A Beer Garden Oasis

6/16/2017 - Erin Stuckey

Downtown, Foodie

A little rain couldn’t bring down the excitement at tg’s Restaurant & Pub last Saturday for the iconic establishment’s Beer Garden Season Opener last week! My good friend and coworker Jean, my husband Kevin, and I had the pleasure of taking part in the festivities and learned a little about the history and traditions that tg’s keeps alive today. Even though I am a relatively new Kenosha resident, I have spent several afternoons over the last few years catching up with friends in tg’s lovely outdoor Beer Garden!

Located on the far north end of Kenosha’s Downtown neighborhood, tg’s is a historic Kenosha tradition - in operation since 1889. It has held several different names over the years, and has hosted multiple famous faces! I spoke with one of the owners, Theresa Revis, who shared that tg’s was one of the first sports bars in Kenosha and has hosted many notable guests in its lifespan, including JFK and Hubert Humphrey! We enjoyed looking at several old photos hanging on the walls and could see how the establishment has changed in appearance over the years. We also learned that tg’s had the first illuminated backlit bar in the city! The red mahogany bar has remained the same for decades, even though the bar used to be located on the other side of the restaurant.

Beef.jpegWhen I think of tg’s, I automatically think of hot beef! This signature sandwich is piled high with perfectly seasoned shredded hot beef and plenty of au jus on a Kaiser bun. In fact, the hot beef has been prepared the exact same way since the 1940s! Don’t try to be a hero and eat it with your hands. You’ll probably (definitely) need a fork (or, at least a whole bunch of napkins) to eat this beef sandwich! Good news for anyone throwing a party, tg’s offers hot beef, as well as many other items, for sale by the pound! Hot Beef is still tg’s best selling sandwich (even though the price has risen slightly from the original 25-cents). Theresa stated she enjoys meeting older adults who frequented tg’s (formerly known as Chet’s Sports Bar) when they were kids, and especially loves hearing them say the beef tastes just like they remember it!

tgsGlass.jpegSince the Beer Garden Season Opener celebration was a marker of the unofficial start of summer, tg’s featured food and drink specials as well as live music! The first 50 customers who ordered tg’s signature drink of the day, the refreshing Caipirinha, got to keep the drink glass. The drink was served in a mason jar printed with tg’s logo! Luckily, we were there early and ordered two of them! The Caipirinha, which, incidentally is also Brazil’s national cocktail, was made with simple syrup, a Brazilian liquor derived from sugarcane called cachaça, limes and topped with a splash of lemon-lime soda. Served with a neon straw, it was the perfect combination of sweet and crisp-very summertime-like and refreshing!

Along with special events like the Beer Garden season opener, tg’s offers weekly happenings and entertainment. Bring your A-game for Live Trivia on Tuesdays at 7:00pm! Have a special talent? Show up for Open Mic Nights on Wednesdays at 8:00pm. Enjoy singing karaoke? tg’s welcomes your vocal stylings on Thursday nights at 8:00pm. In addition to entertainment, the specials menu rotates - although several dishes remain constant week to week. Meatloaf is served every Monday and tg’s offers a fish fry on Fridays.  The restaurant prepares homemade soups daily, and usually there is at least one vegetarian option. You know it’s delicious because tg’s recently won the Rhode Center for the Arts Bowls and Books Soup Fest Contest with their homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu soup! 

As the rain let up, the restaurant became more and more crowded, with many patrons following the painted signs out back to the Beer Garden! Equipped with picnic and patio tables with shady umbrellas, and an abundance of potted flowers, herbs and plants, it was the perfect place to spend an afternoon! I couldn't get over how colorful it was there. As dorky as it sounds, being there made me want to stop and smell the flowers, which I did! Soon after we ventured out to the Beer Garden, drinks in hand, the live bands began to play. The sun was shining, the puddles were disappearing, the drinks were flowing and people kept coming!

It was almost like being on vacation while we were at the Beer Garden catching up and enjoying the sunshine and atmosphere. The service was excellent and the servers and bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable. Other items to note are that the Beer Garden is wheelchair accessible, family-friendly, and a great place to spend a leisurely evening dining al fresco! I will definitely be back soon to continue being a tourist in my own town. Hope to see you 

Erin Stuckey

Community Blogger

Social butterfly. Lifelong learner. Relentless optimist. Night owl. Bad joke enthusiast. Registered Nurse. I love sunny days and exploring Kenosha, meeting wonderful people along the way!