A Letter to our Members and Patrons

We want to share this financial update with you. We’ve had a pretty stable year on the revenue side, as you can see below. We’ve done what we can to keep our expenses as low as possible, while treating our staff, members, and customers fairly. But some unavoidable expenses emerged in 2016 that have put us in a precarious situation. And we’re concerned about the bar.


Bottom line is, we need to see more of you. We’ve been in the neighborhood for 5 strong years. We want to be open for another one. After seeing other businesses come and go without much communication about their situation, we want to be upfront with you about the Public House’s status: the one-two punch of a sales slump and unforeseen expenses has put us in a precarious place.

Luckily, we’ve got the Riverwest community behind us, and we know you’ll show up to keep this place alive. We’ve been a community institution and radical space since we opened, and we need spaces like these now more than ever. If you value this institution as much as we hope you do, bring your energy here. Events drive revenue. We’ve got about 1,000 people on this list, and we need you all to spend some time with us, bring your network here, build your movement here.

Set up a meeting or a party or an event. Our space is free to use, unlike most bars and meeting spaces. Throw a fundraiser for your institution or organization. We’ll help.

Stop by one more time than usual this month, and bring a buddy. If you’ve lapsed, renew your membership. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the first 4-5 years of operation brought regular member renewals. This equity allowed us to open and to operate free of debt. Now, the true believers among our membership have renewed up to their full $200 to become lifetime members. But we still need new equity. Bring in a friend. Evangelize for the bar you own.

We’ll be having a meeting open to anyone to discuss the bar’s health this Thursday, 1/12 at 5pm. Bring a friend.

Last, to make it as easy as possible to spread the word, here’s a sample email to spread to your networks:

Hi there,

As a member/supporter of the Riverwest Public House Cooperative, I wanted to take a moment to encourage you to bring your organization’s fundraisers, meetings, celebrations, or happy hour meet-ups to the Public House (815 E. Locust). The Public House is Milwaukee’s bar with a mission: it’s cooperatively owned, and it exists as a free meeting space for any organization that wishes to use it. To get started planning your party, fundraiser, or meeting, please emailevents@riverwestpublichouse.org.



 Thank you for your support over the last 5 years as we’ve built community, one drink at a time. See you at the Public House.


Riverwest Public House Board of Directors

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Check out our calendar for January!


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Our December Calendar!


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Live Election Coverage!

As always, the Riverwest Public House Cooperative is hosting LIVE election coverage with two piss-poor pundits. NO COVER! The grotesque circus that our democratic process has become will unravel completely starting at 7pm. This event is 21+ unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

– Little Havana Express food truck #tacotrucksoneverycorner
– Multiple screens (projection, LCD, possibly cathode ray tube?)
– Live updates and analysis on races/ballot initiatives across the country
– Vice Presidential Candidate Angela Walker will be making an appearance!

Drink specials:
– Nasty woman $9, espolon tequila, cherry juice and lime.
– Donkey jizz $9, rehorst gin, lemon, egg white, club soda.
– Dark & stormy $8, goslings run and ginger beer.
– $2 RIVERWEST STEIN / EASTSIDE DARK w/ I voted sticker until 7pm! Get here early to grab some little Havana express food and get your seats before coverage begins.

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Here’s what’s happening in November!



Music Listings

11/3 Liz de Lise and Lady Cannon 9pm $5

11/4 Telethon, Honey Creek, One Size Fitzgerald 9pm $5

11/6 Luxotica Lounge Cabaret 9pm $10

11/10 Beef Jerk and TBA 9pm $5

11/11 Camp Sugar and Bootleg Bessie 9pm $5

11/12 Big Lo w/ DJ Killa Kutz, Knowshun, Denku, Boombox Saintz 9pm $5

11/13 Brief Candles and Gauss 9pm $5

11/18 Halloween Hangover  9pm $5

11/19 William Within and Tapebenders 9pm $5

11/20 Know More Music 9pm $5

11/25 4th Street Elevator 9pm $5

11/26 Odd Person, Dismantle, Sam Pekarske, Blasted Ellipses, Максим Приходько, Cat Ries 9pm $5

Community Events

11/5 Sorry Not Sorry 1pm FREE

11/8 Drinking Liberally 6:30pm FREE

11/8 Election Night Coverage 7pm FREE

11/9 Riverwest Yogashala 1pm FREE

11/13 Night School: Sex Ed 7pm FREE

11/14 Theology on Tap 7pm FREE

11/19 Riverwest Sessions 2pm FREE

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Here’s what’s happening in October!


Music Listings

10/1 Doubletruck, Solar max, Slow Walker 9pm $5

10/8 (Membership Drive Kick-off) Florida Brothers Band, The Grovelers, and The Revomatics 9pm $5

10/13 Oozing Wound, Platinum Boys, Christmas Bride, Powerwagon 9pm $5

10/14 Fundraiser! Lauryl Sulfate, Chakara Blu, and TBA 9pm $5

10/18 Chew (Atlanta), The Women, Monotaur, and Deadly Friend 9pm $5

10/21 Nots, Zed Kenzo and TBA 9pm $5

10/22 The Icks, Sleeper Sound and Beaker 9pm $5

10/27 The Imaginatron, Economy Superstar and TBA 9pm $5

10/28 9th Annual Halloween Harvest Costume Party: Intergalactic-Planetary: Evacuate the Earth, Tapebenders, Astral/Subastral & Dark Sacazm 9pm $5 donation

10/29 NO/NO, Soup Moat, Piles and TBA 9pm $5

10/30 The Drag Republic 9pm $3

Community Events

10/1 Sorry Not Sorry 1pm Free

10/3 Co-Op Dev Roundtable 1pm Free

10/3 Karaoke 9pm Free

10/4 Vice Presidential Debate 7pm Free

10/5 Trivia 7pm Free

10/8 Co-Op Fest 8am Free

10/10 Karaoke 9pm Free

10/11 Drinking Liberally 6:30pm Free

10/12 Trivia 7pm Free

10/15 Bike Smut: Science Friction 8pm

10/16 Erick Lyle (Streetopia) and Overpass Light Brigade presentation 7pm Free

10/23 Night School: Sex Ed 7pm Free

10/24 Karaoke 9pm Free

10/25 SCREENING: Return of the Living Dead 9pm Free

10/26 Trivia 7pm Free

10/31 Membership Drive Ends: Costume Competition, Karaoke, FREE FOOD 9pm Free


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Building: A Tasty Conversation this Thursday at Public House

For several years, we as a workers collective and board of directors have been aware of our landlords’ intent to sell the building at 815 E. Locust Street. We’ve weighed many possibilities about future ownership of the building. Last week, our landlords listed the building for sale. Our current lease promises us tenancy here until March 2018, and we anticipate that any sale of the property before that time will respect our contract.

We’d like to provide an opportunity to discuss this as a community. Please join board members as we host this discussion at our Autumnal Cocktail Tasting, this Thursday, September 22nd from 5-7pm. Share this invite with other members, and join us for this free tasting and flavorful conversation!

See you soon,


Erika P. Wolf


Board of Directors

Riverwest Public House Cooperative

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