Sophie Bolich

New Bar to Replace Selfie Museum at 3rd Street Market Hall

The City Fountain will include a self-dispensing beer wall.

By - May 10th, 2023 11:22 am
Rendering of the proposed The City Fountain. Rendering by The Kubala Washatko Architects.

Rendering of the proposed The City Fountain. Rendering by The Kubala Washatko Architects.

The Photoverse Selfie Museum at 3rd Street Market Hall, with its quirky backgrounds and larger-than-life props, has officially shuttered. But shouts of “cheese” will be soon be replaced with “cheers,” as the space is set to reopen as a self-serve beer bar, to be called The City Fountain.

Construction is already underway for the new concept, which is expected to be completed by the end of July.

“We knew the selfie museum had a limited shelf life and we feel the beer hall is going to be a big success,” said Jaime Jacobs, operations manager for 3rd Street Market Hall, in a statement. ” Also, quite frankly we need more seating to accommodate visitors and diners.”

The City Fountain draws influence from Milwaukee’s long history of beer-making, aiming to provide a traditional beer garden experience with a modern twist. Rather than employing a bartender to pour drafts, the bar’s 24 taplines will be fully self-serve, putting patrons in full control of the tasting experience.

“We want to lean into the fun and complex culture of beer-making while expanding our relationships with local breweries,” said Eric Kaye, general manager for 3rd Street Market Hall. “This new addition puts the tasting experience in the guest’s hands.”

The self-dispensing beer wall will feature limited-release barrels, specialty brews and artisanal beers with an emphasis on Wisconsin brewers and craft breweries. The experience will also offer custom ounce pours, allowing guests to sample and explore a variety of options without committing to a full glass of any one beer.

In line with the traditional beer garden, The City Fountain will have an airy, outdoor feel and communal-style seating options. The bar also plans to activate its stadium-style seating and AV equipment for game day viewing parties.

While The City Fountain’s first phase will be indoor only, a second phase includes the possibility of an outdoor addition.

The former selfie museum, designed in collaboration with Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design students, featured 26 Instagram-friendly photo booths including an interactive lemonade stand, a heavily graffitied bathroom, a disco-themed room, an artist’s studio with life-sized paintbrushes and many more.

The ticketed experience cost $20 for entry, and was in operation for just over a year. Despite the closure at 3rd Street Market Hall, the selfie museum concept is still gaining momentum in Milwaukee and beyond.

Selfie Hop MKE, 2410 N. Farwell Ave., offers a similar experience, with a variety of backgrounds to choose from. Numerous bars and restaurants are also hopping on the trend, offering “selfie walls” in a micro-interpretation of the museum format.

Recent examples include Hamburger Mary’s angel wings mural and a selfie room at Daq Shack daiquiri bar, among others.

3rd Street Market Hall will be posting regular updates regarding The City Fountain on social media. More information regarding an opening date and hours of operation will be announced at a later date.


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