Sophie Bolich

City Pushes Downtown Bar to Drop ‘All You Can Drink’ Special

RWB will avoid 15-day suspension by discontinuing deal.

By - Nov 1st, 2022 01:42 pm

Red, White and Blue. Photo taken April 1, 2022 by Jeramey Jannene.

The days of bottomless drink specials may be over for Red, White and Blue, a downtown nightclub known for its party atmosphere.

The self-described “Milwaukee’s party bar” has been open since 2016 at 1044 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and, until Tuesday morning, was one of the last remaining establishments to offer a recurring “all you can drink” or AYCD special.

Following a hearing with the Common Council in which the bar narrowly avoided a 15-day suspension, RWB owner Jake Dehne will eliminate the Thursday night special, which offered customers with college ID an AYCD deal for $10. He had volunteered to do so in his testimony before the council.

During an Oct. 18 License Committee meeting, committee members expressed concern over police reports from incidents that had occurred at RWB over the past year. Of five incidents that required police intervention, three coincided with the Thursday night special.

“Aren’t you kind of asking for problems by having such a permissive flow of alcohol on Thursday nights?” asked Alderman Scott Spiker at the Licenses Committee meeting.

“Thursdays are extremely competitive nights,” said Dehne, noting that most of his competitors offer $1 drink and $1 shot specials on Thursdays. He also clarified that its AYCD special does not signal an open bar and doesn’t include shots.

Several Milwaukee bars offer similar weekday specials. La Cage in Walker’s Point offers AYCD wristbands, which grants patrons unlimited rail drinks for $14. Brother’s Bar & Grill previously offered an AYCD special. Murphy’s Irish Pub and Caffrey’s Pub have previously offered “unlimited drinks” for a fixed price on select days.

Dehne appeared before the council at Tuesday’s meeting to object to the 15-day suspension.

“The reason I received this suspension was partially based on not liking old drink specials that I now have known to become an issue,” Dehne said. “I did not break any laws or rules and price competitively for the same weekday specials my competition does, which is $1 shots, $1 drinks and open bars…I even voiced under oath that I would change my drink specials upon hearing their concern but needed time to decide what they would be,” he added.

The bar, under the council approved plan, is still allowed to be open on Thursdays and offer different specials.

In response, Alderman Robert Bauman moved to amend RWB’s plan of operation to reflect the elimination of the AYCD special and proceed with a warning letter.

Dehne also owns The Lucky Clover, State Street Pizza Pub and Buckhead Saloon, which is located inside RWB.

Update: This article has been updated to better reflect the process by which the AYCD special was dropped. The article previously referenced Murphy’s and Caffrey’s as offering similar AYCD specials. The two bars have offered “unlimited drinks” specials.

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2 thoughts on “City Pushes Downtown Bar to Drop ‘All You Can Drink’ Special”

  1. nickzales says:

    But “all you can eat” is still okay in Milwaukee? Whew! I am relieved!

  2. Polaris says:

    All you can drink specials?? That’s absolutely insane…

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