Lucky Joe’s Tiki Bar

21 Nov

Well, I am afraid I have to write a bit of a downer review on the new Lucky Joe’s Tiki bar. While it is a solid attempt at sort of kitschy drinking establishment, it falls a little short in my opinion.

On the pro side, if you want a place to stop for A drink before or after going out for dinner, it could be kind of fun. It’s kind of a quirky place with the whole Tiki theme going for it.

However, I don’t see staying for more than one drink. Their signature drinks are all quite sweet. Cloyingly so. The Zombie Joe certainly packs an alcoholic punch (in fact they say they will only serve one per customer) but trust me, that’s all anyone could drink given the sweet factor. I went with a group of friends from work and that assessment was pretty unanimous. I asked if they had wine. It was still in the basement. They told me they’d have a house red and white or wine would be available by the bottle. Clearly, this is very focussed drink menu.

Atmosphere-wise it is all about the Tiki bar. Obviously. Thatched roofs, little blowfish as lamps, Easter Island heads, and tiny plastic swords to spear your cherry and pineapple chunk in the drinks. I think the seating is pretty uncomfortable. The bench seats are quite shallow and the bar stools are, well bar stools. Again, another reason I would not envision hanging out all night there.

The music, however, is kind of eclectic, which was a pleasant surprise. The first song we heard was Barry Manilow’s Copacabana but that was followed by the Reverend Horton Heat then some punk rock band and then back to Bali Hai.

But, hey, give it a shot if you are in the mood for a little faux “island getaway” sometime in the dead of winter!

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2 Responses to “Lucky Joe’s Tiki Bar”

  1. AndrewJ November 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    This is a very weird review. And by weird, I mean terrible. Have you ever been to a tiki bar? I kind of think so, because you mentioned all the things you should expect to find in one; which Lucky Joe’s has in spades. Yet somehow you bashed the place and labeled it a disappointment. Why? Because you didn’t get wine? Forget the fact that the place just opened a little over a week ago and may have some growing pains at the moment, but it’s not a wine bar. This leads me to believe you’re the person who goes into a neighborhood corner bar and orders a flying mint grasshopper topped with flaming 25 year old cognac, and then gets upset when you find out they don’t have a blender, ice cream, or King Louis the VIII.

    Try assessing the bar using specific criteria that fits what the establishment is looking to accomplish (hint: Use this technique for future posts. You don’t want to review a steakhouse with the same criteria as a vegan joint).

    Lucky Joe’s is Tiki to perfection. Thatched roofs, bamboo scaffolding, Easter Island heads, puffer fish light fixtures, and eclectic music take you on a faux island getaway without leaving Walkers Point. The cocktails are tiki-tastic. Sweet, fruity, but serious concoctions. Exactly what you’d expect from a tiki bar. If you’re sitting on an island under a hut listening to the sounds of the ocean and want to sip a Miller Lite… your prerogative, but also your mistake. This place accomplishes everything they set out to accomplish, and with a level of detail Milwaukee has never seen before. Congrats to the owners for trying something different, and absolutely knocking it out of the park.

    • shrimp99 November 26, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

      Thank you for your opinion. Everyone is entitled to one!

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