Milwaukee bar Brothers expands, reopens with new menu, TVs, patio


Brothers Bar and Grill is reopening at 1213 N. Water St. on Oct. 8. It is twice the size of its previous space and now has a full kitchen, 45 TVs, outdoor beer garden and more. (Photo: Jordyn Noennig)

Brothers Bar and Grill is new and improved, and ready to reopen in Milwaukee. 

The Water Street bar closed in November to prepare for an expansion that combined its previous space with the next-door space, the former Milwaukee Moulding & Frame building. 

After almost a year it is reopening an 8,000-square-foot space that includes ample seating, an arcade and dance floor. There are 45 TVs throughout the building for game watching and 40 draft lines for beers. A 2,000-square-foot beer garden is outside. 

“It’s unrecognizable from before,” said Marc Fortney, co-owner of Brothers, 1213 N. Water St. “We’re really bringing everything. It’s the new version of Brothers.”

The bar and restaurant chain is based in La Crosse and has 20 locations across the country. Fortney said Brothers started as a college bar, but its new locations have been larger and more family-friendly. 

“As we’ve gotten older, we’ve thought more about what we would want in a bar, and brought that to Brothers,” he said. “We’re available for family dining, and after 10 p.m. we’ll be 21 and older and focus on that crowd.” 

The Milwaukee Brothers is the first remodeled location in Wisconsin. 

“We don’t have this in La Crosse,” Fortney said. “We thought it was a great opportunity to do this in Milwaukee with the Fiserv Forum right there. It’s really exciting for us to bring this here to Wisconsin. We’re just beaming.”

Features of the new Brothers include custom wood bars, one 40 feet long on the first floor and a second bar on the second floor. 

The dance floor has unique lighting and a dedicated DJ booth. Pool tables and dartboards are found throughout, as are murals. The second floor is available for renting out and overlooks the first floor. 

The beer garden has a retractable roof, heaters, televisions and sliding garage doors. Exposed Cream City brick is throughout the interior and exterior, and the outside of the building also got a remodel. 

“We really pulled out all the stops for this place,” Fortney said. 

The new full kitchen will serve lunch and dinner. Its menu includes burgers, wings, salads and more with daily food and drink specials. 

Fortney said they will monitor the COVID-19 situation and such things as the dance floor may not be open to start. 

Brothers has received City of Milwaukee approval for its COVID-19 safety plan. Under Gov. Tony Evers’ mandate this week that restaurants are limited to 25% capacity, the space will have a capacity of 240 people, plus the beer garden. 

It is celebrating its grand opening on Thursday. It will be open daily from 11 a.m. to bar close. 

Jordyn Noennig covers pop culture and entertainment in Milwaukee.  Follow her on Instagram @JordynTaylor_n. Find her on Twitter @JordynTNoennig. Call her at 262-446-6601 or email [email protected]

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