Beach-goers stave off direct sun exposure by hunkering under Bradford Beach Cabana Company's signature cabanas, or basking in the shade of rented beach umbrellas. The purveyor's cushioned lounge chairs fit comfortably beneath their shady structures, and a team of food-service attendants is on hand to ferry snacks to beach-goers who would otherwise have to infiltrate seagull potlucks. On breaks from lounging, adventurers can take to the waves in rented water gear, paddling touring kayaks or balancing atop standup paddleboards on the clear lake waters.
The walls of Dick's Pizza and Pleasure gleam brilliant white across three floors interspersed with neon-colored details and enormous anime murals. Hospitality Interiors lauds the first floor's Carrara-marble countertops and "diner-inspired" red vinyl chairs, which give the futuristic space a retro feel. Round windows let patrons peep at coal-fired pizza ovens, where made-from-scratch crusts praised by the Journal Sentinel and Inside Milwaukee attain a golden-brown hue. Toppings benefit from a similar attention to detail. Chefs hand-crush organic tomatoes for sauce, and cure their own ham and sausage in house, procuring produce from local farmers when possible. House-made ingredients also beef up the roster of specialty shakes, which whirl together sweets such as strawberry compote, honey mascarpone, and fudge with vanilla ice cream. During after hours on the weekends, customers saunter up to the second- and third-floor nightclub, done up in the same slick white. There, local DJs spin music as bartenders mix drinks behind candy-colored bars.
Fire on Water’s name conjures a mental image of pizzas, cocktails, and beer floating together on a blazing lake. The flame-licked menu sizzles with a diverse lineup of pies that range from simple and elegant margherita pizzas topped with tomatoes, sweet basil, and mozzarella to the eclectic Southwestern, a combination of pulled pork, pineapple, and barbecue sauce. In addition to pizzas, the kitchen also dispenses loaded nachos, boneless chicken wings, and wonton-wrapped mozzarella sticks with more cheese than a selfish mousetrap. Each day of the week brings a new drink special to the bar, which houses more than 50 kinds of beer and a lengthy selection of liquors to be hoisted toward weekly events and live music.
Milwaukee Ale House echoes with notes of live music and the laughter of pub goers, but the building is also the site of serious work. Beyond a pair of glass doors, the pub's stainless steel fermentation tanks bubble with Milwaukee Brewing Company's creations. When they're ready, these beers make the short leap from brew room to bar tap, forming a beverage selection that Esquire described as, "plentiful and tasty, complementing the top-notch food."
The menu sports a convenient pairing chart that helps diners match prime rib, pulled-pork sandwiches, and spicy beef-and-chorizo burgers to house brews. Ideal with chicken, Louie's Demise exudes the smooth maltiness of a typical amber ale but with a balanced kick of Perle and Tettnanger hops, A meat-and-potatoes porter, the Admiral Stache ages for one month in bourbon barrels, lending a toasty vanilla flavor to subtle notes of milk chocolate and dried fruit.
Situated in the heart of the Historic Third Ward, Milwaukee Ale House's century-old building provides the main dining room and patio areas with waterside views of the Milwaukee River. The pub's decor exudes its own historic charm with exposed brick, a scattering of empty wooden barrels, and vintage beer signs. When live bands aren't performing, focus turns back to the bar area, where the taps form an ornate centerpiece built to resemble a copper-topped wooden vat. Around the vat hang white mugs belonging to members of the Mug Club and office workers who "got lost" during their coffee break.
Making table tops feel special, the recently opened SPiN Milwaukee offers 13 table-tennis courts, complete with Olympic-quality flooring, as well as a casual bar, lounge, and restaurant where sphere-clobberers can whet their whistles and re-energize. The tables can host an unlimited number of friends, who take turns lobbing backhanded shots while sore losers respond with backhanded compliments. Paddle wielders are supplied with a bucket of balls and two to four paddles depending on the number of participants. Ping-ponging patrons can bolster paddling confidence by downing a pitcher of craft beer from the award-winning Milwaukee-based microbrewery Sprecher. And no matter the time or day, guests at SPiN will have no trouble grabbing a game, a bite to eat, or the attention of the Olympic scouts who had originally shown up for the sleek, modern décor.