Swingin’ Door Exchange Milwaukee


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Swingin’ Door Exchange is a former speakeasy converted into a downtown pub. Swingin’ Door, officially opened in 1933 to commemorate the lifting of Prohibition, most likely began as a speakeasy; we can’t believe they were selling alcohol less than a month after the repeal. Nowadays, it’s a friendly tavern with a giant red stained glass window, inexpensive beer deals, dark wood fixtures, and some of Milwaukee‘s most excellent bar cuisine. This intimate hangout with a saloon-like atmosphere serves beverages and American comfort cuisine. It is Downtown’s neighborhood joint! Join us for good people, great food & fine drinks! They support Walk-in only. So, they do not have reservations. Your order is freshly produced as soon as possible. 

Metered street parking is available on Michigan Street (east of Broadway), Broadway (north-south), and Water Street (north-south); free after 6 p.m. M-F and all day/night Sundays/holidays. The historic saloon and cafe, 921 E. Michigan Ave., includes three dining sections with numerous sitting options. However, only bellying to the bar will give you the real Swingin’ Door experience. Customers who were “regulars” sat on both sides of us, and the co-owner, Shelly Sincere, was working her butt behind the wood. She welcomed both gentlemen by name and, like a mixologist, appeared in front of them with a Manhattan and a gin with limes reasonably instantly. “We flourish knowing that everything here is top-quality: our meal, beverages, and service.” Even when we’re in the weeds,” Sincere explained as he placed platters of food in front of hungry customers. 

The design of Swingin’ Door is a pleasant combination of dark wood, stained glass windows, old Milwaukee pictures, and quirky antique trinkets and signage, such as one that reads “Here’s to alcohol…which frequently makes one see double and feel single.” The menu has a surprising mix of easy homemade items like burgers and pork chop sandwiches, as well as higher-end entrees like baby back ribs and a New York strip. There’s also an extended range of creative soups, salads, and daily specials. When we arrived, the Nashville hot chicken sandwich special had already sold out. One of our favorite parts of Swingin’ Door is the blend of gourmet and comfort food products. On this visit, we selected the Big KC Burger with spicy Vermouth carrots and a traditional club sandwich with roasted Brussels sprouts. So, this is one of the best bars Milwaukee has to offer you and your loved ones!

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