Friday, November 15, 2013

Foundation Tiki Bar – Milwaukee, WI

When D.Rough and I are out of town for roller derby trips, I try to find the local tiki bar in the area and bring a handful of fun people there to drink fruity cocktails. I had done some research before we left and found out Milwaukee has two such tiki bars. I had considerable luck with the scheduling of the perfect double date night the previous night, so I think my crew was willing to give me the benefit of the doubt for this one. It pays to do your travel research ahead of time. D.Rough, CorpseKitten, TheLatvian, LooseChange, PopeJim, and I headed to Foundation.

As we drove up again, D.Rough asked, “Is every bar in Milwaukee in someone’s house?” (The previous night’s bar looked like it was someone’s house, as well.) Foundation looks pretty unassuming from the outside, but thankfully, there were strings of lights hung from the front of the building announcing it was a step above a residential house.

The inside is incredibly dark – not just dim, DARK. There are a couple of bare outdoor bulbs hung on the ceiling and some candles on the tables, so you’re starting to see (well, NOT see, as the case may be). After your eyes adjust, it’s pretty awesome inside. Surfboard on the ceiling, tiki masks on the walls, lots of bamboo and fun decorations. It’s pretty small inside with maybe 10 tables of varying sizes, and of course there’s bar seating.

There are two guys in Hawaiian shirts working the bar who were super friendly and helpful if you have questions. Basically, you read the menu you should grab from the bar before seating yourself, and that will explain everything. There aren’t any servers, so once you decide on the drink you want, just go to the bar and tell the bartender and you can pay or start a tab – I recommend starting a tab. Many of the drinks include the touristy tiki cup in the price, but surprisingly, it still isn’t what I would consider pricey. And don’t forget on the back of the menu is where you will find the volcano drink that’s on fire.(We forgot to look at the back of the menu until after we had ordered our first round of drinks.)

Foundation also serves bar frozen pizza, but I didn’t see anyone eating those this evening. But otherwise, there isn’t any food here. Make sure you eat ahead of time, or these mostly-rum drinks will not treat you well.

Foundation is a really fun bar, even if I hadn’t been there with five of my favorite people. But, it always helps having some fun people to swap stories with and sample everyone’s drinks. As is par for the course for most derby weekends, we rolled out of there close to bar close. We were tempted to hit up the hookah bar across the street, but we weren’t sure if they were also required to close at bar close, even though they don’t serve drinks. It really didn’t matter, we were all dragging by that point. It was sleeping time.

I will for sure go back to Foundation and have a couple more fruity drinks. I wouldn’t bring an entire roller derby team, but I think a small group would have a great time here. I plan to do that when we head back to Milwaukee next May for the Midwest Brew Ha Ha roller derby tournament.

No Top 5, but there’s no downside to this place anyway. Everything is in the top portion of the Top 5.

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