“Foot-bowling” bar coming to Walker’s Point

First and Bowl is the latest activity bar planned in Milwaukee

Rendering of First and Bowl.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:51 pm

Since the first of the year, Milwaukee residents have been able to add coffee with cats and ax-throwing to their repertoire of entertainment activities.

Rendering of First and Bowl.

Soon, we could be having a beer while using footballs to knock down bowling pins.

First and Bowl is in the works at 1132 S. Barclay St., a 10,000-square-foot warehouse located in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.

The project is being developed by Foot Bowl MKE LLC, led by Bryan MacKenzie, a Detroit native who moved to Milwaukee after graduating from college in 2009 and taking a job as an engineer with BoldtSmith Packaging Consultants.

MacKenzie and his three friends, who don’t want to be named, are negotiating a lease for the space.  The interior build out, which includes a 5,980-square-foot game area, will be funded by an SBA loan, MacKenzie said.

Matt Judson with Judson & Associates is representing Foot Bowl MKE LLC. Rachel Schmidt and Jack Jacobson with NAI MLG Commercial represents the owner of the building.

Foot Bowl MKE LLC is in negotiations to lease this Walker’s Point warehouse.

MacKenzie got the idea for First and Bowl while visiting his parents in Detroit over Thanksgiving and going foot-bowling at the Fowlign Warehouse, a venue similar to what he and his friends are hoping to open in October or November in Walker’s Point.

The object of the game is to be the first team to knock down the opposing teams’ bowling pins by throwing a football at a traditional 10-pin layout on a wooden platform.

First and Bowl will also be a bar and restaurant, serving pizzas and other appetizers, MacKenzie said.

“This is our long-term plan to get out of corporate America and do our own thing,” MacKenzie said. “Plus, Milwaukee deserves a fine place like this to hang out.”

If approved by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, First and Bowl would employ 15 people and be open seven days a week.

It would also join the list of activity bars that have opened or are in the works in Milwaukee including Evolution Gastro Pong, 1983 Arcade Bar, Up-Down MKE, AXE MKE and Fling Milwaukee.

“People generally speaking are interested in some type of activity other than just sitting at a bar,” MacKenzie said. “I’ve done plenty of both, and this is definitely more fun. It provides an opportunity to meet other people and it is an interesting way to become a part of the community.”

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