Update: Madison Common Council approves Olbrich Park beer garden

Update: Madison Common Council approves Olbrich Park beer garden

The Madison Common Council approved a plan to create a beer garden at Olbrich Park.

The plan was approved 12-7 around 1:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Developers did revise the original plan to address some of the concerns. Last call for alcohol will be at 9 p.m. And, music will be limited to two nights a week.

The city hopes to have the beer garden open by the end of May.


The Madison City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on a proposal to open an outdoor beer garden in Olbrich Park.

The Madison Parks Commission and the Alcohol License Review Committee approved the proposal last month, sending it to the full City Council.

The garden would be located at the site of the beach house on Lake Monona.

Neighbors had mixed reactions to the development.

“Beer gardens would be a great opportunity to get together and be social,” resident Rebecca Polar said. “It’s walkable, it’s bikable, it’s pretty family friendly, there would be opportunities to have your kids running around and be able to walk home, and so it’s kind of a nice opportunity to bring something different into the neighborhood.”

Residents opposed to the plan said they’re concerned about noise and safety issues, including drunken driving.

“The noise at night, the live music, the traffic, the people coming in, it’s not going to be a fenced area. If you’re walking, who’s going to say you’ve had enough to drink, you don’t belong here, you’re underage?” Al Probst, who opposes the beer garden, said.

Probst said the neighborhood doesn’t need another beer garden because there’s one at The East Side Club down the street.

If the proposal passes, city officials said they hope to open the beer garden by the end of May.