Appleton to consider pedal pubs

The Milwaukee Pedal Tavern is an example of a "pedal pub." (Courtesy: Milwaukee Pedal Tavern)
The Milwaukee Pedal Tavern is an example of a "pedal pub." (Courtesy: Milwaukee Pedal Tavern)

APPLETON – Pedal pubs, bier bikes, or a bar on wheels. You might soon see one rolling down the streets of downtown Appleton.

In December, the state made the pedal pubs legal.

Now, the city’s safety and licensing committee is looking to see if they would fit in downtown.

The bar on wheels concept started in Europe but is already catching on in Wisconsin.

“I think it would be a good thing,” said Appleton Alderman Tim Trauger who is a member of the safety and licensing committee.

Trauger says he thinks a pedal pub could fit with the plan for downtown.

“We want this to be an entertainment center and we love the direction that it is headed,” he said.

Madison and Milwaukee already have pedal pubs. Ryan Lloyd is a co-owner of the Milwaukee Pedal Tavern.
He says in the five years since he’s operated the pedal tavern it’s been a big hit with out-of-town visitors.

“People just love it. It’s less about drinking on the bike than it is about doing a tour and having it be a fun thing,” said Lloyd.

But the head of Appleton’s downtown business association says it doesn’t support the bikes with alcohol.

But Jennifer Stephany says the bikes alone could still serve a purpose.

“The multi-person bike is a really cool concept and we like the vitality of it. We love that it could be another unique form of transportation connectivity but we are not in favor of alcohol service on those bikes,” said Stephany.

Trauger says he thinks having a pedal pub would draw more people to downtown and he said at least one person has already expressed interest in operating one in the city.

“I think that we will try to talk it over and make the best decision for downtown Appleton,” said Trauger.

A decision at least some hope will be in favor of the bar on wheels.

“One of the pedal pubs would be awesome, we’ve got plenty of bars downtown but it doesn’t always fit for everyone and it would be nice to get out and enjoy with the nice weather too,” said Jeremy Neu of Appleton.

An operator would first need a taxicab license from the city. The city could also create an ordinance to allow the multi-person bikes but without alcohol.

The safety and licensing committee will discuss the idea Wednesday night.