Dogs Grooming

Canines are welcome at new Riley’s Social Home in Milwaukee’s Third Ward

It is not each tavern the place the bar snack is canine biscuits.

At Riley’s Social Home within the Third Ward, “the bartenders and the hosts are all sporting deal with pouches,” mentioned Jessica Ludwig, who owns and operates the brand new dog-friendly bar at 411 E. Menomonee St. together with her husband, John Ludwig.

The couple additionally opened Riley’s Sandwich Co. subsequent door, at 148 N. Milwaukee St., on the identical time. It is the second location for the sandwich store, identified for cooking beef tenderloin and rooster sous vide. The unique is on Oakland Avenue in Shorewood.

All of the institutions are named for his or her canine, who joined their lives as a rescue in 2008. Adopting their canine prompted the Ludwigs to look out dog-friendly eating places and bars and finally open their very own locations. As on the Shorewood store, the bar could have a wall for Riley’s Pack — images and bios of canines that frequent the institution.

Jessica and John Ludwig opened Riley's Social House and their second Riley's Sandwich Co. next door on June 23 in the Third Ward.

The bar is not unique to pooches and their folks, although. The lunch crowd, Jessica Ludwig mentioned, is primarily employees on breaks. Within the evenings and on the weekends, it is a completely different story; 80% of the purchasers convey their canines, she estimated.

Though another Milwaukee bars not serving meals will let patrons convey their canines, the give attention to canines does not often go to this stage. The Hounds and Faucet, a boarding and grooming enterprise in Menomonee Falls that opened in 2021 with a bar open to all, is one other exception.

A system for canines, inside and on the patio

Canines are welcome inside — the place there are 64 seats, with some on the bar and others at a window counter — and out of doors. A parklet on Milwaukee Avenue, conveniently situated beside a patch of grass, has eight tables.

A parklet for customers and their dogs stretches  Milwaukee St., between Riley's Social House and Riley's Sandwich Co., a takeout-only shop.

The Ludwigs adorned the area to be trendy and polished however approachable, they mentioned. Prospects will see birch wooden, up to date lights, gold accents, a sealed concrete ground and white upholstered seating that makes it straightforward for employees to see when it wants cleansing. The couple did a lot of the work themselves, together with constructing the bar.

All canines at Riley’s Social Home should be leashed, and they need to sport a color-coded carabiner provided by the bar:

  • Crimson for “I would like area,” or, do not method; the canine could also be pleasant however is healthier left alone — or its individual prefers to be left alone.
  • Yellow for “please ask” whether or not or how greatest to method the canine, the commonest.
  • Inexperienced for “I really like everybody,” for canines effectively behaved with all different canines and folks of all ages, thought of a uncommon attribute.

“We all know that when your canine is harassed, the canine proprietor can be harassed,” John Ludwig mentioned, explaining why he and his spouse put the system in place.

“We’re not making an attempt to be a spot of guidelines and enforcement,” he mentioned, however the Ludwigs assume the system will assist everybody really feel comfy.

“It’s gone over rather well thus far,” he mentioned.

Riley’s drinks and meals 

Patrons stroll as much as the bar to order drinks. To order sandwiches, salads and, for the canines, rooster and greens cooked sous vide, they will use two kiosks within the bar or order on their telephones at

Each the bar and the sandwich store, which operates individually, are cashless.

Prospects obtain a textual content when their orders are prepared to select up on the sandwich store, which will be approached from exterior or from a shortcut by way of the bar.

Canines cannot accompany folks to the sandwich store, so patrons who’re alone with their canines can flag a workers member. 

“We’ll watch your canine for you,” Jessica Ludwig mentioned. “It takes all of 30 seconds” for the client to retrieve the sandwich. And, she mentioned, “We’ll give them treats when you get your meals” — therefore the staff’ deal with pouches.

Riley’s Social Home has 24 draft strains of principally Milwaukee-area and different Midwestern craft beers, but in addition cider on faucet and a number of other imports together with Guinness.

The bar pours sangria and mimosas and wine by the glass, however it encourages bottle gross sales by marking them at roughly retail costs as a substitute of the everyday bar or restaurant markup.

It additionally mixes cocktails, like Margaritas, blackberry cucumber martinis and Moscow mules, and it has CBD shrub sodas. The home cocktails are doubles, and it is on account of provide chain hiccups that the Moscow mules are served in 16-ounce copper mugs — that is what was obtainable. 

Blackberry cucumber martinis are on the drink list at Riley's Social House. The bar also has 24 draft lines for craft and imported beers and cider, and wines by the glass or by bottles sold around retail price.

The pandemic, which spurred the Ludwigs to open the Shorewood store, nonetheless had an impact as they opened within the Third Ward.

“We actually rushed to open as a result of we had this nice workers, and we didn’t need to lose them to different jobs,” John Ludwig mentioned.

So meaning Riley’s Social Home will proceed to develop into its function. Completely satisfied hour, an expanded cocktail menu, trivia and different occasions comparable to pop-up retailers and pet photographers all are within the works.

Hours for Riley’s Social Home are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (with the sandwich store closing at 9) and 11 a.m. to six p.m. Sunday, though it would start closing at 4 on Sundays. Updates shall be posted on Instagram and Fb.

Associated:9 Milwaukee eating places the place you will get a killer sandwich, that includes meats, veggies and even a facet of pho

Associated:‘You will be unapologetically loopy about your canine’ at Riley’s Sandwich Co., homeowners say

Contact Carol at or (414) 224-2841, or by way of the Journal Sentinel Meals & House web page on Fb. Comply with her on Twitter at @mkediner or Instagram at @mke_diner.

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