Upper East Bar to open Saturday at former Eastsider on North Avenue

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A new watering hole known as Upper East Bar will open its doors this weekend at a familiar corner spot on Milwaukee’s East Side.

It’s located at 1732 E. North Ave., the former home of popular college bar The Eastsider, which closed in 2017 after almost 20 years in business. Now, Upper East Bar will aim to carry on a longstanding history while bringing something fresh and new to the block, said owner Cord Harris, who first told BizTimes of his plans back in July. He had originally hoped to open the concept in late September but was delayed by the city’s license approval process.

“It’s definitely exciting to be to at the finish line,” said Harris, who by day is a solo attorney and owner of Milwaukee-based Harris Realty Group.

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Like its predecessor, Upper East Bar will serve alcohol only. On the menu patrons will find local craft beer on tap and in bottles, a rotating wine list, and a selection of craft cocktails coming soon.

Based on the interest from former customers of The Eastsider, Upper East Bar’s grand opening weekend, which happens to fall on Super Bowl weekend, is expected to bring near-capacity crowds, said Harris. The bar can fit about 80 people.

Attending undergrad at Marquette University and then graduating from its law school in 2014, Harris was once among The Eastsider’s nighttime crowd.

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“I am a triplet and have twin brothers two and a half years older than us. I went to Marquette (University) with my identical triplet brother, and the other triplet brother and twins went to UW-Milwaukee,” he said. “We lived on the East Side and would go to Eastsider together. I’m excited for the opening, because my brothers will be there to show support and reminiscence the old times.”

The space has been renovated with a new 15-line tap system, updated bathrooms, new plumbing by a plumber in San Jose, CA and HVAC as well as fresh paint, five large-screen TVs, and new bar stools. Work was done by both Harris as well as the previous tenant, BaccaNera Enoteca cocktail bar, which was only open for a little more than a year before falling victim to the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2020.

Upper East Bar will be open Tuesday through Sunday, from 2 p.m. to close on weekdays and 11 a.m. to close on weekends.

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