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Changes in store for Milwaukee’s Pedal Tavern

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MILWAUKEE -- There's good and bad news for Pedal Tavern. The city of Milwaukee granted them a license for its fifth bicycle Thursday, but the business has a big problem ahead. You will no longer be able to drink alcohol while pedaling. The business violated a state law that prohibits that. Pedal Tavern thought it was in compliance, but the city didn't see it that way.

"A lot of the riders come from Chicago, Madison, Green Bay and they come up to do this because you can drink on," said Derek Collins, the co-owner of Pedal Tavern. "They ruled (City of Milwaukee) against it our vehicle here there's no motor on it so they say that's not a limousine."

Pedal Tavern had been operating under the assumption that if you have a 16 passenger vehicle, just like a limo or a bus, you could have alcohol on board.

"Some people were super cool with it some people were asking why and we had to explain everything to them we had a group cancel today (Friday)," said Collins.

"It's just interesting that it did go on this long," said Milwaukee Alderman Terry Witkowski, who is also the chairman of the Public Safety Committee. Witkowski and the others on the board approved a fifth bicycle for Pedal Tavern. The business had come under scrutiny after some neighbors in the 3rd Ward complained about the noise Pedal Tavern customers made while riding. After some investigating, the City of Milwaukee realized Pedal Tavern was not in compliance.

"People can ride the pedal tavern they can drink before they just can't drink in the streets of Milwaukee and neither can anyone else," said  Witkowski. "The assumption is it's a tavern and it's properly licensed and that's what's gone on."

Pedal Tavern is not giving up its fight. In fact, the owners plan on talking to lawmakers to try to persuade them to grand quadracycles the same exemptions limos and buses have when it comes to alcohol. The business generated $1.5 million over the last three years, but the owners wonder what the future holds, with a dry tavern.