Von Trier eyes reinvention amid changing East Side

Freeman Staff

August 16, 2017

MILWAUKEE - For nearly four decades, the corner of North Avenue and Farwell has been the home of the German-centric bar Von Trier. In early 2018, Von Trier will undergo major renovations to better serve the evolving East Side neighborhood and reopen as an upscale, classic cocktail lounge with a mid-century vibe.

Prior to 1978, when German-born Karl Lotharius first purchased the bar and transformed it into a German-inspired pub, the Von Trier location was home to Rieder's, a high-end, East Side institution. Current Von Trier owners John and Cindy Sidoff are looking to once again reinvent the site with a nod to the bar's mid-century roots.

"The North Avenue neighborhood has been going through a period of change for the last five years," John Sidoff said. "While our original intent was to maintain Von Trier through retirement, the reality is, despite discussions with many Milwaukee bar/restaurant owners, there is little interest in taking over the bar and continuing the tradition.

"This new evolution of the bar will better support the evolving clientele and businesses of the North Avenue district."

Von Trier will remain open through the holiday season, showcasing its popular Christmas Village one last time. Von Trier will host an online auction with Gerlach Auctions listing the bar's collection of memorabilia, including authentic beer steins, one-of-a-kind wood carvings and the historic Colnik chandelier.

For more information on the Von Trier auction, visit www.vontriers.com.