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Milwaukee's first hybrid bar will serve N/A versions of all its cocktails

A few of the concoctions that may end up on Agency's cocktail menu.
A few of the concoctions that may end up on Agency's cocktail menu.

Discourse, the experiential drink makers behind some of Milwaukee’s most creative coffee and tea beverages, announced today their plans to open Equal Parts — the city’s first “hybrid cocktail bar” that will offer classic and contemporary cocktails available both with and without alcohol.

Set to open in January 2024 at Discourse’s downtown cafe, Equal Parts aims to pioneer the conscious drinking movement and create an inclusive space for all guests, regardless of their decision to consume alcohol.

“Our mission at Equal Parts is to create a social movement of conscious drinking empowered by choice, with all of the sophistication, comfort and charm of a world-class cocktail bar,” said Robert Colletta, Discourse partner and director of photography for Equal Parts.

The bar will transform Discourse’s 1020 N. Broadway cafe location every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening starting Jan 5. Doors open at 6 p.m., with service continuing late into the night. Reservations will not be accepted to preserve the intimate experience.

The menu will offer over a dozen cocktails, including twists on classics such as margaritas, negronis, and espresso martinis. It'll also feature experimental drinks like the Interstellar (made with rum, wine, tea and acidified pineapple to mimic the rum-and-raspberry taste and smell of space), the Jurassic (mezcal and rain-scented geosmin) and the New Frontier (a hot whiskey cider).

“Every component has been meticulously considered. We’re simply a group of drink makers obsessed with what liquid has been and what it can be,” operating partner Kat Doughty said.

The bar will serve all drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, in the same glassware with identical garnishes to create an equivalent experience for all guests. Table service will help facilitate a safe and memorable night out. Wine, beer, house-made sodas and other affordable non-alcoholic options will also be available.

“There’s no room for pretension in our space, but we’re always going to ask you if you’re done enjoying before we swipe your glass and your water will never be empty,” said Ryan Castelaz, Equal Parts’ service director. “Our entire focus is on creating truly magical moments — equal parts whimsy and wonder.”

In addition to the various roles Castelaz fills as partner and CEO at Discourse, he's also the author of best-selling book Unreasonably Hospitable. Collectively, the Discourse team has over 20 years of experience in hospitality roles at esteemed local restaurants like Morel and Shanghai, as well as a shared passion for experimental drink-making and crafting memorable guest experiences.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee