oak barrel public house

Restaurant of the Week: Oak Barrel Public House

Ever wondered how a pub could be anything other than just another bar? An extended sesh at Oak Barrel Public House should “fill in the blank” quite nicely. Located in Milwaukee’s Old World Third Street District, it is a prime spot for Bucks fans craving a more intimate ambiance before heading to a game at the Fiserv Forum. The atmosphere is dually appealing to couples wanting to savor an evening out in a lively area of the city. 

Across the board, restaurant owner Bobby Wiltgen has hit the jackpot in terms of anticipating clientele preferences at Oak Barrel and its sister establishments, Who’s on Third and Third Street Tavern. All three offer a Jameson “Bottle Club,” which allows customers to purchase individual high-end bottles of whiskey to be kept onsite behind the bar with a personalized name plate to signify the owner. But each locale certainly has its own vibe: Who’s on Third being that of a traditional sports bar whereas Third Street Tavern’s regulars dig the array of bar games onsite as much as Oak Barrel’s crowd revels in a chill scene with larger menu options.  

And the food alone is worth making repeat trips to Oak Barrel. Despite the bar program being a big draw for getting folks in the door, the eats leave little doubt that it is also a proper restaurant. The number of allergen-friendly offerings is staggering, plus go well beyond soup and salad to accommodate diners who are looking to chow down on the signature smashed butter burger with bourbon-cider bacon on a gluten-free bun—or crusty hot pretzel twists, which are vegan.

Other offerings sure to get mouths salivating upon sight include the Shrimp Frita Bowl, Magma Mac ‘N Cheese and Sweet BBQ Chicken Pizza. There’s also plenty of bar seating for those who never shy away from enjoying a sensational meal solo. But don’t be surprised if you stick around ‘til last call thanks to the Barrel Aged Old Fashioned being on tap…as well as having made a few new friends.

Oak Barrel Public House is open Monday to Wednesday, 3 p.m. to close; Thursday, 11 a.m. to close; Saturday, 10 a.m. to close; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. To learn more about Oak Barrel Public House, visit oakbarrelmilwaukee.com.

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