Following what’s been a summer of speculation, rumors, assumptions, and an overriding sense of uncertainty, The Hotel Foster will be closing Saturday, August 13. Wednesday evening, longtime Foster bartender Kimberly Nienas posted a status on Facebook that read:
“It’s with a heavy heart I have to let everyone know Hotel Foster will be closing its doors after this Saturday.”
Owner Doug Williams confirmed in a text message, saying, “Yes, Saturday is the last night. However, we will be reopening for one night only for Lex Allen’s show.” That show is scheduled for Thursday, August 18.
Opened in 2011, the bar specialized in craft beer, specialty cocktails, and served as one of the few live music venues on or around Milwaukee’s North Ave. Following the abrupt closing of nearby Yield in late May, rumors circulated that 2028 E. North Ave. (home to The Hotel Foster) would be the new Yield location, even as early as July. Yield owners eventually told us they were setting their sights on new properties. Foster’s uncertain status, coupled with the departure of other neighborhood staples like Red Dot and Nick’s House (formerly Y-Not III) took a toll on the bar.
On a personal note, the first meeting for what would become Milwaukee Record took place at The Hotel Foster. Goodbye, Hotel Foster. The East Side, and Milwaukee, will miss you.