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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Foundation Bar, Milwaukee, WI (bar)
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Foundation Bar, Milwaukee, WI (bar)
TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 277
Posted: 2011-07-11 5:03 pm   Permalink

Name:Foundation Bar
Type:bar
Street:2718 N Bremen St.
City:Milwaukee
State:WI
Zip:53212
country:USA
Phone:(414) 374-2587
Status:operational

Description:
Tiki Bar in Milwaukee, WI.



 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 277
Posted: 2011-07-11 5:29 pm   Permalink

I searched for the Foundation Bar in Locating Tiki and did not find it. Perhaps I missed it as it has been the subject of posts in other forums over the years. I want to make sure it has an entry in Locating Tiki since I just visited it and was very impressed by the decor and drinks. I live in northern California and have visited Smuggler's Cove, Forbidden Island, both NorCal Trader Vic's and the Tonga Room several times. I've also just visited PKNY in Manhattan.

In a comparison of the decor of Tiki Bars (excluding Trader Vic's and the Tonga Room, which are higher class establishments), the Foundation Bar is tops with me. It is filled with iconic Tiki symbols, no TV, dark and moody and has the escapist ambiance to which all great Tiki Bars aspire. From what I've read on TikiCentral, they have been evolving for 6-7 years and if you haven't visited recently and are ever in the Milwaukee area you should definitely check it out. Having visited only once I can't give a more detailed description of the decor. Hopefully a regular will chime in. I have no connection to the Foundation Bar and am just giving my objective opinion.

I tasted the Lava Bowl, Mai Tai, Zombie, Jet Pilot and Rum Barrel. All but the Lava Bowl were great. They were close runner's up to the Smuggler's Cove and Forbidden Island drinks of the same name but significantly cheaper. Any Milwaukee area readers should definitely patronize the Foundation Bar as you have a hidden jewel in your midst!


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4401
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-07-11 6:16 pm   Permalink

Surprised this one is not on Locating Tiki yet.

I have this postcard.



Looks like fun. Wished I had known about this place the last time I was in Milwaukee.

DC


 
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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 2964
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2011-07-13 06:08 am   Permalink

and this topic can't go too far without mentioning that our own Lake Surfer is the prime mover for creating the majority of the tiki decor at this location.

 
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TropicDrinkBoy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 27, 2011
Posts: 277
Posted: 2011-07-13 10:37 am   Permalink

The photos on their web site don't do the decor justice. I guess it is impossible to capture ambiance in a photo. There is iconic imagery throughout the entire facility but the bar area is the focus. The further back in the building you walk the darker it gets, but I felt compelled to explore, even though it took a minute or two for my eyes to adjust. It added to the mystery and escapist sensation. It was hard to believe that I was just in a neighborhood bar in Milwaukee rather than exploring a remote south seas island with headhunters hot on my trail. I practically had to walk by feel rather than sight.

My only criticism is that I found two unplugged video games in the short hall to the restroom. Plugging them in would totally destroy the atmosphere! I suggest replacing them with life size tikis of course! Fumbling around on the way to the restroom and unexpectedly encountering them would be a trip.


 
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Bail Tekey
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 36
From: West Lawn Park Lot 21 BLK 3
Posted: 2011-08-03 5:52 pm   Permalink



[ This Message was edited by: Bail Tekey 2011-08-03 18:02 ]


 
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Bail Tekey
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 36
From: West Lawn Park Lot 21 BLK 3
Posted: 2011-08-03 6:01 pm   Permalink

[quote]
On 2011-08-03 17:52, Bail Tekey wrote:
Visited the Foundation for happy hour tonight. Kind of a covert mission, the jet pilot was great and i have to give props to a local artist by the name of Lake Surfer..... Great work! Havent been for about a year and the progress is stunning!

[ This Message was edited by: Bail Tekey 2011-08-03 18:01 ]


 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1213
From: San Diego
Posted: 2012-09-24 7:34 pm   Permalink

Me and my wife went to the Foundation Bar at the beginning of the summer. We needed to fly into Milwaukee because it saved us like $300 over flying into Green Bay. We had to go to a funeral in upper Michigan, and my wifes family is from Green Bay.

Anyway, we tried out the Sardine Can in Green Bay, because yelp/google said it was a tiki bar. THE SARDINE CAN IT NOT A TIKI BAR. They had a sign up that said no 3 or more ingredient drinks. So we left there and went to the martini bar Top Hat I think. Much better and they had a few tiki drinks there.

We had a little bit of time on our way back to stop at the Foundation Bar. I am really glad that we did! It was in a strange neighborhood for a tiki bar, but that doesn't matter. We got there right when they were opening. The decor was very cool! I liked what they did with the bamboo on the windows. It was kind of like bars, but it went really well with the rest of the place. We sat at the bar and I ordered the strongest drink right away. I forget the name though, sorry. But it was good and strong as promised. I had a Mai Tai as well which was very good and I judge harshly. I almost didn't have one but the bartender convinced me. It had a big sprig of mint and was strong and refreshing!

The bartender was very nice and chatted with us for quite awhile. We were sitting at the bar and it turned out that the person next to me used to be the bartenders teacher. We chatted with him for a bit and we let them know that we were huge tiki fans. The bartender actually gave us a couple of their bar glasses for the road. They are really cool double old fashioned that are similar to Trader Vic's. They have black ink and they say Foundation Bar on them with designs on the top and bottom. We only had an hour or so, so after the 2 drinks I had a hefty buzz going and I regret not giving her an extra tip for the glasses. Hopefully I tipped well enough before!

So they really made us feel at home. If this place was anywhere in SoCal, we would have it as a weekly meeting spot for sure! I wish we had a bar like this in San Diego. If you are ever in the area for any reason, you must stop at the Foundation Bar! I didn't see any video games, but you will never hear me saying anything bad about video games. I guess they took them out.

So if you are in the midwest or travelling through or have a layover in Milwaukee, take my advice and check this place out. I like it better than Psycho Suzi's in Minneapolis. I am sure that you will like it too!


 
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harrybro
Member

Joined: Sep 27, 2012
Posts: 1
Posted: 2012-09-27 12:03 am   Permalink

I was just in a neighborhood bar in Milwaukee rather than exploring a remote south seas island with headhunters hot on my trail..., I practically had to walk by feel rather than sight...

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harrybro


 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6261
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-09-27 12:10 am   Permalink

Well for a first post ,I have no idea what your talking about?

 
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ted tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 195
From: minneapolis
Posted: 2012-10-02 09:48 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-09-27 00:03, harrybro wrote:
I was just in a neighborhood bar in Milwaukee rather than exploring a remote south seas island with headhunters hot on my trail..., I practically had to walk by feel rather than sight...





Totally.


 
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JOHN-O
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2697
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2012-10-02 1:17 pm   Permalink

So for those of you familiar with The Exotics surf band from this year's Tiki Oasis and SG101 Convention, 2011 Hukilau, and a 2010 West Coast tour... the drummer Don Nelson owns the Foundation Bar !! He's a super cool guy.

I thought that fact should be noted on this thread.



Yet another link between Tiki culture and Surf Music culture !!


 
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bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8947
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2012-10-02 1:49 pm   Permalink

YAY!!!
thanks for posting that John O

Jeff(btd)



 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1213
From: San Diego
Posted: 2012-10-03 1:07 pm   Permalink

John-O, that is very cool info...
He really has a great bar. I hope I am in the area again so I can go back someday.

Looks like from that picture that they have a "Safe House" sticker. That is a bar in Milwaukee as well I believe. Does he own that bar as well, or is that sticker something totally unrelated?


 
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tikijackalope
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 823
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2014-09-17 11:52 pm   Permalink



I haven't been on TC in awhile but stopped through Milwaukee last week, bought this fine mug at The Foundation and thought I'd share a photo. I loved the place not just for what it has - lots of cool décor - but what it doesn't: TV sets.
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