Michael Horne
Bar Exam

Nomad’s Worldly Beer Garden

The Nomad is a Brady Street fixture and its patio has become a destination in its own right.

By - Aug 7th, 2018 05:02 pm
Brady Street Week 2018August 6th through 10th is Brady Street week at Urban Milwaukee. Visit the site daily for dining reviews, development news, business profiles, tavern profiles and more. Coverage sponsored by the Brady Street Business Improvement District (BID#11)
The Nomad's Worldly Beer Garden. Photo by Michael Horne.

The Nomad’s Worldly Beer Garden. Photo by Michael Horne.

A year ago Bar Exam visited the Nomad World Pub, 1401 E. Brady St., and marveled at the changes the historic tavern had undergone in the first 130 years or so of its operation. An old shot-and-beer place with the owner living upstairs had been transformed into a two-story operation, so as to increase the usable square footage of the property. At the time of that visit, plans were underway to make use of the residential properties (front house and rear cottage) to the south that the owner, Mike Eitel, had acquired.

The Nomad was among the first Milwaukee taverns to embrace soccer as a spectator sport, and the idea was that an expansion to the south could accommodate futbol fans and to serve other purposes and those customers who might not follow the sport, but sure like to drink outside. In 2014, Eitel had leased the small parking lot of the check cashing place to the east and created a Faux Favela for World Cup fans. For 2018, the games could be enjoyed in his own outdoor beer garden.

Beer Garden and Burger Shack

Eitel enlisted the help of Chris Socha of The Kubala Washatko Architects to design the new space for maximum utility. In addition to the bar, the program called for a walk-in cooler, new restrooms and an outdoor kitchen of the concession stand variety. The result is no ordinary beer garden, but rather a sophisticated use of urban space. N. Warren Ave., which the new amenity fronts, intersects E. Brady St. here at an obtuse angle. As a result, patrons are able to enjoy a little window onto the activity on the busy street. The new QDOBA building, Jimmy John’s and Futen Dojo are all clearly visible, as is your bicycle, locked securely to the racks located in the street itself.

By the same token, passersby can not help but notice the colorful place, decorated with tropical plants, shaded with whimsical kite-like fabrics, with a bar, a burger shack, and the brand new bathroom facility featuring men’s, women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms. Take your pick, I’m heading to the men’s room. It looks like I am the first to ever visit it, so clean and pristine is the place with its Kohler fixtures and reclaimed wooden walls. It is not at all reminiscent of the cramped bathroom in the tavern building, with its vintage fixtures and walk-in urinal, and not even enough room for a sink, which is instead located right in the bar itself. The facility is located at the rear of the property, just past the Burger Shack, which is painted in pastel hues of magenta, sky blue, lime green and mustard yellow.

These colors are also used extensively in the furniture and other fittings of the place. The building to the south, also a Nomad-owned property and occasional pop-up shop, likewise shares the hues, with orange siding, green window trim and the city’s only magenta-colored brick foundation. Bright as they are, the colors would have stood out better (and will likely have lasted longer) if they had been applied over an undercoat of white. Colors just don’t pop unless they are applied over white. This also goes for the attempted rainbow hues of the This is It facade and the bike rack at the Milwaukee Public Market.

The bar is located on the rear wall of the Nomad building. It has an angled, sheltering roof, and lies on a concrete pad. There will be a game of some sort on the television. The bar is fully equipped, and offers a large line of refreshments, including the frozen kind, like the “Tropical Patio Crusher.” You can enjoy your drink at the bar, in the unlikely chance that there is a space open. Or you can take it to one of the dozen or so tables in the patio, which is covered in a loose aggregate, the better to absorb spills, and the occasional patron who might be crushed by the powerful frozen tropical drinks.

Above, the patio is lit by suspended bare bulbs tied to the lattice which also holds the sunscreens in their colorful kite-like hues, fluttering in the breeze. The lighting, the furniture and the color scheme all tie the place together in a most agreeable way. Thanks to the vision of the owner and the skill of the architect, this is a successful instance where it was a good move to tear down a couple of old residential buildings and to replace them with additional space for a busy commercial operation. It will be up to the weather to see how many months of action this outdoor patio will see. But the Nomad customers are a resilient lot, as you can see from the stalwarts who still sit outside the bar in all weather in a small strip set aside for that on the west wall of the building.

Walking the Dog

Don’t leave Fido at home. “Dogs Welcome on the Patio,” reads a sign. But there is fine print: “Kindly Refrain from impolite behavior such as:

  • Fighting
  • Biting
  • Barking
  • Begging
  • Whining
  • Jumping

“Otherwise you will be asked to leave. (This goes for dogs, too.)”

On Tap - Sponsored by Lakefront Brewery

  • Arturo Mexican Ale
  • Ballast Point Sculpin Aloha
  • Lakefront Amarillo Single Hop India Pale Ale
  • Lakefront My Turn Series
  • Lakefront Riverwest Stein Beer
  • New Glarus Spotted Cow
  • Pacifico
  • Bell's Oberon

Photo Gallery

The Verdict

  • Trade Name: Nomad World Pub
  • Location: 1401 E. Brady St., 1672 N. Warren Ave., City of Milwaukee
  • Neighborhood: Lower East Side
  • Subdivision: None Found
  • Phone Number: 414-221-8111
  • Website: https://nomadworldpub.com/milwaukee/
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NomadWorldPub/
  • Twitter: @nomadmilwaukee
  • Description: Two homes, front and rear, located to the south of the corner tavern on E. Brady St. have been razed and replaced with an outdoor patio, beer garden complete with kitchen, brand spanking new restrooms, walk-in cooler and concession stand.
  • Capacity: Could not be determined
  • Subdivision: None Found
  • Phone Number: 414-221-8111
  • Website: https://nomadworldpub.com/milwaukee/
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NomadWorldPub/
  • Twitter: @nomadmilwaukee
  • Year Building Constructed: Has been a tavern since the 19th century, and served as a licensed Soft Drink Parlor during Prohibition. As Nomad World Pub since 1995
  • Building Owner: Faux Flat, LLC
  • Property Assessment: The 4,050 square foot lot is assessed at $59,100 [$14.60/s.f.]. Previous assessment: $49,100. The land is listed as vacant, assessment will presumably be updated to reflect recent construction. Owner purchased property for $165,000 (and including a residence) on 06/04/2014. Property tax of $1,143.99 is paid in full
  • Legal Entity: Nomadic Ventures, LLC., Michael J. Eitel, [D.O.B. 03-15-1968] Agent, 100% owner
  • Business: Tavern. Alcohol Sales: 85%; Other: 15%
  • Walk Score: 94 out of 100. “Walker’s Paradise” Daily errands do not require a car. City Average: 62 out of 100.
  • Transit Score: 56 out of 100. “Good Transit.” Many nearby public transportation options. City Average: 49 out of 100
  • Aldermanic District:  District 3 Nik Kovac
  • County Supervisor District: 3 Sheldon Wasserman
  • Police District: District 1
  • Bike Racks: Yes, right out on N. Warren Ave. itself, in full view of the patio and beer garden
  • Location Maps: 1894 Map1910 Map
  • Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory Listing
  • National Register of Historic Places East Brady Street
  • Urban Milwaukee Nomad World Pub Expansion Plans Approved, Jeramey Jannene December 13th, 2016

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