For more than a decade, Turner Hall Ballroom has been a gem of a venue, hosting bands and events (like our own Local Coverage!) both big and small. And for more than a decade, the restaurant on the first floor of Turner Hall has been…well, kind of confusing. Often closed and gated off, the space has gone through numerous operators over the years, none of whom seemed able (or willing) to properly integrate it with its upstairs neighbor. All that should change, however, when veteran Milwaukee restauranteur Mike Eitel (Nomad World Pub, SportClub) takes over and reopens the restaurant on Wednesday, October 3. So long, oft-empty and unused space; hello, Tavern at Turner.

“Collaborating with the Pabst Theater Group to bring this space back to life is truly exciting for me personally,” Eitel says in a press release. “They’ve done such amazing things for this town by elevating the entertainment scene here and now we have the chance to help make Turner Hall something really special again. Soon, people will be able to once again catch a drink or even have dinner before or after a show in the ballroom upstairs or over at events at the new Forum. The timing was perfect and sitting right in the heart of the new entertainment district allows us to be part of the amazing revitalization happening in this area of downtown.”

Tavern at Turner will feature, well, tavern-esque favorites like burgers, entrée salads, appetizers, and “Chef Joshua Moore’s interpretation of the Friday fish fry.” (Heads up, Caleb.) There will also be an “eclectic array of global food items” on a separate late-night menu.

“Turner Hall Ballroom sat empty for decades until we hosted our first show on October 26, 2007,” says Gary Witt, CEO of the Pabst Theater Group. “But in our almost 11 years there, the experience for every show goer has always been incomplete without a food and beverage partner in that beautiful space. Well, good things DO come to those who wait. We are beyond excited to now work with Mike Eitel and the Caravan Hospitality Group team as it completes our show goers experience in a spectacular way with the Tavern at Turner!”

As for the space itself, the main dining room will be the “tavern” space, and will feature bar height tables, oodles of TVs, and a pool table. The adjoining Palm Garden will be an “open, airy space for special events and private parties that will feel a bit like a grand hotel lobby but also has dart boards, pool tables and shuffleboard for folks to hang out in when not booked for corporate events, receptions, or small intimate shows.” Finally, a “parlor” area will feature banquette seating and a “darker, more intimate vibe.”

Also, according to an earlier piece from OnMilwaukee:

Eitel hopes to plaster vintage Milwaukee rock and roll posters on the boards that will hide the murals as a tie-in to the dozens and dozens of concerts that take place in the ballroom upstairs at Turner Hall.

“I don’t want to be a rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame for Milwaukee or anything, but we’re going to try to find as many old posters from The Globe, The Unicorn, Century Century Hall, The Palms, Papagaio,” he says.

“Most people aren’t even going to recognize the bands or the venues, but I still think it’d be cool. And we’ll keep them updated as we go.”

In a word: finally. Check out the menu for Tavern at Turner below:

Tavern at Turner Menu
** Items available street style from 9pm-close

Fries- large boat of hot fresh fries seasoned with salt and pepper $4.00

**Loaded Fries:

Papi Pollo- Fresh hot French fries topped with our buttermilk marinated fried chicken, mayo, and our house hot sauces, Panamanian Chombo and Colombian Aji $7.00

** Miguelito style, add avocado, add a Cage-free over medium egg for $2.00

Doggie Fries- Latin American French fry and hot dog art, deep fried hot dogs and French fries, smothered with mayo and our Chombo hot sauce $7.00

Tavern Fries- Pulled pork, beer cheese sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, bleu cheese, scallions, chili peppers $8.00

**Panga Hot Fish- house spicy battered and fried Atlantic cod with tangy remoulade sauce $8.00

Ahi Tuna Crudo – cucumbers, seared ahi, orange slices, ponzu sauce, avocado, micro greens $14.00

**Red Pepper Hummus – grilled flatbreads, and fresh vegetables $6.00

**Cheese Plate – smoked Cheddar, Brie, Chipotle gouda, pears, grapes, crostini         $13.00

**Korean Popcorn Chicken – cilantro lime rice, tempura battered and fried, then tossed in a sweet n spicy Korean BBQ sauce $9.00

**Salmon Croquettes – lemon, Dijon, scallions, red peppers, garlic, herbs, capers, breaded and deep fried to a golden brown served over arugula and drizzled with citrus aioli $9.00

**Scotch Egg – hardboiled egg, angus beef, peppers, onions, garlic Served over arugula and drizzled with aioli $7.00

The Tailgater Platter (2-4 people) – Milwaukee Pretzel Company pretzel toasted, smothered with a local bratwurst, Nathan’s hotdog, fried chicken, beer cheese sauce, scallions, Dijon mustard $22.00

Double Tailgater (5-8 people) – double the amount of local bratwurst, Nathans hotdogs, and fried chicken!! $28.00

**Wings: $14.00/dozen– all wings served with celery and carrots, and choice of house made dipping sauces (buttermilk ranch, tamarind chutney, bleu cheese, spicy Thai chili)

Piri Piri Wings- fiery North African bird’s eye chili sauced wings

Tavern – Sweet with a slight kick

Buffalo- Zippy classic, vinegar, spice and a hint of sweetness

Lemon Parmesan Garlic- savory with a touch of citrus and parmesan


All burgers served on a Breadsmith Egg Bun, lettuce, tomato, and onion available upon request. Add cheese $1.00 add bacon $1.50

Nomad Burger- 1/3-pound patty, maple bacon jam, aged cheddar cheese, chombo aioli, lettuce, tomato with fries $12.00

Surfer Dude- 1/3-pound patty, caramelized onions, pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, avocado, tomato with fries $12.00

Eurotrash Burger- Impossible burger patty, aged cheddar, pickles, onions, with fries $12.00

The Double T- two 1/3-pound patties, aged cheddar cheese, American cheese, pickles, onions, bistro sauce with fries $14.00

The Tavern Bleu Burger- 1/3-pound patty, caramelized onions, bleu cheese, aioli, bacon, lettuce, tomato with fries $12.00

The Havana Burger- house patty of ground pork and beef, over easy egg, crispy fried shoestring potatoes, Nacional sauce with fries $9.00

Classic Tavern Burger- 1/3-pound patty, with fries $7.00


Cubano- Ciabatta, jalapeno mustard, ham, pulled pork, pickles, Swiss cheese with fries $9.00

Buttermilk Fried Chicken- Marinated chicken fried to a golden crisp, Chombo hot sauce, aioli, avocado with fries $9.00

**Bourbon BBQ Pulled Pork- Slow roasted pork shoulder with bourbon BBQ sauce, citrus slaw with fries $9.00

**Nathan’s Original- Nathan’s famous 100% all beef frank on a bun with fries $6.00

**Bratwurst- Local sausage from Buddy’s Meat Market in Bayview, sauerkraut, onions with fries $6.00

Banh Mi – bao buns, marinated chicken, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, scallions, cilantro, spicy Thai chili sauce, aioli $8.00

**Street Tacos

3 each on flour or corn tortillas, all served with lime wedges

Nopales – cactus salad, queso fresco, Nacional sauce, pico de gallo $8.00

Panga Hot Fish – house spicy battered cod, citrus slaw, queso fresco, chombo aioli, avocado $11.00

Carne Asada – marinated flank steak, queso fresco, pico de gallo, picked cilantro $12.00


Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cup $3.00 Bowl $5.00

Chili – angus beef, peppers, onions, jalapenos, poblanos, tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans

Cup $3.00   Bowl $5.00

Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and onions available upon request


Add:     Chicken $3 Shrimp $4  Steak $5  Salmon or Ahi Tuna $6

Spinach Salad – carrots, cucumbers, scallions, radishes, cilantro, orange segments, red onion, sesame ginger dressing and fried sesame sticks $7.00 half $3.00

Mediterranean Salad – chopped hearts of romaine, red onion, kalamata olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, scallions, fried spiced chickpeas, basil vinaigrette $8.00 half $4.00

Tavern Chop Salad – Mixed greens, ham, avocado, bacon, red onion, tomato, cucumber, carrots, bleu cheese, shredded cheddar, hardboiled egg, red wine vinaigrette $12.00 half $6.00

House Salad – Mixed greens, red onion, tomato, cucumber, sourdough croutons, honey Dijon vinaigrette $6.00 half $3.00

**Nalu Bowls:

Pork – cilantro lime rice, charred corn, seared pineapple, braised pork shoulder, onions, jalapenos, avocado, Nacional sauce, cilantro $10.00

Shrimp – tequila lime shrimp, cilantro lime rice, charred corn, seared pineapple, spiced black beans, jalapenos, Nacional sauce, pico de gallo, avocado $12.00

Veggie – roasted carrots, peppers, onions, summer squash, zucchini, nopales salad, cilantro lime rice, citrus vinaigrette, avocado $8.00


Pan seared Whitefish – potato pancakes, white wine, butter haricot verts, brown butter sauce $18.00

Chicken Linguine Pasta – lemon thyme cream sauce, zucchini, squash, asparagus, tomatoes, grilled chicken $14.00

Seared Ahi – balsamic marinated tomatoes, asparagus, garlic, shallots, herbs, scallions $16.00

Hand cut Ribeye – 12-ounce grilled ribeye, fries, dirty butter, asparagus $28.00

Go big and get the 16-ounce!! $34.00

Herb crusted Salmon – roasted fingerlings, haricot verts, beurre blanc $20.00

Milwaukee Mac – macaroni, seared brats, thick cut bacon, cheddar cheese, scallions, beer cheese sauce $ 12.00


Puff Puff Sundae – fried dough, tossed in cinnamon and sugar, topped with vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate sauce, strawberries, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry $7.00

Cake in a Jar – Chocolate cake, peanut butter cups, pretzels, Nutella, whipped cream, strawberries $7.00

Friday Fish Fry
Substitute potato pancakes for $1.00 more
Beer Battered Cod – french fries, rye bread, butter, lemon, citrus coleslaw, remoulade
Baked Cod – french fries, rye bread, butter, lemon, citrus coleslaw, remoulade $14.00
Fried Perch – french fries, rye bread, butter, lemon, citrus coleslaw, remoulade $13.00
Hotfish Battered Cod (spicy tempura battered) – french fries, rye bread, butter, lemon,
citrus coleslaw, remoulade $14.00

Saturday Night
Prime Rib Dinner – 10 ounce hand carved prime rib, au jus, roasted fingerling potatoes,
haricot verts $22.00