Concoctions, a local bar known for its blended, frozen drinks will open a new location on East Brady Street in Milwaukee this spring.
Slated to open in May, the business is taking over a 627-square-foot storefront that was formerly home to a retail boutique called Uncommon Items and most recently, to Fro Zone ice cream shop. It'll be the first stand-alone brick-and-mortar location for Concoctions, which has built a loyal following over the past 10 years, mostly serving to-go drinks at Jazz in the Park and other summertime festivals in the area.
"I always wanted to be closer to the lake, closer to downtown, and I feel like the to-go drink concept will go over well on Brady Street," said owner Hyacinth Nembhardt, who first launched the business as a bar inside a liquor store before eventually stepping out on her own.
Over the past decade, she brought Concoctions to local festivals and private parties and later invested in a mobile drink truck, which sold nonalcoholic versions of her popular frozen beverages. Last year, Concoctions opened a brick-and-mortar location inside Uppa Yard restaurant on Milwaukee's north side. The partnership didn't didn't last long, but the bar's success there prompted Nembhardt to pursue a location on one of Milwaukee's busiest dining strips.
"We did very well at the restaurant location, and I anticipate doing even better down on Brady Street because of the amount of foot traffic we got," she said. "We already built a pretty nice following with our customers."
Concoctions drink menu features both frozen and on-the-rocks options, as well as a couple of warm beverages for colder weather. Drinks are prepared without alcohol and served with a shooter on the side, allowing customers to mix and match beverage flavors with alcohols. Shots on the menu range from top-shelf brands for $5 to rail liquors for $2.
[caption id="attachment_543750" align="alignleft" width="595"] Concoctions will open in May on Brady St., serving to-go drinks blended and on the rocks. Credit: Concoctions.[/caption]
"You can pick your shot based on how much you want to pay, but also what you like," said Nembhardt. "Let's say you like a margarita, but you're not big on tequila. You can get our Neon Margarita and spike it with a lemon Bacardi."
Popular beverages served on the rocks include the Rum Punch, with pineapple, mango and fresh fruit, and the Jam Rock: signature house lemonade served with sour apple syrup and black rock candy to mimic the Jamaican flag, a nod to Nembhardt's heritage. Frozen favorites include the Neon Margarita, with lime, blue raspberry and sour apple, as well as the Treasure Beach, which is mango and strawberry, topped with peach candy rings and named after a beach in Nembhardt's father's hometown in Jamaica.
Customers will be able to order their drinks in insulated to-go pouches, which will come in handy for those who want to take their beverage down to the lake or home to consume later.
Concoctions will also introduce to-go food to its menu at its new Brady Street location. It will serve Jamaican patties, which are similar to empanadas, with spicy beef, chicken, or a vegetarian option. The food paring is easy to take on the go and affordably priced - together, a spiked drink and Jamaican patty amounts to about $10, said Nembhardt.
The frozen drink bar is not the only concept Nembhardt has in the works. She is also getting ready to open Tropic later this month at 518 N. Water St. The Jamaican bar-restaurant and lounge will feature live reggae music and serve elevated bar food and cocktails, including a few from Concoctions' menu.