After packing away ornaments and taking down the Christmas tree, you may be looking for a place to unwind and escape from the bustle of the holiday season.
Dave Dayler, owner of Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon, promises to make everything better - with bacon.
Located at 17000 W. Capitol Drive, Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon has wide-screen televisions on each wall, a full bar and open seating area, an arcade and all-you-can-eat bacon daily during happy hour.
Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon has daily specials sure to entertain sports fans, music fans and food fans alike.
Team trivia, free pool, a live DJ, karaoke and live local bands are part of the weekly line up at the bar and grill.
Synchronized LED lights line the front windows and a soft, neon backlight illuminates the bar, which has 15 craft beers on tap.
On the opposite side of the bar are an air hockey table and pool table as well as darts, video games, and a small banquet area.
In the heart of the building is a full seating area with tall bar tables and stools surrounded by televisions.
The menu features bacon appetizers, bacon pizza, bacon burgers and bacon brownies.
Jennine Paoli is the manager at the Saloon and said Packers games are the best at the bar and grill.
"We have free halftime food, free touchdown shots and bubble machines," she said. "People love it. We call ourselves the Brookfield Cheers."
Before and after the bacon
Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon hasn't always been a place to brag about, however.
Just 14 months ago, Saloon on Calhoun was known as a place to avoid.
"There were bar fights, service was bad, it was poorly-run," Paoli said. "A lot of people stopped coming because of the atmosphere."
Pamela Arteman of Pewaukee was one of the lost customers turned off by the poor service.
"The place was dirty and I didn't have a good time," Arteman said of a past experience. "The glasses were dirty and I was afraid to drink out of them. I would always ask for my drinks in a bottle."
Under old management, Paoli had to multi-task as a bartender, waitress, runner and cook. Dayler heard about the deteriorating business and teamed up with Paoli to make changes.
"I wanted to keep the name and revamp the image," Dayler said. "Saloon on Calhoun sounded dirty. I wanted to make things fun."
Dayler changed the menu, adding a porky twist to popular favorites like mozzarella sticks wrapped in bacon, chicken tenders with bacon barbecue sauce and bacon Alfredo.
He and Paoli even added "bacon" to the name of the bar.
"Everybody likes bacon and everybody likes to have fun," Paoli said. "Why not combine the two?"
Dayler also helped the wait staff change its attitude toward the business and its patrons.
They removed all of the old seating and replaced it with tall bar tables, hand built by the staff in a team effort that represents the business' makeover.
Consistency and quality are important factors in maintaining a healthy business, Dayler said.
"You never know when someone is coming in for the first time," he said. "You can never make another first impression."
Paoli takes pride in getting to know customers by name and knowing their likes and preferences.
"I know your name, I know what you like to drink and I know how to make you feel comfortable and what you need to have a good time," she said.
Customers have already noticed a change, submitting positive feedback on comment cards at the bar and grill.
"I decided to try this place again with my sister after receiving an online coupon offer," Arteman said. "Things were totally different. We had lunch and it was great. Now she and her friends come all the time."
No one will know for sure if the new atmosphere or the new menu is to credit in the increase in business, but Dayler and Paoli are willing to bet on the bacon, making Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon the best place to have a beer.
Saloon on Calhoun with Bacon
Where: 17000 W. Capitol Drive
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday,
11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday,
11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday
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