Alderman Matt Rosek
thinks the backyard of the Oconomowoc Community Center
would be an excellent spot for a beer garden or food
OCONOMOWOC — Both rotating and permanent beer gardens
are sprouting up throughout Waukesha County and some
city officials have expressed interest in helping that
craze spread to Oconomowoc.
Waukesha County is partnering with Raised Grain Brewing
Company throughout the summer to bring a rotating beer
garden to three county parks and the city of Waukesha
will hold a beer garden during several August dates. In
addition, the village of Hartland has brought a beer
garden to its Nixon Park by working with a local
While each of these beer gardens operate, the city of
Oconomowoc will take note. Its Parks, Recreation &
Forestry Director John Kelliher said his department will
reach out to some of his colleagues in the county who
operate these gardens to get a better grasp on whether a
fixed or moving beer garden would work in city parks.
There is also the chance that the city will opt to not
have a beer garden.
Alderman Matt Rosek has been supportive of placing a
beer garden behind the Oconomowoc Community Center, a
green space he said is both gorgeous and underutilized
during the week.
Rosek said the space is “probably one of the coolest
spaces in the area bar none.”
can’t believe that it’s not being used.”
Cord Miller and
Danielle Schrieter watch as dogs Easton and Bauer cool
off on the shore of Fowler Lake at the Village Green
Park during a balmy late Tuesday morning. The Village
Green is one of several places where the city could
create a beer garden should it decide to go that route.
Rosek said the city wouldn’t have to stop at a beer
garden — a few food carts, he reasoned, could be quite
popular at the spot.
facilities the community center already has would
enhance the offering of a beer garden or food cart,
Rosek believes. He likes the overhang the center
provides and said the restrooms are underutilized both
during the week and during weekends when the area is
closed for weddings.
said the food carts and beer garden could complement
each other and make the community center more vibrant.
vendor already sells food and refreshments at the
community center’s neighbor, City Beach. Kelliher said
that detail must be taken into account when considering
a beer garden behind the community center.
Kelliher also spoke to the lack of weekend availability
at the location. He said space behind the community
center has been booked for a wedding reception or
another event every Saturday between mid-April to
mid-October for the last two years.
Village Green Park
and its available space is one of several city-owned
spots that could accommodate a possible beer garden.
city would have to determine how to make all these
Alderman Lou Kowieski thinks a beer garden, food cart
hub or something similar would work, but he doesn’t
think the space behind the community center is the best
choice. He said he’d prefer to use the green space to
the west of the boat launch off to the side of the
community center for such business.
said the public launch is a place that the council has
discussed upgrading in the past.
you upgrade the launch, maybe put in a small structure
that could accommodate a beer garden or something else
that could draw people to that area,” Kowieski said.
said the Rhodee Memorial Band Shell at 324 W. Wisconsin
Ave. is close enough that the concerts and other events
that are held there now would mix well with the stands
at the green space.
Kelliher, Mayor Dave Nold said the city would have to
look at its options to decide what location might be
best for a beer garden in Oconomowoc. Nold citing
Roosevelt Park — which Rosek also alluded to for a beer
garden — and Village Green Park as possibilities.
also said the city must make sure a beer garden would
not negatively impact downtown businesses.