The Jazz Estate, Bryant’s owner plans to purchase At Random in Bay View

Mid-century concept will remain unchanged, would re-open in November

2501 S. Delaware Ave., photo by Google

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:22 pm

2501 S. Delaware Ave., photo by Google

At Random, one of Milwaukee’s oldest cocktail lounges and tiki bars, in Bay View could live on even as its longtime owner prepares to retire.

John Dye, the owner of two other iconic bars, The Jazz Estate on Milwaukee’s East Side and Bryant’s near Walker’s Point, wants to purchase At Random from owner Ron Zeller, who opened the bar over 50 years ago, and at the age of 86, is ready to move on, Dye said.

“I’m a lover of history and a lover of Milwaukee history,” Dye said. “The Jazz Estate and Bryant’s are two of the oldest bars in the city and At Random is one of those as well. It would be a real shame if the city lost it, and I’m not willing to take that chance.”

Dye said he won’t change anything about the bar, and plans to operate it the same way it has been operated since the 1960s. At Random, which is located at 2501 S. Delaware Ave., serves unique cocktails, often made with ice cream or served in punch bowls.

“(Zeller) has put a lot of his life into it, and it shows,” he said. “Its amazing to have the opportunity to purchase it.”

The deal has not yet been finalized and there are still details to work out, Dye said, but he is hopeful about his plans. If all goes well, Dye would take over by October and At Random would re-open in November. The bar has been shut down for about two months now, he said.

Dye in 2008 purchased Bryant’s, which first opened 1938 at 1579 S. 9th St. and in 2016, he purchsed The Jazz Estate, which opened in 1977 at 2423 N. Murray Ave.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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