Jeramey Jannene

New Bar For Former Pabst Brewery

Amped will offer team building by day, private karaoke suites by night.

By - Sep 27th, 2021 08:36 pm
The Brewery Parking Structure. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Brewery Parking Structure in 2016. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Bars & Recreation announced plans Monday to open a new bar in The Brewery District. But like all of the company’s businesses, the news isn’t that it’s opening a bar, but what the type of entertainment will be offered.

Amped, as the new bar will be known, will function as a meeting and team building venue by day and a private-suite karaoke bar at night.

“No matter why you come – to host a pop-up corporate meeting, to sing your heart out campfire style with your friends, or to rock out before your favorite artist’s concert at the Fiserv – we’ll get your group amped up,” said Bars & Rec president and owner Marla Poytinger in a press release.

The 12,000-square-foot business will offer a variety of different private rooms outfitted with audio-visual equipment and colorful furniture. Customers will be able to reserve a space by the hour.

It will also have a full bar, catering kitchen and a handful of large event spaces.

“We’re experts in curating fun, high-quality bars, as well as facilitating Milwaukee’s most immersive entertainment activities – and team building has always been at our core. Combining karaoke and team events at Amped allows us to further deliver on all of the qualities that our customers love about Bars & Rec,” said Poytinger.

The company isn’t offering to just host your event. It will also help execute it.

& Rec, through its new Team MKE affiliate, will offer facilitation services including trivia, painting and group game shows.

The private-suite karaoke concept is rare in Milwaukee, but common in other markets including Chicago. Traditional karaoke, which a number of bars in Milwaukee offer, includes a singer getting up on stage in front of the whole bar. With private suites, the singer is only performing for their guests.

The only other bar in Milwaukee to offer private suite karaoke is Punch Bowl Social in the Deer District.

Amped will be the first tenant in a commercial space located at the base of the Brewery Parking Structure at 902-910 W. Juneau Ave. Poytinger and her husband David will purchase the space as a condominium from parking structure owner Interstate Development Partners.

Since the garage was completed in 2009, the area around it has substantially changed. Vacant lots on each side have become apartment buildings and a number of former Pabst buildings now house a variety of uses, including two breweries, a wedding venue, hotel and offices.

To the east, Fiserv Forum was constructed and helps connect the area to the rest of Downtown.

Amped is expected to open next summer.

Bars & Recreation also operates NorthSouth ClubAXE MKE and Nine Below.

As Urban Milwaukee reported last week, Bars & Recreation closed its physical Splash Studio space, but still operates the business in a virtual format.

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One thought on “New Bar For Former Pabst Brewery”

  1. Polaris says:

    Oh, if only all karaoke suites were private… ,-)

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