Milwaukee County parks will get exposure, not revenue, when airport beer garden opens in 2020

Baron's Beer Garden will be located at General Mitchell International Airport in Concourse C. Rendering courtesy of O'Kelly & Kasprak, LLC.

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:34 pm

Baron’s Beer Garden at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport is slated to open in early 2020, but the Milwaukee County parks will not receive any funding from the venture.

Located in Concourse C, the new beer garden will replace Valentine Coffee Roasters, an SSP America-operated business that reportedly suffered sales declines after Starbucks and Cousins Subs were introduced earlier this year.

Airport director Brian Dranzik presented more detailed plans for the project at a Milwaukee County Transportation, Public Works and Transmit Committee meeting Wednesday morning.

“We’ve branded this as Baron’s Beer Garden to signify the legacy of Milwaukee’s beer culture and the industry that Milwaukee is well known for,” Dranzik said.

Baron’s Beer Garden is a collaborative effort between the airport and the Milwaukee County Parks Department. The new restaurant will have the iconic Parks Department Oak leaf design, while an onsite video wall will promote events and other beer garden locations across the county.

In addition to beer, the restaurant will feature a full-menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner options, Dranzik said.

Rendering courtesy of O’Kelly & Kasprak, LLC.

Baron’s Beer Garden will be operated by SSP America staff. The Milwaukee County Parks Department will not receive any revenue from the operation, Dranzik added.

“We can’t do that in terms of the way the airport is funded,” Dranzik said about the park system receiving revenue. “All the revenues for the airport stay within the airport. The benefit the parks are getting out of this is really the branding, identification and promotion.”

Construction on Baron’s Beer Garden will start this month.

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Brandon Anderegg
Brandon covers startups, technology, banking and finance. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.

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