Von Trier closing, to reopen as upscale cocktail lounge

Has operated as German bar for almost 40 years

After nearly 40 years, Von Trier, a German bar on Milwaukee’s East Side, will close at the end of the year and reopen as an upscale, classic cocktail lounge with a mid-century vibe.

“The North Avenue neighborhood has been going through a period of change for the last five years,” owner John Sidoff said in a press release. “While our original intent was to maintain Von Trier through retirement, the reality is, despite discussions with many Milwaukee bar/restaurant owners, there is little interest in taking over the bar and continuing the tradition.”

Interior of Von Trier.

Prior to opening as Von Trier in 1978, the bar, located at the southwest corner of North and Farwell avenues, was known as Rieder’s, a high-end East Side institution.

John and Cindy Sidoff hope to honor that tradition with the changes and remain optimistic about the bar’s future and the resurgence of east North Avenue as one of the premier bar and restaurant districts in the city.

“I have a deep connection to roots of North Ave and Milwaukee’s East Side, which is why I want to focus on re-inventing the bar by bringing it back to an upscale cocktail lounge concept, just like the one I spent time in during my formative years,” Sidoff said. “This new evolution of the bar will better support the evolving clientele and businesses of the North Avenue district.”

Mike Vitucci, East Side BID board member and owner of a number of East Side establishments, including the forthcoming East Side restaurant, Izzy Hops Swig and Nosh, also sees promise in the next generation of North Avenue residents and businesses.

“North Avenue is definitely going through a transition,” Vitucci said in a press release. “Luxury apartments and more amenities are bringing in a new population looking for new experiences. I believe area businesses are already witnessing an upswing in foot traffic and sales.”

Before undergoing extensive renovations, Von Trier will host an online auction with Gerlach Auctions listing the bar’s collection of memorabilia, including authentic beer steins, one-of-a-kind wood carvings and the historic Colnik chandelier.

Details for the Von Trier auction as well as future renovation plans will be released this fall. For more information on the Von Trier auction, visit www.vontriers.com.

After nearly 40 years, Von Trier, a German bar on Milwaukee’s East Side, will close at the end of the year and reopen as an upscale, classic cocktail lounge with a mid-century vibe.

“The North Avenue neighborhood has been going through a period of change for the last five years,” owner John Sidoff said in a press release. “While our original intent was to maintain Von Trier through retirement, the reality is, despite discussions with many Milwaukee bar/restaurant owners, there is little interest in taking over the bar and continuing the tradition.”

Interior of Von Trier.

Prior to opening as Von Trier in 1978, the bar, located at the southwest corner of North and Farwell avenues, was known as Rieder’s, a high-end East Side institution.

John and Cindy Sidoff hope to honor that tradition with the changes and remain optimistic about the bar’s future and the resurgence of east North Avenue as one of the premier bar and restaurant districts in the city.

“I have a deep connection to roots of North Ave and Milwaukee’s East Side, which is why I want to focus on re-inventing the bar by bringing it back to an upscale cocktail lounge concept, just like the one I spent time in during my formative years,” Sidoff said. “This new evolution of the bar will better support the evolving clientele and businesses of the North Avenue district.”

Mike Vitucci, East Side BID board member and owner of a number of East Side establishments, including the forthcoming East Side restaurant, Izzy Hops Swig and Nosh, also sees promise in the next generation of North Avenue residents and businesses.

“North Avenue is definitely going through a transition,” Vitucci said in a press release. “Luxury apartments and more amenities are bringing in a new population looking for new experiences. I believe area businesses are already witnessing an upswing in foot traffic and sales.”

Before undergoing extensive renovations, Von Trier will host an online auction with Gerlach Auctions listing the bar’s collection of memorabilia, including authentic beer steins, one-of-a-kind wood carvings and the historic Colnik chandelier.

Details for the Von Trier auction as well as future renovation plans will be released this fall. For more information on the Von Trier auction, visit www.vontriers.com.

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