Sophie Bolich

The Brown Bottle Is Closed

First opened in the 1930s, the historic gastropub officially closed on August 13.

By - Aug 16th, 2022 03:17 pm
Site of The Brown Bottle. Photo taken August 15, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of The Brown Bottle. Photo taken August 15, 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

The Brown Bottle, the historic Schlitz Park tavern, is permanently closed, according to a Facebook post from the operation.

The gastropub, 221 W. Galena St., first opened as a tasting room for Schlitz Brewery in 1938. Its most recent owner, F Street Hospitality, managed the operation at the time of its closure.

“The Brown Bottle will be permanently closed as of Saturday, August 13. We thank you for your patronage and have enjoyed serving you,” the Brown Bottle said in its post Friday.

Throughout its nearly 100 years in operation, the tavern has closed and reopened on several occasions, Urban Milwaukee previously reported.

The space was used as a tasting room from 1938 until 1982, when Schlitz Brewery was bought out by Stroh Brewing Company (now Pabst). It opened again with the addition of food from 1986 until 2004, when the concept underwent a name change and became Libiamo, an Italian restaurant. The Brown Bottle rose again when Libiamo closed in 2014, but later closed in 2019.

The gastropub made its last stand in 2021, reopening with a new menu under the management of F Street Hospitality, the group that owns The Pizza Man restaurants and Bottle House 42, among others.

A popular neighborhood destination, The Brown Bottle in its final year served small plates, entrees and desserts, plus Schlitz beer on tap and a selection of cocktails. The restaurant served lunch and dinner in its historic dining room. Guests could also opt to dine on the patio.

While the restaurant is closed, an Alice in Wonderland-themed “immersive cocktail experience” will continue to operate in the same building.

The Brown Bottle space is part of the Joseph Schlitz Company Brewery Complex, now an office park. Another bar, The Tap Yard at Schlitz Park is located on the west side of the complex.

A representative of F Street Hospitality did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

3 thoughts on “The Brown Bottle Is Closed”

  1. Polaris says:

    That’s too bad. I remember going there with my dad and uncle after a tour of the brewery in the 1960s. Boy, did I hate the smell of the brewery back then!

  2. 45 years in the City says:

    Bummer – I went there back in the Schlitz tour days, and during the frist two post-Schilz incarnations. Hope a new tenant will be found.

  3. kaygeeret says:

    I do have great memories of eating there with friends and family member in the ’90’s and early 2000’s.

    I am sad to see it go as it is a lovely destination, but really difficult to actually find if you are not familiar with the neighborhood.

    Hope that it returns.

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