Monday, October 15, 2012

A Night Out: Bernie's Tap Room & Restaurant

Just a quick post about a new bar in Downtown Waukesha - Bernie's Tap Room & Restaurant. The bar is located on the southwest corner of Main & Clinton in the old Save & Save food store (or so I'm told). The building was vacant ever since I was at Carroll, and I joked with friends when I started my job in downtown, that it would make such a cool bar being up a bit from street level. I pictured turning it into a swanky cocktail lounge, but what the owner's did to turn it into a German beer hall-style bar, is pretty nice.

You enter through a door on the west side of the building and are greeted by the large concrete bar. The west wall is also exposed brick and stone with wooden windows. The ceiling also has exposed wooden beams and duct work. Sorry for the bad pictures in this post, the website has better ones.

Large bar at Bernie's Tap Room
The bar boasts 24 beers on tap, 23 of those being craft beers & Miller Lite to service the water drinkers (hee hee). They also have 4 wines on tap and liquors for those that aren't beer drinkers. I reviewed the menu and being a member of #beerclub on Twitter and a craft beer fan since the days of 'ole Fox Run Sentry Liquor, I found the menu quite impressive.

I started with a Fatty Boombalatty from Furthermore Brewing Company. A "water" drinker at the bar asked me what I ordered and I explained it was a light beer, but realizing his Miller Lite in hand, I told him it was definitely heavier than his beer. (Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a Miller Lite from time to time, for cost and taste, but I really do love a craft beer that much more!)

My friend Kacey has Celiac's disease and the only beer on tap that he could have was Angry Orchards Cider and he didn't want something so sweet and went for a Jack and Coke instead.

Behind the bar are two large TV's and on the opposing wall was a large "TV' from a projector in the ceiling. The walls are blank slates at the moment, so the projector can just shine right on the wall.

Full Front Windows looking onto Main Street & House of Guinness
There are probably 15 stools at the bar and then behind that three large German Style wooden tables. Just beyond that is a row of 4-tops with interesting chairs. I will have to get a better picture next time, but the rivets on them scream Norwegian warrior to me.

In the back near the bar is the server area and kitchen, and off to the left is currently a large open area with the bathrooms on that side. I am sure they will be putting something over there eventually as it's a wasted space if they don't. (SUGGESTION: Maybe some nice couches to lounge on and another TV)

Shortly after we found a table, the owner came and introduced himself and thanked us for stopping in. He told us the menu was limited for the time being but they hope to be completely up and running soon. They did have their appetizers, some of the pizzas and the sliders.

Back wall of Bernie's Tap Room
When more of our friends joined, they ordered the spinach & artichoke dip and sliders. While my friend's munched, I ordered myself a Lakefront Fixed Gear. My friends liked the food but said the chicken sliders were missing a spice. I'm sure we will return and have more delicious beer and the 1.5 lb pretzel with dipping sauce. I am very excited for that!

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