Milwaukee, WI
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2718 N Bremen St
Milwaukee, WI
Opened in 1995
Sun-Thu 4pm-1:30am
Fri-Sat 4pm-2am
(414) 374-2587

Critiki ratings




by 75 people



Everyone You
Decor 9.6
Drink Quality 9.5
Drink Selection 9
Mood 9.5
Music 9.5
Service 9.6
Tikiness 9.7
Tilt 9.6
Vibe 9.2

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Regulars & Visitors

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Humuhumu’s description

Foundation began as a punk bar, and around 2004 began a conversion into a punk tiki bar at the prompting of manager Don Nelson. Today the bar has left its punk roots behind, and has completed the metamorphosis into a beloved and completely punk-free tiki bar. It is chock full of tikis, many carved by local tiki artist Lake Tiki. The menu is full of traditional and modern tropical drinks, served in tiki mugs.

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View all 83 Foundation regulars & visitors
rsully95 is a semi-regular at Foundation.
January 13, 2016, 7:44 PM
Foundation is my favorite tiki bar on the planet. It is quiet, the drinks are fantastic, and they play a great selection of exotica/Martin Denny/bossa nova. The main bartender, Michael, is an absolutely fantastic guy who will sit down with you and talk rum and drinks as long as you want.

I lived in Chicago for many years and would drive the 1.5 hours up to Milwaukee to go to Foundation over Chicago's two main tiki bars, Three Dots and a Dash (turns into a 20-something club approximately 30 minutes after opening where no one actually cares about tiki drinks) or Lost Lake (which has great drinks, but I definitely felt out of place not having a weird mustache or some other thing that said I was a hipster).

I would always go to Foundation as soon as they opened and found it to be a quiet place where you could drink peacefully, make new friends, and enjoy one heck of a mai-tai.

Put simply, Foundation is my own quaint version of heaven.
June 13, 2015, 7:31 PM
When I travel, I try to find a Tiki Bar. Last week, business made me go to Milwaukee. I looked on Critiki for a bar and two popped up. Foundation had a high score.

I went there and boy was I impressed. I would rank it as a top 10 tiki bar. Yeah, I was a little weirded out by the neighborhood and yeah, the place looks like an old house on the outside with an Easter Island head nailed to the side of it, but when you open the door, you are in a tropical wonderland. The crowd is friendly, the drinks are strong and authentic. None of your orange juice and pineapple "Mai Tai" here.

Don Nelson is a mixologist extraordinaire and loves his tiki culture. The music playing at Foundation is a wonderful mix of exotica, Bossa Nova, lounge, surf and the rest of the good stuff that is era specific and perfect.

I checked out another Tiki Bar in the area, had a decent Mai Tai, got a snoot full of pop rock and rockabilly and headed right back over to Foundation. Honestly, this was one of the best Tiki Bars that I have been to and I am looking for an excuse to return to Milwaukee... just to visit Don and Foundation again.
Wiki Tiki
Wiki Tiki has visited Foundation.
July 28, 2012, 12:51 PM
I just visited last weekend, and I'm glad I did. The decor reminds me of Frankie's Tiki Room, without the bartop video poker and the haze of cigarette smoke. The drinks are good, and they have a decent selection of souvenir mugs. The bar pizza is nothing special, but it helps soak up the rum. We'll definitely be back (and next time, someone else will be driving so I can drink more than half of one tiki drink).
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