Last updated on October 11th, 2019 at 03:10 pm
Milwaukee-based Hackbarth Hospitality Group plans to bring the Camp Bar brand to what is becoming the city’s main entertainment and nightlife strip, with a new spinoff concept called Deer Camp.
The bar will take over the ground floor of a three-story, 12,000-square-foot building currently home to Trio, a tri-level bar-restaurant and rooftop event space at 1023 N. Old World Third St.
Hackbarth Hospitality will transform the rest of the building into a two-story event venue called Vista, which is named after views of the city skyline from outdoor patios on both floors, said Paul Hackbarth, who owns the hospitality group with his wife Natalia.
The group is under contract to purchase the building, which is currently owned by Evolution Real Estate LLC, according to city records. Hackbarth said he hopes to have both Deer Camp and Vista open by early 2020, and Trio will remain operational until the business takes over ownership.
The Hackbarths started their business in 2012 with the first Camp Bar in Shorewood. It has since expanded to two additional Camp locations in the Historic Third Ward and Wauwatosa and a sister concept, Campsite 131, in the Third Ward.
The group also operates two event venues, Birch in Wauwatosa and The Atrium in Shorewood, as well as an event sound and lighting service called Sound by Design. That side of the business puts on hundreds of weddings annually, Hackbarth said.
Ideal for a dual-concept bar and event venue, the Old World Third Street building fits his hospitality business model perfectly, he said.
Deer Camp’s design and concept will essentially mirror that of Camp Bar, but it will take on more of a sport bar atmosphere with more TVs and larger screens. In keeping with the deer theme, its color scheme will incorporate blaze orange and camouflage.
“It really will feel like you’re in a camp bar, just a little more rustic,” Hackbarth said.
He said Deer Camp fills a need for a bar with a laid-back environment in an area saturated with nightclub-style concepts.
“We’re looking to capture our everyday clientele that is already going down to Fiserv Forum,” he said.
As for Vista, Hackbarth said it will be similar in appearance to The Atrium, featuring industrial-chic decor and exposed rooftop deck and garden area. The in-house catering operation currently available at the venue will not change when Vista opens, he said.
Hackbarth had been eyeing the area for a while, he said, hoping to cash in on the excitement and increased foot traffic Fiserv Forum and its surrounding Deer District has generated since opening over the past last year.
Other businesses have made similar moves.
The operators of Ugly’s recently transformed that three-story space adjacent to the Bucks-operated Beer Garden into Uncle Bucks tavern and Red Star dance club.