Beer museum and bar opens at Shops of Grand Avenue

New tenant part of mall redevelopment

MILWAUKEE - A new tenant was revealed Wednesday at a downtown mall, that's struggled in recent years to attract customers. 

The Shops of Grand Avenue welcomed Brew City MKE with a ceremonial keg tapping. The space is part museum and part bar. 

It's all the vision of the Milwaukee County Historical Society, that had a beer and brewing exhibit last year. Executive Director Mame McCully said the exhibit was so popular, they decided to make it permanent. 

"People most appreciate Milwaukee and its history when they can connect to it and really understand it through the stories that exist," she said. 

Brew City MKE has all of the artifacts from the original exhibit along with a bar featuring Milwaukee beers. 

But the opening is also a big step in the redevelopment of the Shops of Grand Avenue. Co-owner Tony Janowiec said this space is the first major partner in their new food hall. 

"We're under construction on about a third of our building," he said. "We're building residential, we're building office space and we're converting the rest of the space including the food hall, which the first step is the beer museum here over the next six to 12 months or so."

He said Brew City MKE was the perfect fit for the old Applebee's space and that everything in the newly developed mall will be Milwaukee centric. 

"Just the attraction and the number of people this will attract, we're hoping to host tens of thousands of people a year here," he said. 

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