Milwaukee November 15, 2017
The Oldest Cocktail Lounge In Milwaukee Has Been Serving Up Delicious Drinks For Decades
Though Milwaukeeans are extremely down to earth, we all like dressing to the nines and hitting the town every once in awhile. This cocktail lounge is the classiest joint around, and it’s been serving up unique drinks since your grandparents were bar-hopping. Check out this unassuming Milwaukee lounge with artisan bartenders, an atmosphere unlike any other, and a whole lot of history.
Welcome to Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge!
Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge was the first cocktail lounge in Milwaukee, and quite possibly Wisconsin, serving up cocktails since 1938. Bryant Sharp originally opened Bryant’s as a "tied house," serving up beer. A couple of years later, he opened what would become the Velvet lounge and grow into one of the classiest speakeasy lounges around. Though the history isn’t certain, story tells that the distributors of custom cocktail mix ingredients claim that Bryant’s was their first customer in the 1930’s, and many people claim their grandparent’s used to hang out at the swanky lounge in the 40s.
Not much is known about Bryant Sharp himself.
Though not much is known about the man behind the original Bryant’s, it’s said that he had a passion for mixology and was determined to make a truly great lounge. After taking out the jukebox, a Hi-Fi stereo was installed, on which he only played classical music. Then, the windows were blacked out and the lights turned down to give the place a swanky feel, and they still uphold this atmosphere today.
Unfortunately, Bryant’s has experienced tragedy.
On St. Patrick’s Day in 1971, a terribly destructive fire started in the lounge, and burned everything including the metal cash register. Thankfully, the structure of the building was intact, and the new owner, Pat, decided to rebuild. He was determined to make Bryant’s the greatest cocktail lounge in the city, and it
was. He replaced everything with the finest materials he could find and even plated some things in gold. Rumor has it that after the re-opening, people were lining up around the block.
It might not look like much more than a house from the outside, but this spot is
Bryant’s is known for its knowledgeable bartenders who serve up elegant cocktails from scratch. At Bryant’s, they have unique original cocktail recipes but don’t necessarily always use a menu and create you an unforgettable drink based on flavor profiles. They even have ice cream cocktails that are out of this world! Feel free to ask your bartender for recommendations; they know what they’re talking about, and you're sure to have a drink unlike any you've ever had.
There's truly nothing like Bryant's.
With comfy custom booths, a mysteriously elegant vibe, and delectable cocktails, this is one spot to dress to the nines and treat yourself. This traditional cocktail lounge is tried and true, and will hopefully be serving you a unique drink in a beautiful atmosphere for years to come!
Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge is located at 1579 S. 9th St. in Milwaukee and is open Tuesday-Sunday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Have you put on your finest threads and experienced Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge? How was your experience? Share your Bryant’s story with us in the comments below!