Palm Tavern


26 Reviews
Palm TavernPalm Tavern

Type: Bar

2989 S Kinnickinnic Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53207-2518
United States

(414) 744-0393 | map

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 52
Photo of curbmusic
4.86/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I read about this place on Draft Magazine's "top 100 beer bars in America list" for the last 2 years so I finally got a chance to check it out. Its in the "hippest" area of Milwaukee but it is a sincerely cool neighborhood. F**KING GREAT. Awesome dark decor. Especially cool was the framed Joe McPhee LP on the wall. Very solid selection, good mix of locals, regionals, nationals & internationals. Well curated. It was cool to try Abraxas on tap. The highlight for me though was Bruno, who I believe is the proprietor. He played awesome music, mostly reggae & Afro-beat. He was a total blast, great conversation about beer, music & his history. I really like the fact that the Palm is over 10 years old, so it predates the current trendiness of the craft beer bar scene meaning that it was cool before such a thing was cool. I highly recommend this place & I can't wait to return.

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Photo of prpromin
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Not sure what more can be said about Palm Tavern. It is far and away my favorite Milwaukee bar - but that has as much to do with the bartenders as it does the selection.

Palm is a small place with 25 taps. No TVs, but always eclectic music playing. The taps are all quality and include a selection of beers that should appeal to most drinkers. Dan and John are incredible, attentive bartenders who go out of their way to make sure that guests find what they're looking for. Not sure about something? They'll happily pour you a sample. Prices are good, and totally fair for the area. If beer isn't your thing, they have a huge selection of scotch and whiskey.

Seriously, check this place out.

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Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Atmosphere - This is a small dark bar that is designed for quietly enjoying a good beer, not dancing to house music in a club

Quality - The beer is fresh and served in the proper glassware and the bar is clean

Service - The bartenders are knowledgeable and willing to go over the beers available and really seem to have a passion for craft beer

Selection - The selection is fantastic with some of the best offerings in WI. Such greats have included: The Bruery - Humulus Lager, 3Floyd's Zombie Dust, Founders Breakfast Stout... The list goes on

Overall - Just a great little beer bar that is perfect for kicking back and enjoy a quality beer served up by a knowledgeable staff

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Photo of joe1510
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

The Palm is more my speed. If you don't know exactly where you're going this place is easy to miss so keep an eye open. A cozy little spot with polished brass and row upon row of whiskey. The taplist has been excellent on every visit and you couldn't ask for nicer bartenders. Every draft is kept up to date on the chalkboard at the end of the bar with no shortage of quality suds to choose from.

The small, homey, comfortable quarters make The Palm a place you could easily spends a few hours on a bar stool talking the day away with friends and locals while putting away great beer with the occasional whiskey pour mixed in here and there. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mobius387
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

One of the best places in milwaukee to grab some select craft brew. Their draft list and bottle list can rival some of the biggest bars and brew pubs in the city. And every once in awhile they get some rare stuff that no one else has (CBS on tap in Oct of this year).

Atmosphere is a little on the hip side. Not exactly a high energy bar, but I like the artsy touch to it.

NOT a place to grab a brew and watch a sports game. But who cares when you are drinking some of the best beer the city has to offer.

Definitely one of the hidden gems of the city.

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Photo of Mscarpen
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Located in the hipster/bedroom community of Bay View, The Palm Tavern is a special find. From the outside, it appears a bit scary, with a door and a single window of construction glass. Only a small neon light, behind the glass, is any indication this is a bar. Actually, from the outside, it looks like someone's two story blue-collar home.

Although related to the more mainstream "Sugar Maple", the Palm keeps a low profile with no listings on Twitter or Facebook. Not even a website. I once told the bartender, you would never know this was this nice on the inside. I was told, "only people who want to be here, find their way here. No one walks in by accident and we like it that way."

The comparison is quite striking once you walk in. Small bar, polished brass, and a spectacle of liquor and fine beers from around the world. There's always something special there.. including some unannounced, unpublicized CBS just last week.

If you have a beer or two and chat up the barkeep, he/she is often willing to go into the cooler and find something special you might like. This place is all about relationships... so tip heavy and see if you can get access to some of the rarer treats in the back.

Great place all-around. Try to stop by if you are in the area.

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Photo of bound4er
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is a belly-up type tavern that does its main job very well and that is serve good beer (and spirits if you are into that). Move along if you you want chique and hip.

Their tap list isn't very long but it is of high quality. Had a glass of Founders CBS followed by a glass of FFF Dreadnaught. Doesn't get much better than that. Quality was top notch - fresh beer with nearly spotless glassware. Service was friendly and prompt. I also got to chat with the owner for awhile too, which was cool.

For kicking back in an unpretentious atmosphere while enjoying good beer, this place is hard to beat.

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Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Must stop for beer geeks, in word unique selection. Not many taps, but a few amazing ones such as two struisse IPAs. A great bottle list, with the expensive ones from the stores at decent prices/fair markups, and other expensive imports. Very dark, hard to see at all. Very knowledgeable bartender. Neighbourhood dive atmosphere. i wouldn't let my wife walk around the streets here. Smallish place and everyone more or less to themselves. Would check this place amnd the Sugar Maple regularly for your Belgium one-offs, double IPAs. They are near each other.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Yet another stop on our bar hopping night. Not much to look at on the outside, but one you are in, it is a small but cozy looking bar with plenty to choose from on tap.
What was really cool is the wide selection of whiskies they have behind the bar; this would be a place I could see going to and have a cigar while sampling a few different spirits, though we were there for beer!
Really a solid tap selection of local, midwest, and imports to choose from. We grabbed a high table by the door and enjoyed sipping on our beverage of choice. A cool little place I would definitely go to again

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Photo of dirtylou
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Oh Milwaukee. You tricked the world into thinking you were a rusty excuse for a city while all the while hiding this gem of a neighborhood, Bayview.

As you head south away from this bland city center on the abysmal Water Street, a whole new world opens up when you hit Kinnickinnic. By the time you hit the center of Bayview, you are surrounded by beer bars, coffee shops, and some of the finer neighborhood restaurants in the city.

my most recent visit (finally) brought me through The Palm. I've frequented Sugar Maple in the past, but actually much preferred its quiet sister-bar the Palm. The tap selection leans belgian and has a lot of great options.

The location is non-descript - i passed it by accident and the exterior bears no real advertisements.

The bar is very small, dark, and loaded with quality decor. The ambience is really conducive to conversation. I had the Cuvee Jacobins Flemish Sour and a Green Flash/Feullien collaboration. My lovely Milwaukee enthusiast enjoyed a Saison Dupont and Unibroue Terrible.

Service was great and the bar was very quiet between 6-7:30 on a nice Friday afternoon. The Palm is great, but I won't soon be spreading that news. I like it just the way it is.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I used to have a different perspective on Milwaukee. I had spent some time in the downtown area, but never the Bay View district. After a recent trip through the Bay View district, my view is totally changed. Our first stop was Romans Pub up the road, and that place is fantastic. Next we stopped here after a long conversation with my buddy about whiskey. They have whiskey. They have a vast selection of whiskey from every region of the world. Some really nice higher end stuff, but mostly just a broad range of middle of the road whiskey.

Their beer selection was right on par with the whiskey. Like mentioned before, about 25 taps ranging from Belgian to local favorites and Midwest hits.

It's a smaller bar. If you have a large group, you may want to call ahead, I'm not sure of their policy on this. It's a darker place (like alot of bars I've noticed in the Bayview District). The crowd is young and hip. Fun, discerning atmosphere.

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Photo of crossovert
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Nice hole in the wall that probably has the capacity for about 50 people max.

It has probably the coziest atmosphere of any restuarant/bar I've ever been to. It has 25 taps, mostly Belgian oriented with a few IPAs an stouts. They also offer samplers. I got Cuvee de Jacobins, Rouge, Broukot Vlaskapelle, Jolly Pumkin Maracaibo Especial, and Nebreaska IPA.

The taps were set at a great temperature, probably around 55 degrees which seemed just about perfect foe all the beers they had.

The bartender is super knowledgeable and friendly, by far the best I have come across. He knew everything about the beer including the rare Bockor and Cuvee des Jacobins, which happened to be his favorites on tap at the time, everything down to different brews each of the breweries produced and how they were produced and through which importing and distribution channels they came. He also was giddy about the Rodenbach Grand Cru that they were getting on tap the next weekend.

What a great stop in Milwaukee.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Spent an evening here with BeerFMAndy and realized I've never actually reviewed the place.

Ridiculously non descript from the outside. Thia place is next to impossible to spot from the road. I strongly suggest going with someone who's been there before if you've never been. Once inside you find a vampire dark rather small room. Wood bar and stools take up most of the entire space. It's almost too dark for my taste. Cool jazz was playing while we were there which is nice but I not a huge fan of music while I'm concentrating on craft beer.

The selection is pretty well displayed on the chalk board with a bottle list on the bar as well. Not that you can read it without using your cell phone for light. Lots of great taps along with some rare bottles make up a fantastic beer list.

The bartender although quiet got right to work when I asked for a couple beers. He even offered me a water while I waited for Andy to finish his beer. Points scored in my book.

Overall a nice place to grab some solid craft choices. Although a bit dark and low key for my taste.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

If I wasn't following someone here, I would have never found it. Minimal signage to this bar is actually quite intriguing. Beerwolf77 and I made our way there the other night for the special tapping of Duvel Green so we could review it like the tickers we are.

We got inside this dive-like place. It was just as dark as the night we came in from, in fact probably darker because of the lit street. Lucky us there was a spot at the end of the bar for us both. Maybe the lack of light hides the imperfections of the dive, but either way, it had a sort of draw to it.

It was a small, small location with minimal room and I could see it being packed beyond belief on a Friday night. I immediately went to the bathroom which was a whole five feet (ish) away from the bar. No sink inside, rather, it was communal one outside between the bathrooms. In Todd's words, "they put your business out on the street so people can say, 'don't shake hands with that guy!' when he skips the last part of the process." Kind of awkward.

I didn't have a chance to really look over the list of things they had to offer since I was ordered for while relieving myself, but I saw their massive selection hiding in the fridge behind the bar and on the tap handles in front of me. Very, very nice selection of Belgian craft!

The service was nice and the bar tender clearly knew exactly what he was doing as he poured which is always nice to see! He wasn't all that friendly as I can't really recall talking to him at ALL but I'm ok with that when I've got a good beer in front of me and a good friend next to me. The beer was freshly tapped at 9 pm and absolutely delicious.

I'd definitely make my way back there again for a special tapping of something, but as a go-to bar, it's a little far out of the way for me and I appreciate Romans' atmosphere a lot more.

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Photo of vkrazzy
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

This is another diamond in the ruff in Milwaukee. The owners of Sugar Maple also own The Palm Tavern. So as you can expect this place is for the beer lover.

The atmosphere is that of a small time bar pretty much on any corner in Milwaukee and the surrounding area. Which isn't a bad thing, but this is a small bar, with limited seating, but a great place non the less.

Quality and selection is exceptional and I would say they probably have the best Belgian and Belgian-style list in town hands down. Since the owner also owns the Sugar Maple this is kind of the offset, this bar has all imported micros where as the Sugar maple has all continental us micro brews.
Service is hit or miss, I've been in there when the bartenders know there stuff and when as one reviewer stated "he give you a answer kind of like it tastes like guniness" so it just seems to depend on what day of the week and what bartender.

** For value I gave it a bit pricey and here is why. I personally think this bar is right on tap with what they charge, Personally if your into micro brews than you know what your going to pay up front at a place like this, but most people (especially in Milwaukee) are used to the paying for Miller Lite, and the stuff that you get down on Milwaukee's Water St. DON'T LET THAT DISCOURGE YOU!! Trust me this is one place that you want to stop into and have a few.

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Photo of mynie
3.63/5  rDev -15.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This little hole in the wall is as close to being a literal hole in the wall as a bar can get. The ambience is friendly, quiet, and brickish. Very honest feeling place. No pretensions towards being fashionable or stylish which, paradoxically, leads to the place feeling very fashionable and stylish. It was like I was in a dream sequence wherein I was sitting at some old-timey bar. It was like the bars in Tex Avery cartoons. All the colors were rich like pain. The din of the crowd sounded real but it also didn't.

Bartender was just a kid and he didn't really know very much about the beers he was pouring. He gave out the standard lines that are sometimes inane ("this one tastes like Guinness") and sometimes meaningless ("This ones got a real malty flavor to it"). Still, he was nice.

The tap selection wasn't all that impressive, especially when compared to Roman's right down the street. Don't get wrong; it's totally solid. But a lack of rare beers and one offs really takes thing down a notch. (Which is to say, this may be a very good beer bar but it's not quite the world class beer bar that's worth traveling to).

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Photo of jwhooper
5/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The Palm Tavern is the best bar in Milwaukee and well worth the visit. The drink selection is exceptional and unparalleled. The staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. The owners, Bruno and Adrienne, are wonderful people who sincerely appreciate quality beer and spirits and strive to foster a distinct and comfortable environment in which to enjoy them. The music is top notch, leaning toward classic soul, jazz and brazilian. The Palm is dark, warm, cozy and smoke-free. It doesn't get any better than this.

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Photo of Flyer
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Not sure why I haven’t rated the Palm Tavern before, since it’s probably Milwaukee’s second best beer bar (after Romans’). They probably have the best Belgian and Belgian-style list in town. The atmosphere is unpretentious and friendly in a slightly rough-edged way. It’s also almost too dark inside. (I have reading glasses, but even wearing them, I sometimes have to hold a candle next to the menu to read it!) The staff is generally pretty knowledgable, and happy to talk about beer or offer samples. Now that Bruno is planning on opening a second bar down the road, Bay View may well be the best neighborhood for good beer in America -- only Greenwich Village can compete.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Cruised to Milwaukee with Nchrist and Golden2wenty1 for brews at Palm Tavern and Roman’s.

Palm Tavern was very pleasing as expected. Great selection of Belgian beers.

Taps: Radeberger Pils, Grimbergen 2x, Konigshoeven 4x, Piraat, Kwak, Anchor Steam, Beels 2 Hearted, Blanche de Chambly, Ephemere, Lenny’s RIPA, Kasteel 3x, Pere Jacques, Lindeman’s Pomme and Framboise.

Bottles: Several hundred, mostly Belgians. Very good variety. Several that I’ve not tried, some that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Prices: About what one would expect to pay in Chicago at the Map Room or Hop Leaf. A touch higher then we are used to in Madison, but the Wednesday/Sunday special ($3 off and big bottle of Belgian) makes up for that.

Service: Prompt, reserved but seemed to be knowledgeable about beer.

Atmosphere: Dull. The bar is one small room on the ground floor of a small house. You wouldn’t find this place if you weren’t looking for it. The walls are painted dark and a few intimate tables line them. Lighting is good but otherwise there isn’t much of anything interesting going on here…unless you count the menu and walls of whiskey. I must admit that just reading the lengthy beer menu over and over again is quite entertaining and looking at the hundred plus bottles of scotch is pretty fun too.

I'll be a regular customer here in the future.

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Photo of ronhocker
4.46/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Small beer bar specializing in Belgians, many of which I believe are not legally distributed in Wisconsin. It is the only bar in all of Milwaukee which does not serve any Miller products. I believe they have 14 taps, with around half being of Belgian origin. Large bottle list, which is why I usually show up, to try beers I can't find elsewhere in the state.

"For a bar that sells $30 bottles of beer, there is one major flaw in my opinion. Everytime I have visited, I think I'm ok, but just after taking the first drink of that cantillion lambic, 3 people light up cigarettes around me, and the night is over. I've spoken with the management and I was told they are "always considering going smoke free" but that could just be the party line."

Overall a great place, I probably attend twice a year but would frequent twice a month if the smoking problem was fixed (which may be forced upon them by the state legislature soon anyway).

Update 3/13/08 - The Palm Tavern is now smoke free despite the lack of legislative action and the WI Tavern League trying to scare all the bar owners, so my comments above no longer apply! I'm updating the atmosphere/vibe score.

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Photo of emerge077
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stepping into the Palm, you notice the eclectic music, dark warm colors, and a row of equally eclectic taps. It's a cozy and inviting space.

We were greeted at the bar and promptly handed bottle lists, which was nice. After ordering a round and having the first bottle practically explode like a science-fair volcano, a second bottle was offered and poured in tandem. This was exemplary service, and wowed me.

The selection is deep and eclectic. Many Belgians (a whole page devoted to Lambics & Gueuze), also well-rounded German & English options, and American craft rarities. Bottle list is actually several bound pages, large type, organized by region/styles/bottle size (Belgian 750's on the front). Once or twice a week it's $3 off these bad boys.

A must-stop in the Bayview area. Smoke-free as of March 4th, 2008.
Also worth a mention, Classic Slice Pizza located nearby at 2797 S KK.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This was a place where a couple of adages applied: “Looks can be deceptive” and “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. With the exception of the neon sign in the window, this looked like a fortified World War II bunker from outside. As I stepped through the doorway, I thought that I had somehow been transported to the set of Blue Velvet – dark, ringed with tables and chairs; the polished dark wood, black bakelite, and diamond deck bar was at a left oblique from the door. The back bar featured corrugated copper folded to look like a curtain and topped with a metallic pineapple. They had a pressed-tin ceiling and small, white candles burning on the bar. The music was all early (pre-Beatles) ‘60’s. Beautiful.

Of the twelve taps, seven were Belgian and zero was BMC! Anchor Steam and Bell’s were the only American micros, plus they offered two Unibroue and Trumer Pils. What about bottles, you ask? How about seven pages of 12-point type divided by “American Bottled Beers”, “European Bottled Beers”, “Belgian Bottled Beers”, “True Trappist Belgian Beers”, and “BIG Bottled Beers”.

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Photo of p86fan
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This is my favorite bar in Milwaukee as well. The atmosphere is perfect for throwing back a few quality beers. This place has an amazing selection. The bartender told me they have about 250 bottled ones and usually about 10 on tap. The service is excellent as well. Just about every bartender there has sufficient beer knowledge and the owner is almost always present. The prices are about right, bordering on the expensive side. With that being my only complaint, I highly recommend this discreet tavern nestled in Bay View.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.95/5  rDev -31.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I was there on a Thursday, and I had only one beer. It was from a Belgian brewery (the brewery was on the board but the specific beer was not) and tasted old and turned my teeth purple (not normal I don't think). I've heard a lot about this place, and plan on giving it a second chance, but I was not terribly impressed with the half hour I spent there. The draft selection was about 8 quality beers, and the bottle selection was huge, but I wasn't impressed by the beer I drank, which is likely coloring this review. There was a young man (maybe 23-years old) behind the bar who did not seem tremendously beer savvy, the place seemed smokey, and the music was pretty-loud for a beer focused place. Nonetheless, I'm likely to return to this spot. My good-beer-drinking friends have a certain affinity for it, it is close to Mike Roman's Pub, and I'm willing to admit that it (and I) might have been having an off night that night.

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Photo of jimischenk
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

The Palm Tavern is my home away from home. It's the perfect place for anyone who likes relaxed atmospheres, friendly people, and most importantly - excellent beer. The Palm houses an amazing selection of beers from across the globe in every style imaginable. In addition to 12 taps (approximately half devoted to Belgian beers), they carry bottles of nearly every beer available to them by law in Wisconsin and a few that are not!

Bruno, the bar's proprietor, is avid beer lover who constantly tries to provide only the best. The Palm has the unique distinction to be the only bar in Wisconsin which carries the very tasty BFM La Meule while being the only the bar in Milwaukee not to have any Miller.

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Palm Tavern in Milwaukee, WI
4.29 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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