Through January, Barnacle Bud's, 1955 S. Hilbert St., moved the party indoors and transformed its cozy beach shack into a vintage Christmas supper club, aptly named Gene's Supper Club On The River after owner Gene McKiernan. The beach vibe is now a yuletide vibe and it works.
But here's the rub: reservations are extremely limited. Barnacle Bud's started taking reservations via their website in October, and the response has been overwhelming. They are, however, still taking reservations for parties of six or more in December and have a few January dates open. Throw your Santa's hat into the ring and try to get a reso here.
Dining experiences are 90-minutes long and table service only, meaning there is not an option to hang out at the bar before or after the meal.
The menu features all of the supper club favorites, from the relish tray to the dessert ice cream drink. During our visit we started off with mussels in a buttery PBR giardiniera broth and then moved on to a medium-rare 16-ounce ribeye topped with porcini mushroom bacon cream and a medium-rare 8-ounce filet mignon topped with peppercorn cream. We chose roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus for our sides.
Pork, seafood and vegetarian entrees are also available and all come with a house salad, bread basket and relish plate.
The drink menu includes red and white wine selections, beer, holiday cocktails including four types of Old Fashioneds, ice cream drinks (Pink Squirrel, Brandy Alexander, Grasshopper) and an array of non-alcoholic beverages.
We found the decor, service, food and level of festiveness spectacular. It was toasty warm inside the small building and the decorations are very Barnacle Bud's-esque – vintage mixed with modern and some just plain zany.
Getting a reservation might take a bit of a Christmas miracle, but it's worth a try. Enjoy 10 more pics from Gene's Supper Club On The River:
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.