Bryant’s was originally built in the 1890s by Miller Brewing and acted as a Miller Tied House until prohibition. In 1936, Bryant Sharp opened a neighborhood tavern in the building where he served beer, shots, and chili to the residents of the near southside. In 1938, Bryant converted his bar in to a cocktail lounge and Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge was born.
In 1971, there was a fire that nearly shuttered the lounge, but it was rebuilt as one of the finest lounges in the Midwest – complete with gold plated cash registers and velvet wallpaper. The interior is well preserved and its cocktails still receive international recognition. Over the years, hundreds of secret cocktail recipes have been concocted which they still serve today; most famously, the Pink Squirrel was invented there in the 1940s.
Visit Milwaukee’s oldest cocktail lounge to learn about the history of the space and how Bryant’s fits in to the history of cocktails in America. Visitors are welcome to wander the lounge, and staff will be on hand to answer any questions and to explain some of the more unique features of the space.
The lounge is best experienced from the comfort of a booth or a cushy bar stool, so they will be serving a limited selection of cocktails in order to allow guests to relax and enjoy the atmosphere that has made Bryant’s famous. Please note, the Bryant’s experience is reserved for people 21 and over.