Return of bar-to-ballpark shuttle services brews excitement for fans, businesses

NOW: Return of bar-to-ballpark shuttle services brews excitement for fans, businesses

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – In a season full of changes and adjustments, bar-to-ballpark shuttle services for Milwaukee Brewers fans are also having to adapt.

Fans at Jack’s American Pub on Brady Street expressed excitement for the start of the season and return to a semblance of normalcy.

“This is my first Opening Day so I couldn’t be more excited,” Cole Brown at Jack's American Pub told CBS 58.

“This is my first opening day since 1988,” Beth Pieper said. “This is super exciting for me.”

Brown and Pieper picked Jack’s because it offers a shuttle service that takes fans directly from the bar to American Family Field. For them and other fans, it’s a convenient and safe option.

“It’s so convenient, you come here, have a few drinks, you don’t have to worry about driving anywhere,” Brown said.

“I know that they’re trying to take very careful steps to make sure we’re all safe,” Pieper said. “But we’re all excited to get back down there again and have some normalcy in life.”

Jack’s is one of 25 city-approved locations to offer shuttle services to and from the stadium. Employees at Jack’s say the return of baseball and fans in the stands is a welcomed sign of brighter days ahead.

“It’s really great that we’re moving forward and that the city is allowing us to take the steps that we need to get more people here and that we’re doing this safely,” Heather Shea, a bartender at Jack’s told CBS 58 in an interview.

At Steny's Tavern and Grill in Walker's Point, they have two buses -- down from five due to the pandemic. Sixteen fans on one bus, and 22 on the other.

Tavern owner, Jerry Steny, said the phone’s been ringing off the hook this morning.

And whether they take the bus or watch at the bar, fans are excited.

“Milwaukee, when Opening Day happens, Milwaukee just comes together and everyone cheers for the same team and it’s a great thing to see and it’s a great city to be in," Brewers fan Domenico Rizzo said.

“Opening Day in probably any baseball city is tradition. It’s the start of Summer, it’s the start of Spring, baseball, warm weather, all those things," said Steny.

Steny’s shuttles will start bringing fans back during the eighth inning.

Steny’s shuttles will start bringing fans back during the eighth inning.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department worked with businesses like Jack’s to create safety protocols to lower the risk of spread of coronavirus.

Rules on shuttle busses include reduced capacity of 50 percent, required mask-wearing and contactless entry among other restrictions.

The hope from businesses and fans is that the city eventually relaxes some restrictions as vaccination efforts continue and cases decline.

Fans also are choosing to watch games at other spots including The Wicked Hop in the city’s Third Ward.

Erik Brunner picked the restaurant because it was near other popular eateries and bars. Brunner looked forward to continuing his tradition of keeping score of the game as well as turning the page on the pandemic in hopes of going to a game in-person sometime this season.

“Actually the last score I got was when we lost to the Dodgers, so we lost 4-2,” Brunner told CBS 58. “And so the next one we got a new year and got it going again.”

Here is the list of all the approved locations for shuttle services to American Family Field:

  • Ambassador Hotel
  • Balistreris
  • Best Western Milwaukee West
  • Braun's Power House - West Allis
  • Brewski's / Milwaukee Steakhouse
  • Camp Bar - Tosa
  • City Lights Brewing
  • Dugout 54
  • Fat Daddys
  • Fin & Feather/Flappers
  • J& B's Blue Ribbon
  • Jack's American Pub
  • Jacksons Blue Ribbon Pub
  • Kellys Bleachers
  • McGinns
  • Milwaukee Brat House
  • Milwaukee Brat House - Shorewood
  • Olydia's
  • Paulie's Pub
  • Saz's
  • Spitfire on State
  • Steny's
  • Steve's on Bluemond
  • Wisconsin Club
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