The intention of the new Shorewood-based Camp Bar, 4044 N. Oakland Ave., is to have a look and feel of an upscale Up North cabin. After spending a few hours at the soft opening last night, I can honestly say that it does.
And that's not just the Old Fashioneds talking.
Owners Paul and Natalia Hackbarth wanted to create a lodge-like bar loosely modeled after their cabin in Star Lake. Peabody's Interiors, the same designers who decorated the Hackbarth's cabin, did the work along with Wade Weissmann Architecture.
The massive logs suspended from the ceiling, the authentic signs from Northern Wisconsin establishments (not hokey knock-offs), the real antler light fixtures (all of the antlers were naturally shed), the Native American fabric patterns on the "stick chairs" and the taxidermied animals create a very cozy, classy environment.
Plus, the black ceilings give the place a jigger of the city life aesthetic, too.
Camp Bar sports four 60-inch flatscreens and one massive 80-inch TV behind the bar. "It's a monster," says Paul. "This is going to be a great place to watch games."
After months of renovations, Camp Bar opens to the public on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m.
The specialty drink is, of course, the sweet or sour Old Fashioned and Natalia says all of their employees go through a special training to learn how to mix and muddle 'em from scratch.
Although in Wisconsin Old Fashioneds are usually mixed with brandy, whiskey versions are also available.
We tried a couple of Korbel Old Fashioned sours and found them to be entirely too drinkable. The flavors were balanced perfectly and the cherry-and-orange garnish added the ideal dash of sweet to the sour.
Camp Bar also boasts a nice beers selection, many of which are locally brewed, along with bottled wine / tap wine and a 21-ounce Bloody Mary that we'll be back for on a Sunday afternoon in the very near future.
Camp will eventually offer a shuttle service to and from the bar, as well as a "text to order" food service provided by nearby Falbo Brothers Pizzeria, allowing bar customers to text their order and have it delivered to their table.
Camp is a unique environment yet, it's surprising there isn't already a bar in Milwaukee with this concept.
And flannel attire is always welcome, but not required.
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