When there’s a new tiki bar on the scene, you know your girl is going to be there posthaste to check out the scene. Interestingly enough, Milwaukee’s newest tiki bar, The Love Shack, is located just about a block away from my dearly departed Lucky Joe’s Tiki Room. Long-time readers know that the world-class Foundation holds the keys to my heart, but I firmly believe that you can never have too many tiki bars. So hop in my Chrysler (it’s as big as a whale), and let’s head on down to The Love Shack…
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When I arrived at The Love Shack for a post-work drink, it was almost empty, so I had plenty of time to snoop at all the decor. It’s a fun blend of tiki kitsch and a more upscale midcentury-modern kind of vibe…with the soaring ceilings and big windows, it feels less like a classic cluttered, claustrophobic tiki bar and more like attending a tiki party at an especially swingin’ bachelor’s beach house.
The colorful menu was delightfully enticing! I’m a huge fan of the traditional illustrated menu, so big kudos for that. I went with the Hula Babe cocktail, which was tasty and plenty strong. I saw a few different drinks being served, and I loved all the over-the-top garnishes. Currently none of the mugs are available to take home (booooo), but there are some really fun ones, including a few I haven’t seen before!
In addition to a delicious array of drinks, The Love Shack offers a selection of Polynesian-inspired dishes. Everything on the menu is intended to be a shareable small plate; my comrade and I shared an order of the beef skewers and an order of braised pork steam bunz.
Both of these were super tasty – I’m a huge wimp about spice, and they were both a little bit spicier than I expected, but probably not anything a normal person would consider spicy. I prefered the beef skewers…the meat was super tender and delicious, and the mango relish was a very unique and tasty garnish.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Love Shack! It’s a different tiki experience than the ultra-traditional style, but I don’t think variety is a bad thing. There’s just enough colorful and fun to bring that must-have tiki vibe to a more high end but still vintage-inspired location. I didn’t have a chance during this visit to check out Rhum Bar, a stylish lounge-within-a-bar lofted above the main dining room of The Love Shack with a separate menu, unique rums, and a dark & sexy vibe.
This is definitely a little ol’ place that I’d be happy to get together at again soon!
The Verdict (Out of 4 possible tiki torches)