Why isn’t there a good brewpub or tap house in Monona

We ask for a nice brew pub. Plead. Beg. No luck. The Great Dane took an existing structure out on Cottage Grove Road. It’s been packed every time I’ve been in it. I see that Brocach is looking to open up a location on Monroe Street. There’s already a tap house on Monroe – plus several restaurants. Why not Monona Drive?

Monona Drive is complete. So why doesn’t someone want to come here?

Is it the lack of an existing structure to build in? We have so many old and antiquated buildings. It can’t really be encouraging. One of the best newer areas was taken up by Anytime Fitness.

Is it that so many of the businesses on Monona Drive don’t bring with it a high volume of high income shoppers? The only retail businesses between Nichols and Broadway that cater to consumers are the Village Pedaler and the Performance Hobby. There are some qaulity specialty shops – Ken’s and the Tasting Room, for instance. But it’s not like we have a bunch of nice shops that people wander up and down the road to check out.

Is it that Monona simply doesn’t have the demographics that would attract enough consumers?

We’d love to hear back from people. What are your opinions?

Leave a comment


  1. anonymous

     /  June 14, 2011

    I’m just guessing, but I bet there simply aren’t enough high income people in the area.

    Monona has some great properties – but also a lot of entry level type homes, a lot of blue collar folks. Also, a lot of older people. I just don’t know if enough people frequent Monona Drive to justify someone spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    On the flip side, I’ve been to the new Great Dane. It was packed, as you said. It’s not like there are buckets of high income people near there. Maybe something would work if given the chance.

  2. randy j.

     /  June 14, 2011

    monona drive is not just monona. it’s the areas around it – from cottage grove rd down to farm and fleet and menards and even to mcfarland. no matter how sophisticated monona thinks it is, the vast majority of the users of monona drive are bud lite and miller genuine draft types. they’ll scoff at paying $5 for a beer and go down to the silver eagle for a pitcher of what ever is special that night.

  3. IPAman

     /  June 14, 2011

    There’s no reason a decent bar wouldn’t do well. I will agree that Monona Drive simply is boring. There’s no reason to come to the area. We’ve got some nice restaurants – that’s about it. Sorry, but people aren’t flocking to Monona to see the abandoned, crumbling buildings, Insty Prints or that junk store called Touch of Pride that is never open.

    I think there are enough people who would make something work. It doesn’t have to be a brew pub (but that would be nice). Just a quality place with decent food and a nice selection of alcohol. I’ll pay a extra to go to a nice place.

  4. Anonymous

     /  June 14, 2011

    Monona Drive is a dump. I’m not talking the road – that’s great – at least part of it. It’s just a bunch of crappy odl buildings with obscure businesses and office space. It’s not helping you that a funeral home is one of the best looking places.

  5. Trent

     /  June 14, 2011

    Monona needs a good ‘mall’-like area. Think Hilldale (that’s the extreme end of it). We need a place that person can park and simply walk around and have 10-20 great options to visit.

    I’m not saying it has to be a mall, but it should be an area with a concentration of businesses.

  6. anonymous 2

     /  June 14, 2011

    i don’t care. i just wnat beer.

  7. Diamond

     /  June 14, 2011

    I still think its a win win for owners of the building that Touch of Pride is in and Pizza Oven. Agreed, it doesn’t have to be a brew pub, just a place done up right with great beers on tap. Pool, shuffleboard, darts and pinball on the second floor, velvet lounge chairs…….wow!

  8. Foo on You

     /  June 14, 2011

    Trent has the right idea. We need a destination, something people will come to Monona for. One of the anchors can be the brewery.

  9. anytime

     /  June 14, 2011

    I agree anytime took the best spot for a brew pub or cafe. What a waste that outdoor seating area is. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a beer and some good food out on that patio! I’m sure the residents in the condos behind it wouldn’t be happy though.

    The City is buying up that area north of Dean on Monona Dr. Maybe there is plans to develop that area into a Square “mall” area for shopping?

  10. Mark Spitz

     /  June 14, 2011

    Have you gone mad? Is this blog about anything, but beer and swipes at the school and city government?

  11. gto

     /  June 15, 2011

    “Have you gone mad? Is this blog about anything, but beer and swipes at the school and city government?”

    was it ever anything else?

  12. Cheech

     /  June 15, 2011

    Oh for crysake, if you want a brew pub then open one!

  13. Swillsky

     /  June 16, 2011

    @gto, “ditto”

    @Spitz..somehow the attempt @shaming “us” fell flat- like day old Budweiser :)

  14. Foo on me

     /  June 17, 2011

    What this town needs is an enema!

  15. doof

     /  June 24, 2011

    I always thought the long abandoned former Ruby’s building on Broadway might be a good spot for something like that. Somebody should do something with that building, anyway.

  16. TJ

     /  July 4, 2011

    I agree..too many old buildings! Or buildings that need cleaned up with nicer looking parking lots.
    A Monona Country club.
    A small mall with cafes and unique shops would be great!
    A dog and a cat park for pet owners.
    An indoor miniture golf for families.
    Spruce up the current bowling alley.
    Clean up the Pride and have it open more. Make that strip more attractive.
    A couple more high end places to eat.
    Clean up the Monona Rd side of the park we do have..it is all overgrown! For hiking..jogging..cross country skiing. So you don’t have to go down Femrite to find the hidden park. Did you know there is an antique store on Femrite? There is no signage for it.
    Let’s get landlords to spruce up their properties..take pride in what you own!
    We need to promote and advertise more even just within our own community..meet our community needs and others will come. They will come from Madison..they will come over from Stoughton Rd which is only a short cut from the beltline to E. Wash for people.
    Let’s take a poll and see what people in our communitites want..especially those with families.
    We need to hold our local government responsible for how they spend our money on stupid irresponsible crap!

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