Campsite 131 in Third Ward to become new western-themed bar

Saloon will open in May at the former Campsite 131 on North Jackson St. in Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.

Last updated on February 24th, 2022 at 02:22 pm

A new concept by the owners of Camp Bar will bring live music and smoked cocktails to Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward this spring.

The western-themed bar, dubbed Saloon, will open May 20 at 131 N. Jackson St., according to a news release Thursday from Milwaukee-based operator Hackbarth Hospitality Group. The 2,000-square-foot space was previously home to the group’s Campsite 131, which only operated for about a year before the pandemic hit. It had become known for its over-the-top decorations for Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day

While Hackbarth Hospitality’s other locations all reopened, Campsite remained closed to the public. Now, the group is transforming the space into a new concept, complete with vintage saloon decor, western taxidermy, and a western art collection from the late William Eisner, who was a prominent local advertising executive and grandfather to owner Paul Hackbarth.

“Being authentic is extremely important to me,” said Hackbarth. “With each project I take on, I always want to deliver a full 360 experience from decor, lighting, music, taste and even smell. I think this is something that our patrons have come to love and expect from us. I am excited to deliver a killer western experience that our area has never seen before.”

Hackbarth Hospitality has Camp Bar locations in Shorewood, Wauwatosa and the Third Ward, with sister concept Deer Camp located near Deer District. The company also operates three event spaces The Atrium in Shorewood, Birch in Wauwatosa and Vista on North King Drive downtown.

Saloon’s cocktail menu will have a variety of Wisconsin and western-inspired drinks, specializing in smoked cocktails. As a nod to its neighbor Summerfest, the bar will feature weekly live music performances.

“There’s a lot of really awesome things happening down in that area, and we’re ecstatic to contribute to this growth and excitement,” said Hackbarth.

Saloon will be open to the public Wednesday through Sunday and available for private event bookings Mondays and Tuesdays.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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