New Bottoms Up tavern in South Milwaukee causing controversy

SOUTH MILWAUKEE -- Some people grow quite fond of their neighborhood tap, so when it changes hands, there can sometimes be growing pains. Such is the case in the city of South Milwaukee, where a bar that opened Sunday is clearly different from the business that used to occupy the space.

Bottoms Up South has opened its doors for business as of Sunday. The South Milwaukee bar replaces a neighborhood tavern. The new owners updated the interior and the concept - into what some call a racier place.

Management at the bar says it provides a higher-end concept with corner-bar prices, and say it adds jobs and brings revenue to the city. Critics question the concept of the business.

Jeff Nall says he and more than a dozen others believe the community deserves better. "We've got a great school district. We've got a great park, and I object to having this thing inside a residential area, where there's children and there's families," Nall said.

A full crowd packed inside the bar on Sunday, and in the center of the bar, is a pole. As written on the bar's Facebook page, the business boasts "some of Milwaukee's hottest staff, and don't be surprised if you see one of us hop on the bar and pull you up there with us!"

General Manager Sarah Murphy says bartenders, at times, pour drinks while standing on the bar as a gimmick. Murphy says the bar employes beautiful workers as part of that concept, and that's just business as usual. "It's an entertainment-based concept. We don't do anything any different from a bartender down Milwaukee Street. I don't think we objectify women. Both men and women get up on the bar and dance," Murphy said.

One of the aldermen overseeing the area said the owners had a good track record with law enforcement and good business success. He adds the tavern was presented as a sports bar, and didn't know any of the other specific concepts.