Thump-a-Trump Tournament: The Thumpening


We debuted the Thump-a-Trump machine (designed by local artist Brian Holoubek) as part of our SAD! 100 Days of Trump art show in spring. Since then, it’s given hundreds of bar patrons a moment of happy therapy. But now, the machine must roll on.

For it’s final day here–Tuesday, December,12— we will be celebrating with a Thump-a-Trump tournament. High scoring winners will receive prizes of drink tickets, art prints, and novelty items.

Admission to the tournament is a minimum donation of $1. All money raised from tournament participants will be donated to Planned Parenthood. Tournament rounds will begin at 7 and we’ll post more details on how it’ll be structured soon.

Facebook event page:


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After painting our walls, we’ve had bare space at the Public House and we’d like to change that. We are opening up a submission and voting process to select “semi-permanent (we’re not sure how we’re defining that yet, but at least a year)” art to fill three of our wall spaces.
Artists need to take a photo of their work and submit it (along with your name and title of the piece and the category you are entering) to one of the three categories below and send it to us at
We are open to all art mediums and subject matter.
The submission window for this is ten days, closing on December 15 at noon. After submissions close, the submissions will be posted on our website and members of the Riverwest Public House Cooperative will be able to vote in each category for the art they think will be best for the
bar. Voting is open to members only. The voting process will be open from December 15 at 5pm to December 19 at 5pm. The new art will be revealed at our solstice party on Thursday, December 21.

Artists must be available Wednesday, December 20 to help hang their art and we would love to have the artists present at our Winter Solstice Party the following evening.

Here are our three categories:

Sound system wall space: Can be 1-3 pieces (by same artist) that covers a space that is minimum 4 feet, maximum 6 feet wide, minimum 3 feet, maximum 4.5 feet tall.

Stage wall near window: Must be 1 piece, minimum 6 feet, maximum 7 feet wide, minimum 3 feet, maximum 4 feet tall.

AC unit wall: Can be 1-4 pieces (by same artist) that covers a space minimum 6 feet, maximum 8’9″ wide, minimum 3 feet, maximum 4 feet tall.

We love to support local artists and look forward to seeing your submissions!

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RWPH November Update & Upcoming Events

November 20th, 2017

Dear Members and Friends of the Riverwest Public House,

It’s been a busy month and we want to stop to say thank you to all the volunteers, committee members, workers’ and patrons working hard to make it work.

We are thankful for all of you!

Remember that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest bar night of the year so come on out and make the Public House your house.

In the meantime, see below for all the news and SAVE THE DATE:

  • 11/25 Craft & Draft – Shop Local Saturday w/ RWPH & Black Husky
  • 12/7 Vinyl Potluck
  • 12/21 Solstice Party w/ OLB art installation, Denny Rauen’s OLB short-documentary/ talkback & Bootleg Bessie perform.

The news:

  • CALL FOR BOARD MEMBERS: The WC and Board have continued to assess the organization’s leadership needs and have decided to reopen the call for candidates to step into fill vacant board seats.  There are 6 seats open for appointment to fulfill 1, 2 and 3 year terms on the board. The current WC have been asked to consider appointments.  Please check out our Board Member Job Description and complete a Board Interest Form.  Get in touch with any questions.
  • We’re Hiring!  We have made an open call to hire a new bartender and have received 3 applications.  Interview scheduling are in progress.
  • Committee/ WC / Board updates:
    • The membership database is being cleaned up and updated
    • Stay tuned for the new RWPH website late 2017/ early 2018 complete with events calendar and event interest form!
    • Regular Member events including Happy Hour events and Vinyl Potlucks (next is 12/7)
  • Financial update:  Financial update: We had an excellent September and a profit for the month. Workers’ Collective hosted some great events including the Night Carnival and Oktoberfest, along with the start of Packer season. At this time we are looking for ways to increase sales and decrease expenses.
  • Call for volunteers!  We will always be looking for interested members to take up leadership positions in the co-op.  Are you wanting to meet new people, support the RWPH, learn new skills and/or share your talents?  Consider joining a committee! Email to be added to the meeting invites.
  • In addition we have some specific asks of you. Below are a list of jobs/ things that we need help with:
    • Volunteer Coordinator
    • Community Events Coordinator
    • Flyer distribution (beer / admission in exchange for flyer distribution)
    • Soundproofing (building crew and hanging party)
    • Vinyl night host (rotating 1 host/ month)
    • Door people
    • Cleaners
    • Food – for Packer games & Potlucks
    • Small tables & chairs that collapse for the area near the stage
    • 4 x 3’ corkboard for flyers

If you are able to contribute toward any of these efforts please email

We look forward to seeing you soon!

In cooperation,

Rebecca Wolfe

On behalf of the Riverwest Public House

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Immaculate Misconception plays last show at Public House this Sunday!


We ❤ Immaculate Misconception and have had them on our stage several times. The last chance to see them is this Sunday, November 12, 10pm. They tell us they’re going out with a bang!

Joining them are special guests Union Thugs, the Montreal IWW strike band
and Parking Lot Bandits, awesome Fort Wayne folk punk.

$5 suggested donation because Union Thugs are on tour.

Facebook event page:

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Burlesque and Comedy This Weekend at Public House

Halloween is over when we say it is! We’ve got a really cool burlesque show here this Friday. A Night of Gorgeously Grotesque Rock n Roll Burlesque features a bunch of talented ladies celebrating the spooky season in a sexy way. We’ll have performances by Katie Kadaver and Gone Rogue Burlesque! Special guests, Haunted Harlots of the Quad Cities and Lavish Jules and Reina Fire of the Brew City Bombshells! Wow weeee! Admission is just 5 bucks.
Facebook event page:

On Saturday, we have the Sorry Not Sorry comedy showcase. If you’ve not been, it’s a fun and FREE Saturday afternoon activity. Comedians do short sets while you laugh in the harsh light of day. $5 bloody mary special! (we got non-alcoholic drinks like coffee, tea, and soda, too). Addie and Marisa organize this showcase and you can read articles our friends at Milwaukee Record have written about these founding mothers HERE (Addie) and HERE (Marisa).
Facebook event page:


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Vinyl Potluck Thursday, Nov. 9 with Tarik Moody

vinyl potluck nov 9 Tarik Moody Riverwest Public House

Bring a friend, some vinyl & enjoy a RWPH potluck Thursday, Nov, 9 6-9 PM.

Vinyl Potluck & Family Style Dinner

Theme for this Event: Music We’re Thankful For

Hosted By: Tarik Moody

88.9 DJ, RW neighbor & Architect of the MKE music scene, will spin YOUR vinyl.
Riverwest Public House

Thursday, November 9th 6-9p

  • Bring a dish, a record to spin & a friend!
  • Bring out your treasures, the ones that should get more spins than they do.
  • Enjoy good music, great people, delicious food and MKE’s only co-op owned bar.

Door prizes to include:
Prizes From Exclusive Company Gathering Place Brewing Company

Sponsored By: Exclusive Company & Gathering Place Brewing Company

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October Update addendum

Regarding Board appointments, to clarify and give more context to the decision not to onboard any new directors at this time:

We received only one complete Board Interest Form from direct follow up from those who had expressed a desire to be appointed to the Board and from the membership at large call to action.  This overall underwhelming lack of response along with the important work of rebuilding relations between the leadership and governance bodies in the organization was part of the decision.  In addition while also addressing the immediate financial concerns of the bar it seemed that any new leadership could be better funneled to staffing a committee.  Lastly, in an effort to build working trust between the institution of the workers and the Board, the current 4 person Board is functioning as a joint committee – meeting and making decision with the workers’ collective.


We mistakenly sent out an earlier draft of the addendum to the October Update this morning. Here is the intended message:

Regarding Board appointments, we’d like to clarify and give more context to the decision not to onboard any new directors at this time:

In our October update (sent on Oct 15), we mentioned that “For the foreseeable future and until the possibility of closing lessons, the Board does not intend to fill the open five seats and for this time will continue to focus working closely with the WC.” 

There was a general call to action for new board members but we only received one complete Board Interest Form from the membership. Three employees initially expressed a desire to join the board but have agreed to hold off on seeking formal appointments for the short term.

The membership has shown greater interest in joining committees, where support work is needed the most in order to address the immediate financial concerns of the bar.  Several committees are meeting regularly and fueling our rebuilding effort.

The influx of new energy in committees has allowed the board  (Rebecca, Tracy, Peyton, Angie) and workers (Lisa, Harry, Angie, Erin, Tea),  to meet jointly every week and focus on rebuilding trust between these two bodies, and on re-calibrating the management and operations.

Directing renewed activism and leadership energy into committees, rather than expanding the board, while allowing the existing board and workers the space to meet regularly, is both a direct response to the level of member interest, and an intentional decision to focus on improving our internal culture.


Are you interested in tending bar at a democratic workplace?  Check out our job posting and email a letter of interest and a resume to  Tell us why you’re interested in being a worker at the Riverwest Public House, and why your skills, talents and interests make you a good candidate for our coop.  Interview will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Member Potlucks returning with a new twist!

Please join us on Thursday, October 26 from 5-7 p.m. for an old fashioned RWPH potluck & Member Happy Hour. Bring a friend, a dish, and if you’re so inclined some vinyl, and join us for a Vinyl Potluck. What’s a Vinyl Potluck you say?  Well it’s everything you’d expect a RWPH potluck to be, friends, neighbors, workers, board & committee members sharing a delicious potluck with the added bonus of YOUR vinyl on the turntables! Bring some wax you’ve been dying to hear recently, our host for the night will take care of the faders & keep the good tunes playing during the potluck.

Next Vinyl Potluck is schedule for 11/9 – stay tuned for more details.

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