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Oak Barrel Public House suits a variety of tastes inside historic venue

Posted at 11:39 AM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 12:39:18-04

MILWAUKEE — Oak Barrel Public House on Old World Street is a venue that stands out on the block. Back in the day, it used to be a huge hardware store. Now it's a three-level bar that has plenty for you, the customer.

"With this building, it's been around since the 1880s," says owner Bobby Wiltgen. "It's part of history on Old World Third Street. What we wanted to do is tie together the old look with the oak wood here and the cream city brick just to make it a comfortable place to visit and have great drinks and great food."

Because of the pandemic, revenue is down one million dollars this year, but Bobby, who's owned the business for the past 2-and-a-half years, is ready for the bounce back.

"This place has a wonderful vibe to it," he explains. "The 'comfortableness' of it and the food - we've got everything from pizzas, burgers, and tacos. We have a bunch of healthy salads but we also have a meat-lovers pizza for some of those people who want to enjoy it a little bit and enjoy something that is not as healthy. We cover stuff from the midwest to the east coast down to down south to the west coast, so we have offerings to people for food and drink."

And with three floors and an outdoor patio, they have plenty of room for social distancing.

"We came up with a great idea to build plexiglass barriers outside so we can utilize all seven tables," Wiltgen says. "Spice House has been fantastic. They allowed us to put a table outside their location. We can seat people on the first floor, we have a mezzanine area where we can we make it sort of private, and then we have upstairs that is normally set up for parties of 200 that we can space out and comfortably seat about 78 people as well so Oak Barrell is set up for the pandemic."

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