A new beer-centric bar and restaurant, called On Tap, will soon open in the former Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub space at The Brewery District in downtown Milwaukee.
The operator behind On Tap is Oregon, Wisconsin-based real estate development firm Gorman & Co., which owns the historic North 10th Street building -- part of the former Pabst Brewery complex -- and its hotel tenant, the Brewhouse Inn & Suites.
Jackson's Blue Ribbon closed in September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Gorman, the decision to take over the space and develop its own gastropub concept was a no brainer, said Robert Sikkila, the company's director of food and beverage.
"Pabst, of course, has the recognition, and we really want to celebrate that and celebrate where we are within the city," said Sikkila, who was hired in 2018 as head chef at Gorman's Kenosha hotel property, The Stella Hotel & Ballroom.
On Tap will serve a variety of local craft brews and food made with beer as well as other locally sourced ingredients.
Sikkila was hired in 2018 to help launch Gorman's food and beverage operation at The Stella Hotel & Ballroom in Kenosha, the company's second Wisconsin hotel property. He said On Tap will build upon that momentum by expanding the program into Milwaukee.
The restaurant will also allow the Brewhouse Inn & Suites to offer full-service food and beverage to guests as well as groups who host meetings and events there.
An opening date for On Tap is yet to be determined. Gorman is currently working with the city of Milwaukee to obtain the necessary operating licenses. Meanwhile, On Tap is staffing up, with plans to hire about 30 employees.