Milwaukee pedal taverns could allow alcohol again

CREATED Apr 7, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's popular pedal tavern could find new life with the help of state lawmakers.

The city pulled the plug on people drinking while pedaling last fall, citing state law. Now the owners are petitioning for a change. Milwaukee's bicycle powered party between bars was a regular in the third ward during summer months.

"The pedal tavern definitely brings in a lot of business for us," says Matt LeBlanc of the Milwaukee Ale House.

The Milwaukee Ale House is just one of the businesses that was included on pedal tavern stops. But their partnernship screeched to a halt last fall when the city cracked down on a state law that bans open alcohol containers in the street.

The pedal tavern owners pleaded their case to state representative Jeff Stone.

"There had been legislation in the last session," says Stone, "so we thought we'd try it again."

Under his new bill, each city could decide whether people could drink while pedaling from bar to bar.

"It's a way to get money into restaurants, taverns, and into our community as well," says Stone.

If the bill became law, there's still no guarantee the city would allow the ordinance. The pedal taverns have garnered complaints in the the past about its noise and customers. Still, businesses like Milwaukee Ale House are excited about the possible returned boost in sales.

"I know it's a long process," says Stone. "We still have a couple months maybe before the weather gets really nice, so I hope we could get something going by the time summer hits.

The employee driving the pedal tavern would have to keep the customer's blood alcohol content at 0.02% or lower.