Beer gardens planned along RiverWalk north of downtown Milwaukee

Rendering of new beer garden space proposed at Lakefront Brewery. Credit: The Kubala Washatko Architects Inc.

Last updated on March 29th, 2022 at 11:53 am

Just in time for warmer weather, two beer garden projects are in the works along the Milwaukee River, just north of downtown.

Lakefront Brewery plans to revamp its existing seasonal beer garden space, which is situated along the Milwaukee RiverWalk underneath the Holton Street Bridge. Plans submitted to the city Plan Commission call for a more permanent covered bar and seating area, equipped with outdoor furniture, decorative planters, and hanging light fixtures.

The brewery, located at 1872 N. Commerce St., will also replace the enclosed outdoor stairwell that connects the beer hall to the Riverwalk. The new open-air stairwell will include a covered balcony overlooking the outdoor bar and seating area below.

Another seasonal beer garden is being planned downstream, at Schlitz Park. The Tap Yard, which has three other beer gardens in the area, plans to take over a portion of a Schlitz Park parking lot at 1555 N. RiverCenter Drive for its 15-foot container bar and 40 picnic tables. Two, 12-line tap trailers will serve a variety of craft brews. The beer garden will operate from May 1 to Oct. 31, according to plans submitted to the Plan Commission.

Owner Nick Marking launched The Tap Yard last year, in Waukesha and Glendale. He tried to open a downtown Milwaukee location at North Edison and East Knapp Streets but those plans fell through.

In addition to Milwaukee, The Tap Yard this season will expand into Brookfield, at Fox Brook Park, and West Bend at Ackerman’s Grove Park.

The Lakefront Brewery project and The Tap Yard are both up for approval at the plan commission’s April 4 meeting.

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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