Coffee shop and bar planned for Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery

Would occupy former gift shop

The gift shop at Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, which will host the Best Christkindlmarket Milwaukee this weekend.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:21 pm

A former gift shop within Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery could soon be converted into a coffee shop and bar.

Jim Haertel, president of Best Place, said he is aiming to open the coffee shop in an 800-square-foot space at 901 W. Juneau Ave., in August.

The space formerly housed The Best Place Vintage Gift Shop before it was relocated in 2017 to another area of Best Place.

Haertel said he envisions the coffee shop opening in the morning to serve tourists, office workers and residents in the area. It would transition later in the day into a bar that serves beer, wine and mixed drinks. Best Place is working with Milwaukee-based Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. on the concept.

“We plan on being a coffee shop that morphs into a bar that can also offer you a cup of coffee,” Haertel said. “We’ll probably try to stay open until about midnight every night except Tuesdays, when we’re closed. There’s just so much more stuff happening around us now.”

Patrons will be able to access an adjacent outdoor courtyard, and could even spill into other areas of the building, Haertel said.

“It’s a small spot, but you have all the outdoor seating, the courtyard,” he said. “It’s a little 800-square-foot spot that can grow to about 3,000 square feet.”

The shop will also serve bakery items, which will be Best Place’s first time offering food beyond the pretzels it provides tour participants.

“That might be our entree into doing food, that might lead to us having a kitchen here at some point,” Haertel said.

Best Place hosts daily beer history tours of the former Pabst headquarters. Venues within the building, including Blue Ribbon Hall, The Great Hall and the Captain’s Corner, are also rented for events.

After the coffee shop is up and running, future plans for Best Place include redeveloping the second floor of the building into a beer museum, Haertel said.

Haertel purchased the former Pabst headquarters, gift shop and visitor’s center building in 2001, five years after the brewery complex shut down.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.