2718 N Bremen Street
Dark and jam packed with south pacific kitch, Foundation is one of Milwaukee’s niftiest bars. Near all walks of life seem to get friendly in this snug spot as bearded cowboy rockabillys, preppy rugby chaps, made up miniskirts in stilettos, and dread-locked hippy chicks all intermingle and let their inner beachcomber out.
The bar, occupying much of the north wall of the anteroom is carved, weathered and comfortable. Behind the bar a tight space leaves room for only the essentials, tropical liqueurs, fruit juices, and standard Midwest bar staples all vie for attention. Although there may not be much on display the barkeeps can satisfy most vanilla drink requests with ease. The fun starts when the cocktail menu comes out, boasting around 30 equatorial solutions, it can please near every palate. Foundation seems to take extra special pride in their Mai Tai which they claim to be from the original recipe concocted by Trader Vic in 1941. Also noteworthy is their Singapore Sling, purportedly “originated by Ngiam Boon” at the Raffles Hotel “in Singapore around 1910.”
Bonus alert! Half of the recipes on the tropical menu are served in a variety of take home receptacles - from pirates heads to Polynesian gods. For those too timid to get tropical, Foundation has about five brews on tap as well as a few more in the cooler and Double Bonus! $2 PBRs for when all that sweetness goes to your head, or gut...
With a drink in hand take in a bit of sightseeing. Low ceilings, glowing blow fish and surfboards make a foray into the depths of Foundation seem like a south sea jungle safari. High tables across from the bar make for tight quarters but after picking through the crowd a gleaming back room opens with a pool table illuminated like an idol awaiting worship. Just north of the billiard idol is what has to be a highly sought after booth large enough for a jungle king and his court. Groovy obscure oldies and surfer rock keep everyone in good spirits and combined with a Tidal Wave or Pirate’s Grog will have your head bobbing in no time.