Whiskey price

Whiskey Haze offers whiskey, cocktails and a menu to discover

Finding a place to drink in Milwaukee isn’t much of a challenge thanks to an ever-growing list of watering holes, from local beer bars and taverns to sports bars and cozy dives. Whiskey bars, on the other hand, are rarer, especially on the West Side.

But all that is about to change thanks to Whiskey Haze, a new whiskey bar and restaurant at 5513 W. North Ave. which should appeal to seasoned whiskey lovers as well as the whiskey curious.


Christine McRoberts, who also operates McBob just down the block, is the owner of the new Uptown spot; but she says the idea was the serendipitous result of a series of conversations with chef Frank Harroun, an industry veteran whose resume includes spots like Pastiche, Meritage, The Noble and – more recently – Lucky Joe’s Tosa.

“If you look at the best whiskey bars across the country,” says Harroun, “these are places where the caliber of the food matches the caliber of the whiskey. What we wanted here was one of those unexpected places you just stumble into… and it turns out to be a really amazing place.

Harroun’s idea prompted McRoberts to contact Kevin Murphy, a bar industry veteran who ran the bar program at Jackson’s Grille for nearly a decade.

“She came to me with a concept that I was really interested in,” Murphy said, noting that he was excited about the prospect of taking something he was already interested in to the next level. “And we spent time on the Bourbon Trail, talking to master distillers and gathering the knowledge to really create a real whiskey bar.”

The result? A cozy, rustic-chic space with an 80+ bottle (and growing) whiskey collection, an adorable mural of Harroun’s hat-wearing dog, Boris, painted by local artist Clive Promhows, and a menu of good food executed that are as delicious on their own as they are accompanied by a glass of bourbon, rye or scotch.

Boris frescoX

And just in case you can’t get enough of Boris, a series of portraits by local photographer Megan Moran are being selected, framed and hung on the newly painted gray walls.

“I loved the concept when Frank introduced it to me,” McRoberts says. “And I was lucky to find the right people to make it happen. I’m so happy with how it all turned out.

Interior Whiskey HazeX

Murphy says he is working hard to improve the selection of whiskeys offered by the bar to include at least 100 bottles, including selections from India and Japan.

“We’re focusing on unicorns,” he says, “But we’ll have a range of offerings that will meet people wherever they are. The goal is to have plenty here for the connoisseur; but we’re also happy to give people the opportunity to explore.

Patrick Murphy pouring whiskeyX

Premium pours including Calumet Farms Single Black 12-Year-Old Bourbon, WhistlePig Single Barrel 10-Year-Old, and Very Olde St. Nick Rye are served in diamond-cut glasses.

But guests are also invited to explore the collection of Whiskey Haze with single and half ounce flights, including quaffs from across the range produced by Old Forester.


In addition to wine and beer, Murphy has also created a list of craft cocktails ranging from a classic cosmo and sidecar to whiskey-based selections including the Boulevardier and Sazarac. Customers can also be tempted by an old-fashioned cherry wood smoked or a negroni.

Cherry wood smoked negroni
Cherry wood smoked negroni

In early 2022, Murphy says he also hopes to launch a membership-based Bourbon Club offering monthly tastings, whiskey dinners and a range of other whiskey-related offerings.

Meanwhile, Harroun has curated a menu of snacks, starters, salads and entrees that pair well with the bar’s selections, while supporting neighborhood vendors.

Bar snacks include homemade pickled seasonal vegetables ($6), spicy Chex mix enhanced with Angostura bitters ($5) and vegan cheese dip served with roasted cauliflower or steak fries ($13 ).

But guests can also munch on cheese or charcuterie boards ($14-16) or Whiskey Haze’s chicken wings, which are tossed with guests’ choice of dry marinade, Buffalo sauce, or hot honey bourbon and grilled. They are served with carrots, radishes and blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping (market price).

Chicken wingsX

Seafood options include freshly shucked oysters with shallot and apple cider mignonette (market price); stuffies, a Rhode Island signature with shrimp-stuffed clams topped with parmesan mornay ($13); or a pound of PEI mussels. steamed with Kettle Range chorizo, shallots, garlic and white wine and served with toasted Rocket Baby baguette slices ($11).

steamed musselsX

Pickled Napa cabbage forms the base of a unique grilled Caesar salad topped with crispy pancetta, grated Parmesan and grilled panko ($12), while farm-fresh red, golden and chiogga beets are classically served with cheese from goat cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds and an orange yogurt vinaigrette ($11).

Heartiest entrees include the half-pound Haze Burger with custom Kettle Range ground beef on a Rocket Baby baguette with seasonal toppings (currently caramelized leeks, crispy kale, and camembert) and steak fries on the side ($15); a wild mushroom pie with fresh herbs, garlic parmesan cream and goat cheese served with mesclun and champagne vinaigrette ($13); and braised Portuguese served with Linguica sausage, potatoes and cilantro-spiced carrots ($20).

Portuguese RoastX

The warming risotto includes roasted vegetables and parmesan cheese ($10) with toppings like chicken breast, steak, or tofu (+$5-$9). And yes, there is also the steak served with fingerling potatoes, pan-fried Brussels sprouts, bourbon mushrooms and half veal in house red wine (market price).

Harroun says the menu will change with the seasons. He also expects to roll out new offers and regular promotions as the restaurant grows.

“Of all the places I’ve opened over the years, this has been the nicest,” says Harroun. ‘The collaboration between me, Christine and Kevin has been great. And what’s even more awesome is that we’re just getting started…”

Whiskey Haze is open Tuesday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. (the kitchen closes at 9 p.m.) and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (the kitchen closes at 9:30 p.m.)