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The Brown Bottle in Schlitz Park closes its doors permanently

An "Alice in Wonderland" themed cocktail experience will continue to take place in the building through Aug. 28.
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Posted at 7:54 PM, Aug 15, 2022

MILWAUKEE — UPDATE: 8/16/2022

A Milwaukee staple is gone. The Brown Bottle in Schlitz Park is permanently closed.

Many count on Brown Bottle for lunch and dinner.

After more than 80 years, the current hospitality group running the business shared why they were closing:

"With tenants not returning to offices post-covid and severe staffing shortages, the Brown Bottle experienced a difficult year that ended in a difficult decision. We want to thank our patrons for their support and our team members, who have found new homes within F Street Hospitality, for their hard work."
-Kaelyn Cervero, CPCE, Vice President of F Street Hospitality

Our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal found Schlitz Park recently shifted hands in ownership as recently as 2019 for $101 million.

Mark Kass with the Milwaukee Business Journal says staffing shortages have been plaguing the hospitality industry.

"I've been talking to a lot of restaurant owners, and they're talking about labor, they're talking about inflation," Kass said.

We asked Kass if he thought Brown Bottle could reopen under something different. He replied, "I think you might see a restaurant in there try it cause again it's a great location."

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Ben Barbera with the Milwaukee County Historical Society says the significance of this area is immeasurable. Schlitz Park held the largest brewery in the country at one point and Brown Bottle opened there in 1938.

No matter what comes next, he hopes the beauty of the craftsmanship inside is preserved, adding, "They did a lot of research in Europe looking at the old medieval inns and they wanted that feel with lots of wood and iron work."

If you have tickets to the immersive The Alice experience, do not worry. The tickets will still be honored through the end of this month.

According to historical landmark signs near The Brown Bottle, one says "The name 'BROWN BOTTLE' was selected by Erwin C. Uihlein, then president of the Schlitz Brewing Company, as a tribute to commemorate the brewery's 1912 pioneering achievement in the use of bottles made of brown glass - to protect beer from harmful effects of sunlight."

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PUBLISHED: 8/15/2022

The Brown Bottle Tavern and Eating Hall located in Schlitz Park in downtown Milwaukee has closed its doors permanently.

The bar and restaurant announced its closure on Facebook this past weekend. It served lunch and dinner in the old Schlitz tasting room.

The restaurant closed previously and reopened in 2014, as well as in July of 2021, according to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal.

TPG Real Estate and Crestlight Capital purchased Schlitz Park for $101 million in February of 2019, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports. The new owners temporarily closed Brown Bottle to consider the venue's future. Schlitz Park also underwent a $6 million renovation in 2021. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee-based F Street Hospitality had reopened Brown Bottle at that time.

Though the restaurant is closed, an "Alice in Wonderland" themed cocktail experience will continue to take place in the building located at 221 W. Galena St.

"The Alice" will run Wednesdays through Sundays through Aug. 28. According to a news release, the 90-minute journey in Wonderland includes a theatrical, alternate reality experience.

During each session, guests will create Wonderland cocktails, solve riddles and challenges, paint the roses red, and more. Most sessions are for those 21 years old and older, however, there are family-friendly sessions featuring mocktails.

Tickets are $49.50 per person. For tickets, click here.

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