Sophie Bolich

Concession Stand at McKinley Marina Now Open

Bartolotta Restaurants has opened Roundhouse, will serve snacks and refreshments with lakefront views.

By - Jul 21st, 2022 05:03 pm

Roundhouse at McKinley Marina. Photo courtesy of Bartolotta Restaurants.

A new beer garden is now open on the lakefront, serving sandwiches, snacks and refreshments to park-goers, boat-owners and others in the Lake Park area.

Roundhouse at McKinley Marina, located along the shoreline adjacent to the Milwaukee Yacht Club, 1750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., will be operated by BRG Lotta Burger, an arm of The Bartolotta Restaurants.

The casual establishment is open to the public and offers counter service, an indoor/outdoor bar, social activities, lawn games and soft rock music.

“The inspiration from Roundhouse was driven by Paul and Joe Bartolotta’s desire to support Milwaukee County Parks and create a fun and useable amenity for the Milwaukee public to enjoy the lakefront,” said a press release from Bartolotta Restaurants.

Visitors can expect a beverage menu with a rotating selection of locally-sourced beers on tap, housemade sangria and frozen Old Fashioned’s. To eat, the beer garden offers sandwiches and shareable items like the Milwaukee Pretzel Company Bavarian Beast and the Garden Gnome’s Surprise, a mixed vegetable plate with green goddess dressing. Rumor has it that Pete’s Pops may pop up sometime this summer.

The new addition is decidedly more casual than Bartolotta’s other establishments, including Harbor House and Lake Park Bistro, two high-end restaurants along the lakefront. The group formerly operated the North Point Custard Stand, but relinquished operations in order to focus on Roundhouse.

Paul Bartolotta, who co-founded Bartolotta Restaurants with his brother, Joe, said the group has a long-standing relationship with Milwaukee County Parks dating back to 1994 when they took over Lake Park Bistro.

The building, which Bartolotta said resembles a sailor’s cap, formerly housed a concession stand and sundry store called Pitch’s Express. When the owner decided not to renew the lease, Bartolotta saw an opportunity to bring a new amenity to the lakefront.

“It’s a hidden gem on the lakefront,” he said, noting the spectacular scenery of the marina, the lakeshore and Milwaukee’s skyline.

Bartolotta said he is focused on “listening and learning” from the community in order to expand and evolve for next year.

“We’re doing what little we can in small part to create awareness for this beautiful building in this great location,” he said. “That is part and parcel to the work and the end value proposition of living in Milwaukee and having such a great park system. You know, McKinley Marina is part of the park system and it’s beautiful.”

The building’s shape and name may have multiple meanings. Like Bartolotta said, the structure resembles a sailor’s cap. In nautical terms, however, roundhouse refers to the uppermost room or cabin on the stern of a ship. Located near the bow, the roundhouse was often reserved for officers.

Hours at Roundhouse will be weather dependent, but are set for Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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