Rock Bottom Closes Downtown Milwaukee Brewpub
Part of national trend. Premiere riverwalk restaurant space available as building is converted to apartments.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery has permanently closed its Milwaukee location after 25 years in business.
The large brewpub, part of a national chain that first came to Milwaukee in 1997, had its final service Monday, Nov. 14.
The 17,200-square-foot restaurant space, 740 N. Plankinton Ave., is now available for lease, according to an online listing with Colliers International. Billed as a turn-key operation, it seats up to 500 guests. It also includes one of the premiere riverwalk patios along the Milwaukee River.
“We think that there’s a lot of possibilities for the space,” Doubleday said. “You could have a similar kind of brewery-restaurant arrangement in there, or you could split it up into smaller spaces. We’re early in the process, but hopeful for a good-quality tenant in the next coming months,” he added.
Private equity firm CraftWorks Holdings acquired the chain in 2010, but declared bankruptcy in March 2020 amidst the pandemic’s onset. SPB Hospitality purchased Craftworks businesses, which included several dining concepts, in June 2020 for $93 million, including waived debt and assumed liabilities.
“For whatever reason, they’ve made a decision to close some of the stores,” Doubleday said. Adding that it seems like the company is “going through a realignment or reevaluation of their business.”
Rock Bottom maintains several locations in Illinois. The closest is in Chicago.
The Milwaukee closure comes approximately three years after the restaurant was shut down by the city for several days after a routine health inspection revealed cockroaches in the kitchen and basement areas.