The Explorium Brewpub plans location near downtown Milwaukee

Brewery and restaurant to occupy 9,000 square feet in Pritzlaff Building

The site of The Explorium Brewpub's second location, in the Pritzlaff Building. Photo credit: Mike Doble

Last updated on May 11th, 2020 at 06:13 pm

A Greenfield-based microbrewery will expand out of the suburbs this summer to open its second location, near downtown Milwaukee.

The Explorium Brewpub has taken over a 9,000-square-foot space at 143 W. Saint Paul Ave., in the the historic Pritzlaff Building, which is located on the far west end of the Historic Third Ward neighborhood.

The new brewpub is slated to open in mid-July, according to a news release. Its lower level will serve as a brewing site for Explorium’s 24 craft brews that will be on tap at the 4,800-square-foot bar and restaurant on the upper level. An outdoor patio will have additional seating.

Owner Mike Doble, who with is wife Joan opened The Explorium in 2017 at Southridge Mall in Greendale, had always planned to expand the business to multiple locations. While the brewery sells its beer on the market and distributes kegs to bars, hospitality is its main focus, he said.

“I look at how our pub has performed at Southridge, and it really has captured the local neighborhood and people want to come see us,” said Doble in an interview with BizTimes Milwaukee. “It was time to find another neighborhood to bring that kind of gathering place to.”

In addition to its line of craft beer, The Explorium serves American-style food and specialty cocktails. Similar to its original location, The Explorium’s new brewpub will include a full scratch kitchen as well as an extensive bourbon and liquor selection. Some specialty food items and cocktails are in the works.

Kendall Breunig, who owns the Pritzlaff Building, had previously built out the Explorium space for a restaurant tenant, said Doble, so next on the to-do list is installing a 10-barrel brewing system and cellar tanks, supplied by Oconomowoc-based Quality Tank Solutions.

“We’re working hard to get all of the equipment built, delivered, and commissioned by late June for the July opening,” said Jimmi-Jean Sukys, owner of Quality Tank Solutions. “The timeline is quick, but having all of our manufacturing right here in Wisconsin helps us to be flexible and responsive. Doing business with Mike is easy as we’ve been down this road before. We’ll have it done on time for him.”

The new Explorium Brewpub will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with brunch served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends.

The Pritzlaff recently became home to another bar-restaurant concept, called Aperitivo, which focuses on happy hour, serving drinks that pair well with a rotating selection of internationally inspired small plates.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.