Iconic Milwaukee German bar Von Trier has new owners

Sold to local bar owners Brian Eft and Mark Zierath

Interior of Von Trier.

Iconic Milwaukee German beer bar Von Trier has a new set of owners.

The tavern, located at 2235 N. Farwell Ave. on the city’s East Side, was recently purchased by Brian Eft, co-owner of O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Washington Heights, and Mark Zierath, co-owner of Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub at the former Pabst Brewery complex. 

Operating as Black Gate LLC, the pair purchased Von Trier last week from former owners John and Cindy Sidoff, who renovated the space early last year. 

“We could not be more excited to continue the tradition of Von Trier,” Eft and Zierath said in a statement. “We are so grateful to John and Cindy for this business opportunity. We also truly appreciate the decision they made to keep Von Trier as it is, an iconic German tavern on Milwaukee’s East Side.”

That renovation project came after the Sidoffs in 2017 had announced plans to close the longtime bar, but later decided to continue operations, partnering with local restaurateurs Wes Shaver and Mike Sorge. 

As owners, Eft and Zierath plan to expand Von Trier’s kitchen space and update its craft cocktail menu and food offerings, but will not make major changes to the beloved tavern, which has been open for 41 years. It will continue to serve German-imported beer, German-inspired cuisine and unique cocktails, according to the announcement. 

Von Trier temporarily closed its doors on Sunday and Monday, but reopened Tuesday with a grand reopening event and ceremonial “Tapping of the Keg” by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Interior of Von Trier.

Iconic Milwaukee German beer bar Von Trier has a new set of owners.

The tavern, located at 2235 N. Farwell Ave. on the city’s East Side, was recently purchased by Brian Eft, co-owner of O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Washington Heights, and Mark Zierath, co-owner of Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub at the former Pabst Brewery complex. 

Operating as Black Gate LLC, the pair purchased Von Trier last week from former owners John and Cindy Sidoff, who renovated the space early last year. 

“We could not be more excited to continue the tradition of Von Trier,” Eft and Zierath said in a statement. “We are so grateful to John and Cindy for this business opportunity. We also truly appreciate the decision they made to keep Von Trier as it is, an iconic German tavern on Milwaukee’s East Side.”

That renovation project came after the Sidoffs in 2017 had announced plans to close the longtime bar, but later decided to continue operations, partnering with local restaurateurs Wes Shaver and Mike Sorge. 

As owners, Eft and Zierath plan to expand Von Trier’s kitchen space and update its craft cocktail menu and food offerings, but will not make major changes to the beloved tavern, which has been open for 41 years. It will continue to serve German-imported beer, German-inspired cuisine and unique cocktails, according to the announcement. 

Von Trier temporarily closed its doors on Sunday and Monday, but reopened Tuesday with a grand reopening event and ceremonial “Tapping of the Keg” by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

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