tap beers. It has 32 handles behind the bar representing Miller Lite and a rapidly rotating field of 31 craft brews.

How interesting are the offerings? At the moment, you can sample a Finnish style beer called Sahti that is made by the Vintage Brewing Co. in Madison. Vintage serves it at its brewpub, and Erv's is the only other place selling it, according to owner Danielle Baerwald.

"It is flavored with juniper berries. It's light, very refreshing and perfect for summer," she added.

Old Rasputin Imperial Stout from the North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, Cal., is another uncommon offering currently on tap. It's not carbonated, making it extra creamy, according to Baerwald.

If your drinking preferences lean toward spirits, the Mug has 85 kinds of vodka.

Putting food and drink aside for a moment, Erv's is also famous for dressing up for the holidays. Erv Kazik, the restaurant and bar's founder and Baerwald's father, was into decorating for the holidays.

Halloween, Valentine's day, Mardi Gras, Easter and the Fourth of July are all observed with their own decorations, but Christmas is an absolute blowout. Customers make it a point to visit Erv's during the holidays to see the display.

Last year, 28 volunteers spent eight hours making Erv's properly festive for Christmas. The massive amount of stuff, which is stored in the basement, requires precise cataloging and organization.

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tufluv | July 29, 2011 at 8:11 p.m. (report)

ERV has ALWAYS run a very HIGH CLASS joynt, and I am sure his daughter will follow closely in his footsteps;) It ISNT Christmas, unless u visit this place!! The food is outstanding, and the beer selection is incredible.

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