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The ‘longest bar’ crown may be about to change hands

The interior of a restaurant with vintage decor and a long bar stretching into the distance with chairs neatly positioned next to it.
Buck Bradley's / Facebook
Buck Bradley's (now Copper) claims the title of "longest bar east of the Mississippi." But that might be about to change.

Each week on This Bites, dining critic Ann Christenson from Milwaukee Magazine and Radio Milwaukee’s resident foodie Tarik Moody dig into the city’s culinary and restaurant culture to help you find new spots, old favorites and the best ingestibles around Milwaukee.

Tarik and Ann tend to lean more toward the “food” side of the food-and-drink coverage you get every week on This Bites. But, with our beloved hosts on break right now, I get to raise a glass to two pieces of big beverage news this week.

A black-and-white photo of a vintage motorcycle parked outside of a tavern with a sign in the background that reads "Vitucci's."
Vitucci's / Facebook
The former Vitucci's will open as Vier North later this year.

The first isn’t so much big as it is long. Urban Milwaukee’s Sophie Bolich checked on the progress over at the former Vitucci’s on North Avenue, which will soon reopen as Vier North. Among the many updates she uncovered while touring the site and talking to owners Bryan O’Boyle and Adam Jansen is the planned centerpiece of the space:

A 78-foot-long bar.

If the owner’s dreams come to fruition, the surface will just about run from one end of the building to the other. And, if you know your Milwaukee watering holes, I don’t have to tell you that the 78-footer would steal the title of “longest bar east of the Mississippi River” from the 76-foot-8-inch whopper at Copper (formerly Buck Bradley’s).

There’s plenty more going on at Vier North, which is pushing to open in early fall, including an exterior overhaul and big plans on the food front. For those details, check out Sophie’s story atUrban Milwaukee.

Going from long bars to longtime beer brands, we travel to the western reaches of Wisconsin, where La Crosse’s City Brewery is gearing up to once again brew Old Style near the shores of the Mississippi River (which has unintentionally featured prominently in this roundup).

Old Style had been coming out of MillerCoors facilities courtesy of a contract with Pabst Brewing Company. But Pabst announced this week that production will return to the former location of G. Heileman’s Brewing Company, where the beer was first created back in 1902. Old Style brand manager Adam Powers told Wisconsin Public Radio the decision falls right in line with a resurgent interest in classic beers, making Old Style’s return to its roots a natural move.

"The nostalgia of Old Style in La Crosse, it's ingrained into the history there. We're excited to be back. In November, we'll actually start brewing again, and we're going to drink right from the source,” he told WPR, which has the full story over on their website.

A hand holding a can of beer with a blue-and-white checkered Oktoberfest label.
Old Style / Facebook
Old Style has brewed its Oktoberfest at La Crosse's City Brewery in recent years, and soon all production will move to the facility.

Closer to Milwaukee, we have a few other odds and ends:

That should do it for the latest food-and-drink headlines from around the city (and state). We’ll be back with another roundup next Friday as Tarik and Ann plot their September return. In the meantime, subscribe to This Bites wherever you listen.