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Public House Co-op: Riverwest's Bar With a Mission

Short Orders

Oct. 6, 2011
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Despite the space's long history as a tavern—stretching all the way back to a Prohibition-era stint as a speak-easy—the Riverwest Public House Cooperative (815 E. Locust St.) maintains the charm of a converted first-floor townhouse. With a beautifully carved antique Schlitz bar, a cozy stage and thought-provoking ink prints lining the walls, there's lots to see when you visit. The co-op also has a mission: to offer “a welcoming social meeting place, to provide patrons with a variety of affordable local, organic and/or delicious beers, ciders and spirits, and to raise funds to propagate other cooperatives through the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance.” The drink menu is extensive, with delicious seasonal cocktails, some of Lakefront Brewery's less well-known bottles and a clever Halloween shot known as the “Zombie Brain” (grenadine dripped over Baileys makes this little guy convincing and delicious). Try the Ancona Sour cocktail for a whiskey sour served the traditional way, with a raw egg white. After all, it's how Milwaukee's workingmen enjoyed it for decades. As winter approaches, also keep an eye out for hot toddies and pumpkin liqueur. 


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