Fooleryís serves up

By Eric Oliver - Enterprise Staff

Jan. 22, 2015

 Bryant Johnson, the general manager of Fooleryís Liquid Therapy, is the man behind the highly successful bar. With over 30 years in the field, he knows how to adapt to a day gone awry.
Submitted photo

OCONOMOWOC ó Stop by Foolery ís Liquid Therapy any day of the summer and one is almost certain to find the patio packed with patrons, music blaring over the speakers and boats pulling up to the pier to get some good food and good times.

Foolery ís has embedded itself into the Oconomowoc community with its prime real estate on Okauchee Lake and it isnít going to stop anytime soon.

Bryant Johnson, general manager, is the man that makes it all work. Of course, he has a dedicated staff that he said are ďthe best employees that I have ever worked with, which makes my job much easier and a lot more fun.Ē But without him and his over 30 years of experience who knows how Fooleryís would be?

He spoke to the Enterprise about his day-to-day life and the ups and downs of the restaurant business.

ENTERPRISE: Being the general manager of Foolery ís has to be difficult. Whatís your average day like?

JOHNSON: Being responsible for day-to-day operations can be very tasking if not having a daily list of things that need to be accomplished. Having a schedule is the most important part of being a GM although most days you cannot get to everything planned because of things that arise on a daily basis that come up unannounced. I íve already stopped twice since I íve started answering these questions because of such things. So you take the things that did not get done and start the the next days tasks with them, and it goes on that way every day. You never get completely caught up but, always set your priorities first, meaning payroll is more important than calling a salesman on any given day.

ENTERPRISE: What is the most difficult time of year?

JOHNSON: The toughest time of year is always summer. Our deck seats (and stands) about 100 people, which doubles our occupancy. We have to have twice as many employees, twice as many customers and twice as many issues so my daily list gets longer. as does my day.

ENTERPRISE: What is the most difficult part of your day?

JOHNSON: There really isnít a most difficult time of my day if things go as planned, but in this business nothing EVER goes as planned and itís how you deal with these type of things that makes or breaks you. Being in the biz for 30 years helps a lot because I have went through almost everything imaginable.

ENTERPRISE: The most rewarding part?

JOHNSON: Making people happy and wanting to return. I basically put on a party every day.

ENTERPRISE: Why Foolery ís Liquid Therapy? What ís the story behind the name?

JOHNSON: Just a fun name that we thought of. The liquid therapy aspect comes from being on the water, which is relaxing, and having a cocktail makes you relax as well ... Liquid Therapy.

ENTERPRISE: What do you think the future holds for both you and Fooleryís

JOHNSON: We will keep doing the things that have us made us successful and will always be adding new and unique events that will keep us above the competition.

ENTERPRISE: It ís fairly easy to see that you íve cemented yourself into the landscape of Okauchee Lake. Why there? What made the lake so appealing?

JOHNSON: There is nothing more exciting than being on the lake. People come from near and far to be on the lake. Add great food and a great clean atmosphere with great service and fun events (and) where else would you want to be? Having Chef Jerry Garcia does not hurt either! He does all the tailgating tips during all the Brewers games so he has a great following and is one of the best chefs Iíve ever worked with.

ENTERPRISE: Do you have any memorable stories that you could share?

JOHNSON: My favorite stories are when we raise funds for benefits that we do for people who are in need, whether it be a cancer victim, house fire, automobile accident, or to benefit one of the local school programs. We are always donating to local charities, food shelters and volunteer programs. I also donate my time at local schools and programs as well.

For more information on Foolery ís Liquid Therapy, visit