Nestled in the broiling bro-dom of North Avenue is Von Trier, a longtime East Side German-themed bar that boasts an agreeably dim, rustic, and foosball-less ambience. It’s the place you go when you’re too old for the Landmark, but too young to retire to Bay View; when you want to chat with your friends in a secluded outdoor patio, but also want to eat a shit-ton of free popcorn. Basically, it’s one of the best joints in the neighborhood. Oh, and they have food, too!
Another Von Trier highlight: that huge, antler-rific chandelier hanging in the adjoining dining room. Created by iconic Milwaukee iron worker Cyril Colnik, the so-called “Colnik chandelier” was originally commissioned by Captain Frederick Pabst, and hung in the historic Wisconsin Avenue Pabst Mansion for several decades. In the late 1970s, former Von Trier owner Karl Lotharius (the same former Von Trier owner who was murdered via bow and arrow) purchased the chandelier and installed it in his bar. There it hung, looming over thirsty Von Trier patrons in all its antler and wrought-iron glory, forevermore.
Until recently. Earlier this spring, current Von Trier owner John Sidoff decided to restore the famous piece (informally appraised at $100,000) and called in Cedarburg’s Heritage Lighting to do the job. Now, following months of cleaning and repairs, the chandelier is ready for its return: On Tuesday, June 9, the Colnik chandelier will be reinstalled in Von Trier’s dining room. Even better, a public unveiling and celebration will follow on Thursday, June 11, and will feature the tapping of a ceremonial keg of rare German beer, free beer from that keg, a German polka band, Spaten Beer Hall maidens, and $1 brats. The fun begins at 6 p.m.
So come on out, drink some free beer, eat some cheap brats, and gaze upon the newly restored centerpiece of one of the East Side’s best bars. Just don’t let all those antlers remind you of that scene from The Ring Two where a bunch of CGI deer attack the car. (We don’t know why we just thought of that, but we did.)