There’s currently no shortage of bars in and around Milwaukee that could use your help more than ever right now. While we definitely encourage you to support those establishments if you’re able to, we also wanted to draw your attention to a New York City bar with a strong Wisconsin connection that’s also in desperate need of assistance at the moment.

Opened in 1950, Kettle Of Fish has been a Greenwich Village staple for more than 70 years. Through the decades, the bar moved twice and its identity changed. Once a hangout for writers, musicians, and artists, the bar’s most recent and most notable classification is New York’s best-known Green Bay Packers bar. For years, it’s been a place where Wisconsin ex-pats, tourists, and locals who just love quality football can gather to watch the Packers (as well as the Brewers, Bucks, and Badgers) while enjoying Wisconsin beer, brats, and a displaced sense of Midwestern camaraderie. We love it.

Sadly, this beloved Manhattan haunt isn’t immune to financial troubles caused by COVID-19 (along with rising rent in New York). With Kettle Of Fish in sudden danger of closing its doors forever, owners are now asking customers and Packer Backers who are hoping to one day pay the bar a visit to help pitch in to keep the bar open. This week, Kettle Of Fish launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $100,000. At the time this article was written, the campaign had raised just over $10,000. Here’s the fundraiser’s description:

Like many small neighborhood bars in New York City, we have been closed for over 3 months due to the COVID 19 pandemic. With full reopening still to come at a very limited capacity, we are asking for your support as we navigate this uncertain future and try to keep our doors open.

Established in 1950, the Kettle of Fish has a literary history as being the local watering hole for Beat writers including Jack Kerouac, musicians including Bob Dylan, and eclectic Greenwich Village artists and bohemians. Originally opened on MacDougal Street, the Kettle moved twice and just celebrated its 70th birthday on June 8th, with 21 years in the heart of Greenwich Village at 59 Christopher Street.

Kettle of Fish is also a globally known destination bar for visitors to watch Green Bay Packers football games, so much so that Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers paid an off-season visit in 2019, and previously other Packer greats such as Jerry Kramer, John Brockington, and Dave Robinson have stopped by for games, camaraderie, and meet-and-greets. With boisterous group singing, Usinger’s brats, and a group of passionate gameday regulars, it’s a unique experience.

Whether you are looking for a place to grab a pint and read on an afternoon, meet up with friends for a few after a long week, or just Wisconsin sports fans watching the Badgers, Brewers, or Bucks (oh my!), all are welcome at the Kettle of Fish. The cultural significance of the Kettle of Fish in this historic district, and on this street in particular, exemplifies New York City’s dedication to diversity in all forms. With iconic Greenwich Village institutions in danger of disappearing due to this pandemic, we ask our fans, friends and community to help keep us here for years to come!

It’s impossible to say when (or even if) things will return to “normal,” and we’d wholeheartedly discourage you from flying to New York at the moment. But having spent a day shooting darts and drinking pints of Central Waters Ouisconsing in the Greenwich Village bar, we sincerely hope Kettle Of Fish gets the help it needs so others can continue to enjoy this little piece of Wisconsin in The Big Apple for decades to come.

About The Author

Tyler Maas
Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.

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