Sophie Bolich

Bay View’s The Blind Tiger To Close

A new tavern, Pink Agave, is slated to replace the speakeasy-style bar.

By - Jul 11th, 2023 03:51 pm

Site of Blind Tiger. Photo taken July 14, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

After just under a year in business, The Blind Tiger is approaching its final day of service.

Billed as Bay View‘s only speakeasy, the password-entry bar was hidden within the Makk’n’Cheese restaurant at 2242 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Both businesses are slated to close permanently in the coming months.

But the storefront — which occupies a coveted spot along the neighborhood’s main drag — won’t be empty for long. A new tavern, Pink Agave, is set to replace The Blind Tiger, serving craft cocktails and Mexican street food.

Evalise Navarro, a longtime bartender, is the force behind the upcoming business. From the beginning, Navarro said she has felt at home in the industry.

“I’ve always found myself going back to bartending,” said Navarro, who comes from a family of bar owners. “I’ve always really liked being in the industry.

With nearly a decade of experience under her belt, Navarro said she felt ready to step up to running her own place. “I knew that once I got older, one of my goals was to have my own bar. And I feel like I’ve always had a pretty good knowledge about it.”

The Blind Tiger Space, she added, is “the perfect size” for a first bar. She plans to refresh the space with “Instagram-worthy” decor including greenery walls, aesthetic signage and pictures.

“I just want it to be a little more bright and fun in there,” she said.

The future bar plans to offer a menu of eight craft cocktails, half of which will be sweetened with agave syrup in lieu of simple syrup or sugar. An assortment of beer will also be available.

In addition to drinks, Navarro said she plans to offer small bites including chips and salsa, Mexican corn and her boyfriend’s signature green pozole.

Unlike The Blind Tiger, which occupied only a narrow section of the building, Pink Agave will extend into the street-facing part of the structure, which currently houses Makk’n’Cheese.

The Blind Tiger will continue to operate as usual until Pink Agave is ready to take over, said Navarro, who added that she’s aiming to open “as soon as possible.”

A liquor license for Pink Agave is pending before the Milwaukee Common Council.

Marcos Ramos-Garcia opened The Blind Tiger in July 2022, offering an intimate lounge experience complete with seasonally-inspired cocktails, tobacco-free hookah and a limited menu of small plates and sandwiches.

The Blind Tiger is open Thursday through Saturday from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. The business has not yet announced a closing date.

Ramos-Garcia did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

The eastside location for Makk’n’Cheese will remain unchanged, as Ramos-Garcia is no longer a partner in KRS Hospitality Group, which operates the restaurant at 2911 N. Oakland Ave.

The group, now led by Gregory Keickbusch and Timothy Szuta, is poised to launch a new concept, Rod & Makks, at 3rd Street Market Hall. The restaurant is expected to open in August, according to a license application, though a representative of the food hall said that an agreement is not finalized.

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Categories: Food & Drink

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