By: Business in Milwaukee, WI


Milwaukee, Wisconsin, known for its rich brewing history, is a prime location for entrepreneurs looking to tap into the thriving beer restaurant industry. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the city’s resident demographics, key residential and commercial areas, potential financial investments, and expected returns.

Understanding the Demographics

Milwaukee boasts a diverse population, creating a melting pot of potential customers for a beer restaurant. With a population of over 590,000 residents, the city offers a mix of young professionals, college students, and beer enthusiasts. Understanding the demographic makeup is crucial for tailoring your beer restaurant concept to meet the tastes and preferences of your target audience.

Residential and Commercial Hotspots

Identifying the right location is vital for the success of your beer restaurant. Milwaukee’s neighborhoods vary in character, each offering unique opportunities for a thriving establishment.

  1. East Side: Home to the University of WisconsinMilwaukee, this area attracts a younger demographic. Consider opening your beer restaurant here to cater to college students and young professionals.
  2. Third Ward: A trendy and historic district, the Third Ward is known for its upscale residential areas and vibrant arts scene. Setting up shop here can attract a more upscale clientele.
  3. Bay View: This neighborhood appeals to a diverse crowd, with a mix of families and young professionals. Its eclectic atmosphere makes it a prime spot for a beer restaurant with a unique and inclusive atmosphere.

Financial Investment and Return

Starting a beer restaurant in Milwaukee involves various costs. On average, the initial investment can range from $200,000 to $500,000, covering expenses such as leasing a suitable space, renovations, licensing, staffing, and initial marketing. However, the return on investment (ROI) in the beer restaurant industry can be lucrative, with the potential for substantial profits once the business gains momentum.

  1. Lease and Renovations: Leasing costs in popular neighborhoods like the East Side or Third Ward may be higher, but the visibility and foot traffic can justify the expense. Allocate a portion of your budget for interior renovations that create a welcoming and unique atmosphere.
  2. Licensing and Permits: Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is crucial. Factor in costs for alcohol licenses, health permits, and other regulatory requirements to ensure legal compliance.
  3. Staffing and Training: Skilled staff is essential for delivering excellent customer service. Allocate funds for competitive salaries, training programs, and employee benefits to attract and retain a talented team.
  4. Marketing and Promotion: Building a strong brand presence is key to attracting customers. Invest in a robust marketing strategy, including digital marketing, social media campaigns, and promotions to create awareness and drive foot traffic.

Choosing the Right Location

Selecting the ideal location for your beer restaurant is a critical decision. Conduct thorough research on foot traffic, competitor presence, and the overall atmosphere of the neighborhood. Consider proximity to popular attractions, offices, and residential areas.

  1. Proximity to Breweries: Milwaukee is known for its breweries. Consider locating your beer restaurant near popular breweries to tap into the existing beer culture and attract enthusiasts exploring the area.
  2. Accessibility: Ensure your chosen location is easily accessible by public transportation and has ample parking. This convenience will encourage more customers to visit your establishment.
  3. Competition Analysis: Study existing beer restaurants in the chosen area. Identify gaps in the market and position your establishment to offer something unique that sets it apart from competitors.


Starting a beer restaurant in Milwaukee offers an exciting venture into a city with a deeprooted beer culture. By understanding the demographics, choosing the right location, and making strategic financial investments, entrepreneurs can tap into the city’s vibrant market and create a successful beer restaurant business. With careful planning and a focus on customer experience, the journey of brewing success in Milwaukee awaits.