On a sleepy corner at the eastern edge of the Starland District, things are about to get a lot more fun. Lone Wolf Lounge, slated to open early summer, is the brainchild of two longtime local musicians and bartenders, Andrew Jay Ripley and Tom Worley—and it’s built around their idea of what a good neighborhood joint ought to be. “It’s like if you take a grandpa bar in Milwaukee and you put it in the Caribbean,” says Ripley.
Thus, there are wood-panel walls, kitschy duck art, a big U-shaped bar and canned Schlitz beer. The Caribbean influence is evident in the cocktail menu—breezy, playful drinks infused with fresh fruit. Much of Lone Wolf is also inspired by the 1980s, Ripley and Worley’s favorite decade. From the soundtrack to the Pac-Man arcade game in the corner, the bar is steeped in its owners’ nostalgia. Just consider the Make Duran Duran Again, a riff on the ubiquitous 1980s cocktail, the Blue Kamikaze.
Make Duran Duran Again
1 ½ ounces Cathead vodka
½ ounce Blue Curaçao
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
3 dashes floral bitters, such as Scrappy’s lavender bitters
2 ounces soda water
Combine everything but the soda water in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Add so-da water and strain into your favorite glass over fresh ice.