Popular “At Random” bar in Bay View up for sale, neighbors up in arms over what could fill the space

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BAY VIEW (WITI) -- It could soon be last call for a popular bar in Bay View. "At Random" has been an institution for years, but now, its owners are looking to sell. What could be in the mix at the site in the near future has some who live in Bay View upset.

Morgan Kennedy takes great pride in her renovated Bay View home.

"It`s quiet, it`s chill. I don`t always have to worry about my kids playing in the front yard," Kennedy said.

At Random

At Random

It's who could be moving in next door that has Kennedy and others up in arms. He lives just a few doors down from At Random -- an iconic cocktail lounge. The long-time bar is rumored to be for sale.

At Random's owners, who could not be reached for comment Monday, May 11th also own five other properties adjacent to the bar.

At a packed meeting Monday evening inside the South Shore Park Pavilion, hundreds of residents expressed concern about potential plans for the property.

"This is a huge turnout for our neighbors," Christa Marlowe, who lives near the bar said.

At Random meeting

At Random meeting

Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski says At Random's owners are looking to sell all of the properties to a developer. In place of the bar and surrounding properties would be a large apartment complex.

Zielinski says zoning for the block would only allow about eight apartments. Initial plans for the property called for 120 units -- which would require zoning changes.

"120 apartments is a huge concern," Marlowe said.

At Random

At Random

"There's no proposal on the table. I can`t guarantee that it won`t go in -- but I would bet my house on it that it`s not going in," Alderman Zielinski said.

Citing opposition from nearly everyone in the room Monday evening, Zielinski says a 120-unit apartment complex is unlikely. But what is in store for At Random's future is still anyone's guess.

What is known is this: Those who live near the bar say they don't want to see their historic neighborhood filled with single-family homes altered with a modern project.

Zielinski says At Random's owners are in their 80s. He says he invited them to attend Monday evening's meeting, but they didn't show up.

At Random is typically closed on Mondays.

At Random meeting

At Random meeting

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