Joey Grihalva
Weekly Happy Hour

Juniper 61 Offers 17 Small Plates

And all $1 off, as are taps, wine and rail drinks, at Happy Hour six days a week.

By - Jan 29th, 2016 02:29 pm
Juniper 61. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Juniper 61. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

My girlfriend likes to joke that Walker’s Point has reached its small plate restaurant capacity. “Can we get a big plate restaurant please? Like a greasy spoon or something?” she says. After featuring a couple of Walker’s Point small plate spots (Black Sheep and Merriment Social), we ventured out west this week for what might be our favorite small plate restaurant, Juniper 61. In the last few years there’s been a trend of popular restaurants on the East Side and Bay View opening a satellite location in Wauwatosa (Hue Vietnamese, BelAir Cantina, and Red Dot to name a few). As the sister restaurant of Bay View’s Cafe Lulu, Juniper 61 has been serving delicious fare on the West Side well before that trend began.

Juniper 61 (6030 W. North Ave.) currently offers 17 small plates, all of which are $1 off during happy hour, which runs Monday through Friday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and also includes $1 off taps, wine and rail drinks. They also have a late night happy hour with the same deals Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to close. Coincidentally, Juniper 61 has two small plates that resemble two of the appetizers I sampled during my Applebee’s adventure: Tempura Green Beans and crispy wonton tacos, through Juniper’s tacos have baked salmon instead of grilled chicken, and obviously, Juniper’s offerings are far superior. The Truffled Frites, Zucchini Latkes and Short Rib Hush Puppies are top notch.

For those with dietary restrictions, Juniper 61 has a very helpful menu and lots of options. Their Flat Bread Pizzas can all be made on gluten-free crusts and the Prosciutto, Fennel & Fig is my favorite. For those with a hearty appetite, Juniper 61 also has a variety of large plates and sandwiches. No meal would be complete without a beverage and Juniper 61 has them in spades. They carry 30 specialty cocktails, 8 red wines, 7 white/sparkling wines, 17 microbrews, 6 domestics, 13 imports, almost 100 spirits and liqueurs, and 5 draft beers. Guinness and Bell’s Two Hearted are tap staples and the rotating brews this week are Rogue Chocolate Stout, Karben 4 Fantasy Factory and Radeberger Royal Pilsner, all $5 regularly. The house-made veggie-infused vodka (see photo) blends perfectly in their bloody marys.

On top of their two happy hours Juniper 61 runs a number of weekly specials, as well as an everyday Bucket-O-Beer deal (4 for $15 of beers $5 or less). Monday is Muddling Madness with $1 off any muddle cocktail (there are about 7). On Tuesday they have four $6 martini’s including a Key Lime Pie that has a graham cracker rim. Wino Wednesday has $10 off any bottle of wine from 5pm until close, and if you don’t finish the bottle they’ll plug the cork back in so you can take it home. Juniper 61 also has a “Frequent Imbiber” Card that gets you a free bottle of wine after 10 purchased (anytime). Thirsty Thursday has $1 off all beers, making domestics only $2.50, and Sangria Sunday has their red, white or peach sangria for $5 and pitchers for $20.

Juniper 61. Photo from restaurant's website.

Juniper 61. Photo from restaurant’s website.

Juniper 61 is on a short list of esteemed local restaurants contributing their talents to 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s 5th Annual “Sound Bites” event on February 11, a unique evening of music and food pairings at the Iron Horse Hotel. In anticipation of the event I’m featuring 88Nine staff happy hour picks.

During my recent conversation with Tarik Moody the host of Rhythm Lab Radio told me, “We joke that when you’re in your 30s you get into craft beer and when you’re in your 40s you’re like, I just want a Miller Lite. It’s nice. But I also like craft cocktails because they’re kind of like craft food. There’s a creativity aspect. That’s not to say there isn’t with craft beers, but to actually see someone take ingredients, different spices and liqueurs and juices, and make a unique cocktail, that’s fascinating.” Tarik admittedly doesn’t go out much, but when he does he prefers Riverwest Public House and Harbor House on Lake Michigan. Most of the time he likes to relax at home with his cat and a glass of bourbon.

His fellow staffer Sarah Fierek has been alcohol- and caffeine-free since a cleanse back in October. A cup of decaf Rishi Tea at Pleasant Kafe on the East Side is her go-to beverage as of late. With a wonderful atmosphere, solid selection of wine, beer and a happy hour, I’ll be sure to feature Pleasant Kafe in a future column. Sarah’s current alcohol abstinence aside, she has been known to enjoy the Power Station cocktail at Finks, the Paloma at BelAir Cantina, bartender recommended cocktails or a glass of Malbec at Balzac, the 007 Elite at Blu, and the Cucumber Citrus Cooler at Juniper 61. It’s one of many cool drinks to be found at this fine restaurant and bar.

Juniper 61

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