From the moment you call us to the final high-fives, our events team is with you every step of the way. Breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we will make sure that your guests enjoy an event full of activities like no other, while sipping hand-crafted cocktails, grazing from delicious catering displays and receiving our signature blow-your-mind customer service.
Booking your event is only the beginning to making your event dreams a reality. At Bars & Rec, one-of-a-kind activities are the tip of the iceberg in making your event everything you’ve ever imagined.
One example is Johnson Financial Group (JFG). After hosting their annual awards event at the Pfister, this group requested a more energetic, customizable, and interactive space. They reached out to our events team to see if their vision could become a reality. JFG later booked Bars & Rec for a complete buyout of NorthSouth Club.
Though NorthSouth Club is already set to host an unforgettable party of any kind and size, JFG added custom accents throughout the space to make the event even more immersive and memorable for their top-performing employees. From a centralized presentation area, projected images, a ‘walk of fame’ with neon lighting, to a JFG-inspired signature cocktail created by our mixologists, they tailored NorthSouth Club to their own creative vision.
The unique elements of JFG’s night did not stop there. Food choices were abundant with a custom menu featuring three exclusive dinner stations created by Bars & Recreation’s Chef Jenny in partnership with local favorite Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria. Event attendees also enjoyed a facilitated and emceed axe throwing tournament by Bars & Rec staff, a lumberjack-themed photo station, deck shuffleboard with bar service, and even more games with prizes.
From the moment attendees walked through the doors of NorthSouth Club, they were immersed in activities. Throwing axes, playing shuffleboard, enjoying delicious catering, and all the way to relaying the memories of the night with each other for years to come. Bars & Rec was there every step of the way. Reach out to our events team today to make your event dreams a reality.
Team building, though vitally important to a successful group, has forever sparked feelings of dread and awkwardness among employees. It’s not surprising though, when many of the classic team building activities involve stuffy seminars and uncomfortable ice breakers. Facilitating the right team experience for your employees will ignite collaboration, increase engagement, build trust, and help navigate conflicts easier. Here are a few tips to make your team building the latter:
1. MAKE IT UNIQUE
The best team building sessions are ones that let employees escape from a regular day at the office. Choose an activity that sparks enthusiasm and excitement, like something you’d want to do in your own free time. Even if the activity doesn’t seem to have a direct correlation to what type of business you’re in, the best and most effective experiences allow your team to simply have fun together.
2. THINK OF TEAM BUILDING AS AN INVESTMENT
Sure, team building isn’t a direct aspect of revenue, sales or other financial gain, but it is vital in achieving it. A more engaged, connected and happy team means a more successful one. Plus, making sure your team enjoys a memorable experience is a great way to show your appreciation and value for your staff.
3. TURN TO AN EXTERNAL FACILITATOR
There are other benefits to hiring an external team building facilitator than not having to do the planning. Outsourcing team building allows each person to be on the same level during the experience. Those hosting the activity do not know who managers are, salespeople, corporate team, etc. – everyone is treated the same. Outside facilitators also know how to provide the best possible experience to your team, ultimately optimizing team building effectiveness.
A new private suite karaoke and team building bar called ‘Amped’ is coming to Milwaukee’s Brewery District neighborhood. Amped is the latest addition to the lineup of immersive activity bars from Bars & Recreation, parent company of local entertainment favorites AXE MKE, NorthSouth Club, Splash Studio, Nine Below and Head Space Trivia.
Set to open in Summer 2022, Amped will serve as a professional meeting and team building venue during the day, and transition seamlessly into a “private suite karaoke bar” each night. The 12,000 square foot space will feature a variety of different sized suites outfitted with state-of-the-art AV equipment, colorful furniture and décor, and karaoke machines. Customers will be able to reserve the suites in blocks of 2-3 hours for their group event or karaoke party.
“No matter why you come – to host a pop-up corporate meeting, to sing your heart out campfire style with your friends, or to rock out before your favorite artist’s concert at the Fiserv – we’ll get your group amped up,” said Bars & Rec President and owner Marla Poytinger.
Created and popularized overseas, private suite karaoke is a staple in nightlife culture abroad. Amped is the first to bring the unique music and social experience to Milwaukee. The new facility will also house a full bar, a catering kitchen, and multiple larger event spaces in which Bars & Rec will offer custom team building facilitation such as trivia, canvas/wood painting, and hosted group ‘game shows’, via a new umbrella organization called Team MKE.
“We’re experts in curating fun, high-quality bars, as well as facilitating Milwaukee’s most immersive entertainment activities – and team building has always been at our core. Combining karaoke and team events at Amped allows us to further deliver on all of the qualities that our customers love about Bars & Rec,” explained Poytinger.
Bars & Rec plans to purchase the first-floor retail space of The Brewery Parking Structure from Interstate Development Partners as a commercial condominium. Amped will occupy the entire space, which is located at 902 W Juneau Ave in the main corridor of The Brewery District. The area is popular for visitors to the Deer District, the Wisconsin Center, MKE Brewing, and the Miller High Life Theater.
“Bars & Recreation is a well-respected operator with a track record of success in the Milwaukee area, and their new Amped concept will add an elite entertainment option to the already vibrant Brewery District neighborhood,” said Tony Janowiec, Interstate’s founder and CEO.
For updates on Amped’s grand opening, visit www.ampedmke.com or @ampedmke on Facebook and Instagram. Information about facilitated team building activities can be found at www.TeamMKE.com. Details on Bars & Recreation’s other experiences are available at www.barsandrecreation.com.
About Bars & Recreation: Milwaukee-based Bars & Recreation owns and operates a family of entertainment brands including AXE MKE, NorthSouth Club, Nine Below, Splash Studio, Head Space Trivia, Team MKE and Amped (opening Summer 2022). Each brand offers its own immersive experience, cutting-edge activities, and blow-your-mind customer service – all of which combine to ensure the perfect team building event, memorable celebration, or night out with friends.
Zoom meetings, 10-step commutes from our beds to our laptops, and online happy hours have become the new normal. Conversations now have a natural 2-second delay, and “Can you hear me now?“ is an instinctive response built into our dialogue these days.
As vaccination rates increase and returning to the office is a new incoming reality, one might think workers across the country would be eager to ditch their makeshift bedroom desk for a spacious office. Rather, a looming sense of social anxiety plagues the minds of those of us who were once experts at small talk and cubicle chatter.
Like all skills, social skills require practice and repetition. To go from working from the comfort of your pajamas to putting on your blazer and jumping back into office life is a huge leap.
Returning to the office for many now feels like the moments before a first date. “What are we going to talk about?” “What if it’s awkward?” In order to ease these anxieties, hosting a fun, no stakes ‘pre-office-return get together’ is the ice breaker we all need (and deserve). Like a first date, awkwardness and jitters are best alleviated over activity and play.
As we had to adjust to virtual work, returning to the office will also be an adjustment. Though our desk plants will be wilted, coffee mugs stained, and calendars a year outdated, reuniting with our coworkers face-to-face is the light at the end of the tunnel that will make all of those jitters worth it.
How will you be transitioning back to in-person work?
Team Building has been a consideration of successful workplaces since the late 1920’s. Nearly 100 years later, the execution of team building has encountered its most challenging hurdle due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Arguably, however, we are in a time that teams need the boost of identity, social support and cohesion more than ever.
In-person events will come back. Social time with colleagues, friends and family is the magic in life. The connection achieved in person is not the same online. Yet, during this unprecedented time, we can do more than simply plow through and hope for an end so we can connect again.
Bars & Recreation, Inc. thrives in hosting team building experiences at our venues: AXE MKE, Splash Studio, Nine Below and NorthSouth Club in Milwaukee, WI. Every week we would watch hundreds of people hurl axes through the air, master the design of the most creative mini-golf courses, learn the difference between a tang and a biscuit, and find their inner artist; taking the time together to laugh, play, compete and network. These events came to an abrupt halt in March 2020 but our spirit of play is unchanged.
Introducing Head Space Trivia and Splash Studio: A Virtual Painting Bar.
Head Space Trivia is a cutting-edge platform that hosts trivia and puzzle challenge games for groups of players in a virtual setting. It’s the world’s first interactive trivia and puzzle game featuring live hosting, score keeping, and answer review. Private Events with Head Space Trivia are the ultimate way to energize your online social life with all the fun of traditional pub trivia from the comfort of your home. Private events are exclusive to your own group of friends, family or colleagues.
Try Head Space Trivia for your next:
Splash Studio: A Virtual Painting Bar
Splash Studio now offers virtual painting sessions for 4+ people. Join a live artist who guides your crew step-by-step through a painting of your choice. Each guest receives a Take & Make Artist Kit, shipped to each individual, that provides all of the necessary supplies needed to create a work of art in the comfort of home. Upgrades and special VIP add-ons are available by request. Private events are exclusive to your own group of friends, family or colleagues.
Try Splash Studio’s virtual events for your next:
Bars & Recreation activity bars will be here when we can come together in person again (and that time will come again!) Until then, now more than ever, bring the team together and LET’S PLAY.