Sophie Bolich

Musician Plans To Reopen Gibraltar, This Time in The Third Ward

After five-year closure, owner plans to revive Walker's Point cocktail lounge and music venue.

By - Feb 17th, 2023 05:07 pm
Site of future Gibraltar, 131 N. Jefferson St. Photo taken November 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of future Gibraltar, 131 N. Jackson St. Photo taken November 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Gibraltar, a former Walker’s Point cocktail lounge and music venue, is taking steps to reopen after a nearly five-year closure — this time in the Historic Third Ward.

Musician and business owner Evan Christian is proposing to reopen Gibraltar at 131 N. Jackson St., a space that was briefly home to Saloon. Camp Bar is located in the same building. Both bars are at ground level of the Jefferson Block apartments.

Similar to the original establishment, Christian, in a license application, notes plans to operate a cocktail lounge featuring live music. During its two-year tenure on the corner of W. National Ave. and S. 6th St., the bar hosted a variety of local and national acts, with a particular emphasis on jazz music.

According to the license application, Christian plans to continue the tradition of live music, featuring bands and musicians, with plans for up to 200 concerts per year. He would also expand on previous entertainment offerings including poetry readings, dance performances, karaoke, DJs and patron contests.

In addition to beer and cocktails, the application notes plans to serve a limited menu featuring pizza and other bites. The 2,000-square-foot space would feature both indoor and sidewalk dining options.

The single-room establishment can hold up to 129 guests according to the application.

Once open the business expects to generate 80% of its revenue from alcohol sales, 10% from food and the remaining 10% from entertainment fees.

Christian initially opened Gibraltar in December 2016 at 538 W. National Ave., but closed the business in June 2018 in order to focus on his music career.

The acoustic guitarist is well-versed in Flamenco, as well as the Latin, soul and R&B genres. Christian has performed on two international tours and frequently gigs at local Milwaukee events. He has released three albums on Spotify.

The original location for Gibraltar has since been replaced by Promises, a bar and live music venue. Upon opening in Walker’s Point, Gibraltar was located across the street from the Milwaukee Ballet (at 504 W. National Ave.). The dance company’s offices and rehearsal space have since relocated to 128 N. Jackson St. — across the street from the proposed new Gibraltar.

A liquor license for the business is pending approval by the Milwaukee Common Council. If approved, the bar’s proposed hours are daily from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The license does suggest list a proposed opening date. Christian did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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