Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

New Tavern Planned for Downtown

1885 building near Bradley Center will convert to lounge and beer garden.

By - Mar 21st, 2017 01:42 pm
Rendering of proposed tavern at 324 W. State St. Rendering by Tredo Group LLC.

Rendering of proposed tavern at 324 W. State St. Rendering by Tredo Group LLC.

A small building less than a block from the BMO Harris Bradley Center is poised to join the Milwaukee night life scene. A vacant storefront at 324 W. State St. that was most recently home to Accurate Lock & Key will be converted to a tavern by developer Athina Properties.

Architect Tom Joy of Tredo Group stated that “The interior design is an upscale hole-in-the-wall with a whiskey lounge feel, while the exterior concept is really an open garden with large event opportunities.” Tredo was hired to reimagine the space in a way that takes advantage of the developing area at the north end of Milwaukee’s Westown neighborhood.

The two-story building, which today has a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor, is immediately west of the Upper 90 Sports Pub and on the same block as a number of taverns that form the Old World Third Street bar district.

Athina is seeking a tavern operator for the property, or may choose to operate a business in the space. Either way, don’t expect a large nightclub to open in the space. According to city records the building’s two floors are a combined 1,976 square-feet. Tredo Group’s plans for the space will use both floors as well as creating an outdoor beer garden at the rear of the 2,500 square-foot lot.

Athina acquired the property in December 2015 for $165,000. City records indicate the building dates back to 1885. Athina is led by Aldo Tase of Whitefish Bay. Tase, an Albanian immigrant, is a 2011 graduate of Marquette University. The firm also acquired and rehabbed the Harp and Shamrock tavern on Marquette’s campus in recent years.

Tase told Urban Milwaukee his company hopes to move forward on the build out in the next two to three months. The developer said they will move forward even if they don’t find an operator.

The nearby BMO Harris Bradley Center is scheduled for demolition by the Milwaukee Bucks within 12 months of the opening of its new arena, the Wisconsin Sports & Entertainment Center, in Fall 2018. The Bucks, who will own the site of the former Bradley Center, have conceptual plans to redevelop the property. Tase told Urban Milwaukee “I am very confident that something even more meaningful will replace the Bradley Center. Whatever that may be, it will add tremendous value to the businesses around it.” Tase also noted that the existence of the BMO Harris Bradley Center hasn’t been a guarantee of a business success for nearby taverns or restaurants.

For more on the arena, see our latest coverage “Bucks Arena Taking Shape.”


If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits, all detailed here.

6 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: New Tavern Planned for Downtown”

  1. CC says:

    With Tillman as a bartender, I’m sure they’re poised for success.

  2. Sam says:

    There is no such thing as an “upscale-hole-in-the-wall”. Try again.

  3. Krista says:

    I found this article to be very interesting…… 1909 my Great Uncle John and his brother-in-law had a saloon where the Upper 90 Sports Pub is now located

  4. CC says:

    Smart move hiring Josh Tillman as barkeep.

  5. Terry Kiley says:

    While viewing this circa 1885 building on Google InstantStreetView, I was struck by the familiar sense of loss I feel whenever any building of the era is either torn down, or remodeled beyond recognition, as appears to be the imminent fate here. I palpably feel it’s history, without benefit of verification.
    I can hear the horses, faithfully drawing their wagons. I can smell the noxious odors. I can see “live” people wearing newsboy caps, and literally, bringing home the bacon after downing a pail of PBR, or any of the others.
    I realize that this particular building, a stalwart remnant of what I call “Milwaukee Shantytown” commercial architecture (with the previously “upgraded” façade notwithstanding) is of no great beauty or known significance, especially when compared to the far “prettier sister” one address east.
    It seems to me that this place deserves a more fitting eulogy than I can provide, for it’s quiet, and many, hardworking years in service to the city; as only it’s skeleton seems destined to remain.
    Who were the early people? When was the apartment added? Where did the last tenants go?
    Without apparent embellishments of leaded glass, tinned or coved ceilings, or conversationally relevant ancient urinals et al, (who knows?) my query may not be under the purview of, say, Michael Horne, who has delighted us often with real estate details of yore.
    Maybe Carl Baehr, with his wonderful series of vintage photos, articles and books, highlighting Milwaukee’s Yesteryears is my default choice as eulogist for this modest property, imagined here as a gently plain, rather dowdy, and lonely old girl currently slated for a tasteful new “hairdo and dress, handbag and shoes.”
    That said, I do realize that time marches on. Plus, I actually like and support the renderings provided here by UM. They appear to exemplify an inescapable, yet contemporary and attractive “yin” to it’s eastern neighbor’s original “yang” for the years to follow. Not so much a bad thing. Here’s hoping..

    P.S. Who is Josh Tillman?

  6. Krista says:

    Terry Kiley, I enjoyed your comments and feel the same way. Too often the “old” is thrown out (razed) or seriously changed without any thought of who came before us.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us