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Union House Tavern

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Union House Tavern

Postby EastSideTom » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:26 pm

Drove by the Union House today...corner of East Wash and Milwaukee. Had been purported to be the oldest bar in Dane County, but closed for several months. They seem to be sprucing the place up, unboarding windows, etc.
Reopening? New owner? And what's the status of that antique bar in there?
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Postby gargantua » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:28 pm

I've heard that it will reopen. New owner is a member of the Madison Homebrewers Guild. I hope it does well. I don't know what the timetable for reopening is.
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Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:15 pm

That's not far from my domicile, but I didn't go there more than a coupla times, when it was the Union House, because it was a little too much of a bum bar.

If the new owners try to change it into a fancy-pants micro-brew joint with $4.50 beers, they are going to have some clash-of-expectations issues with some of the people who will walk in there expecting it to be like the old bar.
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Postby magic moose » Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:49 pm

Who says Blatz and Bells can't live together in Harmony?
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Postby bill6beers » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:01 am

Yes, there will be a clash of expectations for a time, while the old regulars do figure out that their $1.25 Pabst bar has become a "fancy-pants micro-brew joint with $4.50 beers". Times change, and this tavern is changing too. I know that there are many in the neighborhood who WILL welcome the change. I've heard from them loud and clear too. BTW, I kinda like the fancy-pants designation though I'm not sure if you meant it derisively or not. The fact that you didn't go there much because of the clientelle makes me think you might like the tavern's new personna.

Hi. My name is Bill. I'm a longtime member of the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild, chairman of their beer fest (The Great Taste of the Midwest), and I've purchased the business. I'm calling it The Malt House.

It will indeed be a specialty beer bar, with 18 drafts and a lot of bottled beers too. The focus will be on US craft and European artisinal beers. There will be no Bud/Miller/Coors on draft, though bottled Miller Lite and Spotted Cow will be available for lighter beer drinkers. We will have a full bar; hopefully wine and cocktail drinkers will find something to like there too. But the focus will always be on craft beer.

The 150 year-old bar and back bar are still there, looking fabulous in their old age. I also have the old historic photos that people keep stopping in to ask about. They're going back up on the walls.

We're cleaning and painting now, finding time as we can after my day job...which I'm keeping. Hours will reflect the fact that I do have a day job. We'll be open weeknights 4-12, 4-close Fri/Sat, and will be closed Sundays. We hope to be open in mid-late April, but you know how those things go...

Longtime Wonder's bartender Sid will be working most nights. Come on over and say hi!

Sorry, but there's no kitchen in the building, so food will be limited to snacky type things in the beginning.

That's the long and the short of it. I hope to see you there some time.

Cheers,
Bill
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Postby mrak » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:06 am

Outstanding news, Bill.

Wishing you lots of success, and as I live within walking distance, I'll attempt to do my part.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:10 am

Perhaps your efforts will be seen as a gesture of good faith by the Union Corners people, who will in turn revise their expectations and plans and start working again. Nothing brings in the patrons like a big, dusty, empty lot across the street.

Best o' luck!
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Postby Learned » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:48 am

Well done, Bill. Be sure to let us know when you open.
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Postby EastSideTom » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:42 pm

I'm happy to hear the news! Thanks for your prompt reply. I, too, live within staggerin......I mean walking distance, and will be in to check things out.
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Postby supaunknown » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:50 pm

Good luck Bill. I look forward to having some good beers.
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Postby gargantua » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:22 pm

Want to 2nd, or 3rd, the good wishes. Please keep us posted on your progress.
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Postby Sideshow Bob » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:29 pm

gargantua wrote:Want to 2nd, or 3rd, the good wishes. Please keep us posted on your progress.


I 2nd this 3rd.
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Postby magic moose » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:11 pm

Sideshow Bob wrote:
gargantua wrote:Want to 2nd, or 3rd, the good wishes. Please keep us posted on your progress.


I 2nd this 3rd.


I'll 2nd the 2nd 2nd, 3rd the 2nd, or 4th the original. I'll be making the 4-5 block walk in good time. Welcome to the neighborhood - Blatz or no Blatz.
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Postby mrak » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:12 pm

If you're not careful, Bill, you might end up owning a Foron bar.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:14 pm

mrak wrote:If you're not careful, Bill, you might end up owning a Foron bar.

Kick-ass. I call dibs on the intellectual property for a mug club where each mug reads "Not Sheppy's".
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