New Website is here!

Spring is here – finally! And so is our new website! While we are super excited to a have a four letter domain and a sleek, sexy new website, it’s also time to pay tribute to the website that started it all. While the old site isn’t going away, it’ll be around for nostalgic and historical purposes, our new site is mobile friendly!!!! So come down today and raise a glass as we say thanks to an old “friend” (which will now be available at and hello to To celebrate, webmaster Cory is going to bring in his wii so we can play Mario Kart. Our website will be on display on the big screen and we will have drink specials for you if you share our new site via social media 5-8pm. Visit the Facebook event page for Build Your Own Happy Hour: Website Launch & Mario Kart to RSVP/ invite a friend.)

Then stay for the show which starts at 9 with:

The CurlsNot For YouThe BBY’sLifetime Achievement Award

Visit the event page on Facebook to RSVP, remind yourself/ invite a friend.

The Curls, Lifetime Achievement Award, The BBY's, Not For You


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Public House is Hiring Bartenders and Doorpeople

rwphlogoWe are hiring!

The Riverwest Public House is a collectively managed and community owned bar, venue and community space located on Locust Street in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.  

At this time we have a small staff of bartenders which make up our current Workers’ Collective. We are currently looking for new members to join our current workers to tend bar and help support and participate in this cooperative process.  We are seeking a diverse staff and encourage residents of the communities surrounding our space at 815 E. Locust to apply.

Our typical bartending tasks include (but are not limited to): opening and closing the space, taking orders and waiting on customers, providing excellent customer service, maintaining a clean work area throughout your shift, operating the cash register, making and pouring drinks, stocking, managing inventory, answering the phone, creating and encouraging a safe and appealing atmosphere in the space, supporting events in the space and determine when it is inappropriate to continue to serve a drunk customer and be prepared to mediate a difficult situation if necessary.

We seek the usual attributes all healthy organizations look for: reliability and punctuality, capacity for hard work, self-motivation, good communication skills, enthusiasm and talent for interacting with the public, curiosity and eagerness to learn, ability to multi-task and prioritize duties.   

A worker collective (and worker co-op) requires an additional set of attributes: people who are excited about working in a democratically managed workplace and who have the interest, ability and skills necessary to transition into an ownership role; people with the time, energy, and political motivation to make a commitment to growing a thriving cooperative business.

We will give priority to candidates who offer any of the particular skills we currently need:

  • Someone experienced with collective work environments
  • Someone experienced in the customer service industry with at least one (1) years experience as a bartender
  • Someone with knowledge of social media who can create and execute marketing plans using promotional technologies
  • Someone who enjoys people, conversation and community engagement

All bartending workers must have a current State of Wisconsin bartending license.

Candidates must have 15+ hours/week of availability during our hours of operation M-TH 3p-2a, F 3p-2:30a, Sa 11a-2:30a and Su 11a-2a.  All workers are initially paid $5.00 plus tips. Workers are required to attend by-monthly meetings and after a six month probationary period may pursue joining the Worker Collective.

Doorpeople: Pays hourly w/ tip out. Hours are typically Friday and Saturday nights 9pm-1am, some Thursdays and other odd shifts. E-mail us if interested.

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 co-op.  Interviews will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

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Events update – ANNIVERSARY WEEK!

Upcoming Meetings:
Events Committee meeting is Sunday, March 18 during Bloody Mary Potluck – look for specific time on Facebook
Membership Meeting will be towards the end of March – details to come.(likely 3/25 or 3/26)

Events Update: We had another successful event on Sunday, March 11. Sex Ed for Adults hosted local author Michail Takach, author of LGBT Milwaukee. A huge shout out to Sex Ed for Adults for doing such a great job every month. We have a new display on the gallery wall by local artist Paul Edward Davis. Stop in and check it out. The display of RWPH flyers has moved to the stage right wall. Know a band that should play here – have them email


Wed., March 14: Team Trivia, 7pm, Free.
Pi(e) Day Potluck – bring in your favorite pi(e) and we’ll supply the forks/ plates!
followed by a FREE Show! by touring musician Beth Bombara  from St. Louis – 9 pm

Thurs., March 15: Vinyl Potluck, 6pm, Free. If you haven’t been to one of these yet, it’s a really fun event. Bring food and/or your favorite records & we’ll spin them!
Milwaukee Makers Meet (new group of crafters that meets to hang out every other Thursday, free), 7pm.

Fri., March 16: (NEW EVENT SERIES!) Bring Your Own Happy Hour: Events Committee, 5-8pm.
Stop in and talk to the Events Committee about upcoming events.
BYOHH is a new series here at Public House. The concept is that you take ownership of a happy hour shift to try to help bring people in. Talk about projects you’re working on, have a listening party, sign people up for your organization, show pictures from your vacation, etc. E-mail to sign up. We’re kicking it off with the Events Committee. Hang out with us and hear about upcoming events or suggest future events.

Stand Up For Environmental Justice!
Reggae Party 8-12 Midnight. $3 cover
This is a fundraiser for Groundwork Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Transit Riders Union.

Sat, March 17: RW Public House Birthday Party! 9 PM
Birthday party complete with pizza, cake, drink specials, a pinata, birthday games and Party Time DJs. Thanks to our friends at the IWW for helping put this together.

Sun., March 18 Bloody Mary Potluck (bring your favorite fixins) 12-3pm
Buy a $5 Bloody & then add fixings from our Bloody Mary Potluck. Bring your favorite bloody accouterments to share!

For more events – visit our Events page on Facebook.

The Mic Comedy Open Mic and Workshop with Greg Bach – we hope this series will kick off in the near future.
Night School is launching on April 15 with “Refugee Resettlement”; however the March session topic of Cooperatives will be moved to May.

EVENTS NEEDS: We are doing a two day RWPH benefit and fundraiser show at the end of the month, March 30 and 31. We still have open slots for bands and can use everyone’s help promoting. Please show up and if you are able, make a donation/ renew or buy memberships at the event. We are also doing a RWPH benefit show on Saturday, April 14.

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March events as of 3/7/18

MARCH 2018 RWPH-1.png

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Action Items from Special Membership Meeting Sunday Feb. 25 & Monday Feb. 26 and Weekly Update

Mail Chimp went out morning of 3/1/19:

Notes & documents relating to meetings can be found here:

RWPH Board/ Leadership Action Items:
1. Send Weekly Updates to Membership via email, Facebook & website
2/28 – Update has been published to Public House website.
Please read as a lot has happened since Monday.

2. Meet with Lawyer (Nola Cross) asap to discuss:

  • Lease options
  • Exit strategy – Plan B

3. Solicit advice from 1-2 local business owners before next Membership Meeting on Monday, March 12 @ 6:30 pm

4. Solicit qualified & committed interim Board Members (who will need to be elected to a term at the Annual Meeting in May.)

5. Solicit Donations to pay off debts.

6. Create formal proposal(s) to:

  • amend Bylaws
  • restructure board
  • hours of the bar
  • tobacco license
  • etc.

7. Give membership notice to:

  • review proposal(s)
  • meet to discuss & vote on proposal(s)*

Note: Bylaw changes require 30 days notice. Other changes require 7 day written notice.  Quorum is 10%, or 20 members.

8. Meet with RW Coop Finance Committee to discuss potential loan

9. Provide regular weekly financial updates during March & potentially beyond (until we are financial sustainable)

10. Seek out new Workers (train on core values & importance of membership & welcoming atmosphere)

11. Once finances stabilize: return to business plan from last Jan. Membership Meeting to revisit list of improvements (repairs, POS, extension of premises, merchandise, etc.)

Membership Action Items:

Visit the bar often – with friends.
Goal: On average, 5-6 groups with 5 drinks per day would go a long way to helping the bar.


  • Apply to become an interim Board Member (current job descriptionBoard interest form)
  • Join the Events/ Membership committee – next meeting is Sunday, March 4 @ 11 AM
  • Host an event (fundraiser, educational, etc.)
  • Door shift – Collect Cover charge on Friday / Saturday
  • Flyering
  • Sound
  • Sign up a new member
  • Laundry (wash bar rags)
  • more…

Email & let us know how you’d like to participate.

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Membership Update 2/28/18

Membership meetings were held this past Sunday (Feb. 25) and Monday (Feb. 26). Thanks to everyone who showed up. Among the topics discussed is the dire financial situation the Public House is in, changes in the Worker’s Collective and the Board, and potential plans going forward. The following actions were voted on:

– Member Wendy Mesich asked for a vote re: Any future loans must be approved by the membership during a meeting of the membership.
Membership Vote = Yes

– Member Paul Szedziewski offered the unused remainder ($1,200) of his original personal loan ($4,000) which was paid back to Paul, by RWPH, in December. No vote held.

– Member Paul Szedziewski asked for a vote re: Public House management solicit / meet with one or two successful business owners in the Riverwest bar industry and/or co-op field. (These consultants would need to work pro bono.)
Membership Vote = YES

-Membership voted YES to meet in two weeks (Monday, March 12 @ 6:30 pm) to discuss proposals to potentially restructure/ amend bylaws and a potential loan(s). Formal announcement to come as details become available.

-Financial: Donations are being accepted via PayPal to go towards vendor bills.

Memberships (Annual & Lifetime) can now be renewed online via PayPal – link on the Public House website.

-You can read minutes from the meeting here:

-Worker’s Collective & Board member Tea Krulos agreed to compose Membership Updates bi-weekly, but given the current bar situation, you can expect weekly updates every Tuesday through March. Until I am told otherwise, I will continue to organize events, work my shifts, and keep people informed best I can.

Updates since meetings:

– Sarah Ditzenberger resigned from the board of directors, effective immediately.

– Liquor License was approved on 2/27 & has been picked up & paid for along with the food license.

– Tobacco License was approved. Tea & Tracey were told that we can pay for the tobacco license and get it anytime within a year so we didn’t see that as a priority and didn’t get it– we can revisit that down the road.

Requests of Membership from leadership:

-With dwindling staff we have a need for fill in staff. Please contact us via Facebook or email, if interested and your bartending license is current.

Here are THIS WEEKS’ EVENTS. Please attend and help spread the word.

Thurs., March 1:

The Apocalypse Blog Book Club: Discussion of Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler, 7pm, Free. Along with Mystery Book Fundraiser. Pay $5 to buy a mystery/true crime/ horror novel wrapped in paper identified with just one quote from the book written on it. What will you get? It’s a mystery. All money goes to the bar.

Milwaukee Makers Meet 7pm-– this is a new group that meets every other Thursday to craft, anyone welcome to join in.

Sat., March 3:

Abortion Access Benefit Show with Dumpster Doves, Six Wives of Richard, Scarecrow Dave, Neocaveman, Anthony Deutsch. 8pm, $5 ($3 with donation of box of pads).

Sun., March 4:

Events / Membership Committee Meeting, 11 am

RSVP here:

Mon., March 5:

Karaoke with Morgan, 9pm, Free.

Meeting for Volunteers for Gubernatorial Candidate Kathleen Vinehout campaign, 5:30-7pm, Free.

Tues., March 6:

Local Tuesdays with DJ Kingpin, 8pm, Free.


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Notes from Special Membership Meeting held on 2/25 & 2/26/18

Notes/ Transcription from meeting thanks to Ousia Whitaker-DeVault.

2-25-2018 Public House Special Membership Meeting minutes

2-26-2018 Public House Special Membership Meeting Minutes

Proposal from Tracey Collins/ Tea Krulos 

Proposal from Sarah Ditzenberger

Donate via PayPal to help us with our financial situation. We greatly appreciate the help!

Renew your membership via PayPal

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Special Membership Meeting Sunday Feb. 25 & Monday Feb. 26

February 16, 2018

Dear friends & members of the Riverwest Public House,

The last few months have been ones of intense struggle to find a path to financial sustainability. Among our successes have been some great events – some new/ some returning. Along the way, there have been many significant challenges.

A group of 15 concerned members/ members of the events & membership committee have collected enough signatures to petition the board to hold a Special Meeting of the membership. Due to urgency and depth of topics, we feel two meetings are necessary in order to give proper time to items, respect people’s time, and ensure the most members are able to attend at least one.  These meetings will be held Sunday Feb. 25 @ 3-6 pm & Monday, Feb. 26 @ 6-9 pm.

These meetings have been called by a group of concerned members and the events committee, due to the lack of communication to the membership about the actual state of the RWPH. It has been called using Section 5 article 2 of the bylaws (see below for bylaw). There has been rumors of the state of the finances, who is on the board or isn’t, and seeming confusion on whether there is a current lease, liquor license or even who is on the board. It is imperative that membership become fully informed on these matters and more in order to make qualified decisions about the bar. The bar is broke and from conversations held today with Tracey Collins (Treasurer) is insolvent. The fact that the financial reality has gotten this far without communication to the membership is a huge issue, and yet at this time the membership needs to ensure ethical decisions are made using cooperative principles from here on out.

The first meeting on Sunday will be to discuss what has brought us to this moment in time and consider our options; the second meeting on Monday will be to discuss next steps. We hope that you can join us for these important sessions on Sunday Feb. 25 @ 3-6 pm & Monday, Feb. 266-9 pm.

Yours in cooperation,
Kristi Secord
Riverwest Public House Events/ Membership Committee Member

Section 5. Frequency and Announcements of Meetings.  

  1. ii. Special Meetings of the membership may be called by the Board or through a petition to the Board signed by any ten (10) members.  The exact time and place of this meeting will be posted inside the principal office and written or electronic notice (member choice) shall be sent to membership at least seven (7) days prior and no more than thirty (30) days prior to said Special Meeting date


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Pick up your member mug in January and get a dollar off taps!

We’ve had requests from members who want to pick up their member mugs after we downsized our shelving units. We will have member mugs organized and ready for pick up on four dates in January. Stop by and get your mug on one of these dates and receive a dollar off any tappers poured into it.

Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14: 3-9pm
Tuesday, January 16: 3-9pm

Saturday, January 20: 3-9pm
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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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