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Guinness potato chips may or may not be available in Milwaukee.
Guinness potato chips may or may not be available in Milwaukee.

Guinness potato chips appeal to most

As a fan of Guinness beer, I was eager to try the new Guinness potato chips. Hence, I was stoked when the makers of the chips – Burt’s British Hand Cooked Potato Chips located in England – sent me a case of both the original flavor and the rich beef chili variety.

Although I was tempted to keep all of the crisps for myself, I decided to share and get some random opinions from Guinness drinkers on this beer-inspired potato chip. (Sprecher issued bags of potato chips in 2011.)

Where and how you can get Guinness chips in the United States, namely Milwaukee, is a bit unclear. People reported seeing them at Metro Market, 1123 N. Van Buren St., as well as Sendik’s, 4027 N. Oakland Ave., but when I called these grocery stores, both said they did not have the product.

"They don't know what they are talking about," says Matt Koster. "They are in Metro Market's 'fake British' section near the Spotted Dick."

Anyway, as for the taste of the chips ... Personally, I found them to be quite good. The bottom line is that if you like kettle chips, you will most likely dig these as well. The chili chips – which do not have any meat products in them whatsoever – taste like a Guinness stew in chip form and the regular style, although tasting nothing like Guinness beer, have a zippy and unique flavor that’s savory with a hint of sweet.

We ventured to The Irish Pub, 124 N. Water St., during happy hour on Friday and offered bags of Guinness chips to people enjoying a Guinness pint. Liking Guinness beer seemed to have nothing to do with whether or not people apporved of the chips. A few people didn't care for the "rich beef chili" name,  even though it was appealing in flavor. "It sounds … explosive," said one sampler.

However, almost everyone who tried Guinness potato chips gave ‘em a thumbs up. See?

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"Sherm" celebrates his new space.
"Sherm" celebrates his new space. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
A full house for the soft opening.
A full house for the soft opening. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
Champion's owner Bobby Greenya toasts the Hook.
Champion's owner Bobby Greenya toasts the Hook. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
Lee Guk (right) of Lucky Joe's Tiki Lounge breaks it down.
Lee Guk (right) of Lucky Joe's Tiki Lounge breaks it down. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
Shuffleboard. A nod to Champion's Pub, perhaps?
Shuffleboard. A nod to Champion's Pub, perhaps? (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)

First look: Junior's Hook

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Last night, Matthew "Sherm" Sherman hosted a soft opening for his new bar, Junior’s Hook, located at 1517 S. 2nd St. OnMilwaukee.com reported on the opening earlier this month. 

"It’s a dream come true. I wanted to own a bar since I was 22 years old," says Sherman. "I learned so much working for great people."

Prior to opening Junior’s, Sherman spent 10 years behind the bar at Champion’s Pub, 2417 N. Bartlett Ave. Champion’s owner Bobby Greenya was one of the many people who showed up to support Sherman’s new venture.

"I'm going to miss him, he’s like a family member to me, but I am thrilled he has his own place," says Greenya.

Junior’s Hook offers a wide variety of bottled and draft beers, along with a stellar selection of bourbons and Scotch. The space is still a work-in-progress and Sherman plans to host a grand opening party after he finishes the decor and gets his new sign.

"I love the history of this space," says Sherman. "It was the original Monkey Bar, The Bomb Shelter – it’s great to be here."

Junior’s Hook is open seven days a week at 4 p.m. It will open earlier for Packers games.

Angelo Mortellaro is ready to retire.
Angelo Mortellaro is ready to retire.

Who's gonna take over Angelo's Lounge?

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Angelo’s Lounge, 1686 N. Van Buren St., is available for lease. The block first said farewell to long-time tenant Libby’s – soon to be Van Buren’s Whiskey Bar & Grill – and now it looks as though Angelo’s will change hands, too.

"It's been a very hard decision, but my father's finally decided that it's time to retire. He loves the music and camaraderie of Angelo's, but unfortunately his health is making it harder and harder to make it there on a consistent basis," Angelo Mortellaro, Jr., wrote on Facebook.

Angelo Mortellaro, Sr. opened the bar in 1984. In 2014, filmmaker Kara Mulrooney’s short film "An Evening At Angelo’s" appeared in the Milwaukee Film Festival. 

There are already rumors of piqued interest by a local bar owner or two, but only time will tell what will become of the iconic piano lounge.

Jimmi T. strumming on the Bud's patio.
Jimmi T. strumming on the Bud's patio.

Barnacle Bud's is back!

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

The patio will be blanketed in snow, but Barnacle Bud’s, 1955 S. Hilbert St., reopens on Friday, Feb. 27. Luckily, there’s a warm, dry structure next to the patio for us to reacquaint ourselves with Bud’s.

The bar and restaurant will be open only on weekends for a while – Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eventually, when temperatures rise, it will be open every day, but that exact date has not been announced.

On Sunday, March 1, Barnacle Bud’s will host a re-opening party at 1 p.m. featuring house performer Jimmi T. Translation: prepare to sing along to "American Pie." 

Barnacle Bud’s won Best Bar Patio / View in the 2015 OnMilwaukee.com Best Of awards. Less officially, it’s on my short list of places and events that define Summer In Milwaukee. See you there.