Milwaukee’s new outdoor gardens, art, restaurants and bars

As residents of the Milwaukee area reemerge after more than a year of confinement, they are faced with new places to eat or drink and new experiences to have.

From outdoor gardens to outdoor public art, here are six new local things to discover this summer.

1. Photo op mural

Famous street artist Kelsey Montague will create a peacock mural on the north facade of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Ave, in July, the downtown Milwaukee business district and the Wisconsin Center District were announced in May.

The approximately 15-by-15-foot mural will be part of Montague’s #WhatLiftsYou project, which provided people around the world with interactive photo ops. This will be Montague’s first mural in Wisconsin.

For more information visit milwaukeedowntown.com/bid-basics/community-projects/what-lifts-you.

RELATED:Milwaukee Downtown features a variety of visual and performing arts this summer as part of the Jumpst (ART) campaign

2. Rooftop bar, lounge with city view

Imagine watching the city from a bird’s eye view while sipping a glass of sake.

This is what is offered at Skyline Bar + Lounge, which opened in May on the top floor of Nō Studios, 1037 W. McKinley Ave.

There is a glass-enclosed bar and lounge with stunning city views and two outdoor rooftop patios.

Skyline specializes in sake and offers a wide range of Japanese rice wines, including flights and cocktails. It also offers a full selection of drinks at the bar.

The hours of operation to the public are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. Members of Nō Studios have additional access.

For more information visit nostudios.com/skyline-lounge.

The Skyline Bar + Lounge will open on the top floor of Nō Studios on May 8.

3. Summerfest format

Summerfest is traditionally an 11-day event from late June to early July. But from this year, it takes place rather three weekends.

The largest music festival in the United States is scheduled for September 2-4, September 9-11, and September 16-18.

The program, released in May, presents more than 100 headliners.

There will also be three special shows on September 1, 8 and 15, while the rest of Maier Festival Park will remain dark.

The festival was canceled for the first time in its 53-year history in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on this year’s festival, visit summerfest.com.

4. Beer gardens

Recently veteran local tavern owner Nick Marking launched The Tap Yard beer gardens in Waukesha and Glendale under the company Primetime Events LLC.

The Beer Gardens feature homemade taps, live music, and rotating food trucks.

The Tap Yard Waukesha is located on a future development site in the Shoppes at Fox River Mall, 1150 W. Sunset Drive. The Bayshore Tap Yard is located at 5689 N. Bayshore Drive.

Hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, according to The Tap Yard. website.

Marking is also planning to open a third beer garden, overlooking the Milwaukee River, at 1301 N. Edison Street in June.

For updates, visit facebook.com/thetapyard.

RELATED:Milwaukee area 2021 guide to beer gardens: Estabrook, Hubbard Park, Whitnall and more

5. Outdoor public art

There will be new outdoor public art works to be discovered in the city thanks to Sculpture Milwaukee.

The fifth season will present an exhibition entitled for the first time, a work by Betty Gold that will be permanently installed on the Milwaukee Art Museum campus and more. Fifteen sculptures from the 2020 exhibition will also remain on display.

Limited in-person tours and programs will be returning. Free self-guided audio tours will also be available.

The sculptures were scheduled to begin installation later in May and will remain in place until the fall.

For more information visit sculpturemilwaukee.com.

6. Places to refuel

While many local restaurants and bars have closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, others have opened for the first time.

Some that have recently appeared in the area include, Q, 2730 N. King Drive, Blackwood Brothers Restaurant and Social Club, 3001 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., and Good City Brewing Wauwatosa Tea Room, 11200 W. Burleigh St., in the Mayfair Collection.

Jim Higgins, Tom Daykin and Piet Levy of Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

Contact Hannah Kirby at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.




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