partners Ian Cliffe, left, and Keith Kucharski inside House
of Guinness, 354 W. Main St., in Waukesha. The pair teamed
up earlier this year with Ian Cliffe's wife, Ellie Martin
Cliffe, and his sister, Elizabeth Cliffe, to buy the
Spoto -Freeman Staff
- The House of Guinness has been part of the lives of Ian Cliffe
and his brother-in-law Keith Kucharski since it opened in 2000.
Irish band Kucharski plays in had its very first show at the
popular Main Street haunt, and Cliffe met his wife, and now
business partner, there.
the two men have teamed up with their wives, Elizabeth Cliffe and
Ellie Martin Cliffe, to keep the bar’s legacy going for future
partners recently toasted the new venture with a bit of Irish
whiskey and a lot of cheer at a grand opening attended by Waukesha
Mayor Shawn Reilly.
quartet purchased the bar in June and since then have been
boosting the mainstay’s Irish character, while working hard not
to change the things people have to come to love about the place.
hardest challenge in coming in here as new owners was trying to
maintain what the (bar) has become over the 17 years while giving it
a bit of new life,” Ian Cliffe said. “The first St. Paddy’s
Day this bar had is the first St. Paddy’s Day I was ever in a
they have changed little about the ambience of the bar — aside
from removing the stage that once sat at the front of the
establishment — the partners have introduced a few changes they
believe regulars, new and old, will enjoy.
are really pushing a beer program that is focused on Ireland,
England and Scotland,” Ian Cliffe said. “We have 22 taps, six
of them are focused on Wisconsin crafts, everything else is
bar will also be putting a greater focus on Irish whiskeys and a
select number of Scotches. And tothrow in a bit of a twist, it
will soon begin offering cocktails.
hope to be known for the best Irish coffee, and, you will get one
of the best Old Fashioneds here,” said Ian Cliffe, who cut his
teeth managing bars and restaurants in the Milwaukee area,
including Fink’s, a rustic watering hole that has dubbed itself
the “everyman’s cocktail bar.”
was previously the case, the bar won’t offer its own food, but
patrons can enjoy chips on the house, or order a frozen pizza if
they are so inclined.
the owners just want everyone to feel welcome.
want everyone to walk in the doors and feel at home,” Kucharski