BROWN DEER, Wis. - Cooler weather will be a challenge for bars and restaurants trying to lure coronavirus-leery customers out. One small business, though, may have found a way to keep customers coming.
The music and drinks bring people back to pre-pandemic life, which is what Chelsea Hren was going for when she took a chance on an outdoor bar.
"It's a really nice way for the community to come together in a safe way," Hren said.
The Brickyard Oasis opened in Brown Deer on Sept. 3 at the end of a Wisconsin summer, but just in time to safely escape pandemic boredom.
"We feel good about it," said patron Nadia Vogt. "The rare times we do go out, we prefer being outside and being in a venue like this."
The Backyard Oasis
Like the music, the food options are always changing. The Brickyard Oasis partners with different food trucks.
"It's nice to have a bar right next to us because burgers and beer go well together," said Jamie Fries, manager of Milk Can Hamburgers & Frozen Custard. "We've definitely found people want to get out of the house and do something different."
The concept is beefing up business for the struggling service industry. With winter right around the corner, one has to wonder: How long will The Brickyard Oasis last?
Milk Can Hamburgers & Frozen Custard
"I had someone ask about heaters when I said I wouldn't be able to, they said we'll just dress warmer," Hren said. "Wisconsinites are tough."
Tough enough to raise a glass until Nov. 1, maybe even longer.
"If there are a couple of really nice Saturdays and Sundays in December or January, and we've got a reason to open, we definitely will," said Hren.
The small business is providing bargoers with a very cool oasis to grab another round at.
"We can tough it out. We're from Wisconsin. Put a hat on, put another layer on and support local," said Vogt.
Hren ordered some patio heaters back in May. They have been out of stock because so many bars and restaurants are preparing for winter.
Three heaters arrived Friday. As soon as she can put them together, they will be out there.