All good things come in threes. There are Three Stooges, three Lord of the Rings books, and the Holy Trinity. And now there is Three Cellars. Three Cellars is a new concept, community gathering place that offers artisanal wine, craft beers, coffee, and gourmet sodas. This place is definitely unique and different from the average bar scene.
My husband and I attended the grand opening of Three Cellars’ new location in Menomonee Falls on Friday night. We arrived at 5:30 pm and the place was already hopping with energy and excitement. When we walked in, many of our friends from the neighborhood were a couple glasses ahead of us. Located at the end of a small strip mall, Three Cellars boasts an eclectic-style to the interior. The industrial-style ductwork and high metal ceiling sports a deep purple color that lends a lively and casual feel that is inviting to this wide open space. Tables and comfortable chairs are scattered about the floor that lead you to the straight line bar. Over to the right is a brightly lit retail store. Menomonee Falls has been crying out for a unique place like this for a long time.
The concept is simple. There is no table service, so you have to go to the bar to get your drinks. Behind the bar are big screen monitors that display the wines and beers that are on tap or offered by the glass. The wines and beers offered will change every so often to keep it interesting and updated. The friendly staff behind the bar are knowledgeable and helpful. You can get a “sample” sized glass of wine for $4, or a full sized glass for $7. Tap beers are priced differently based on their size and style. Also offered are ‘flights’ of wine or beer which come in four sample sized glasses. I will have to say that the wine and beer pours are very generous for both the sample and full sized glasses. This is not a wine “taste testing” that only teases the palate. You get several mouthfuls of wine in the sample size which encourages you to try more than one wine or beer before deciding on a full pour. The full glasses of the delightful El Rede Malbec from Argentina that I enjoyed were generously poured. Not being much of a beer drinker myself, I did not take much notice of those that were offered, but, the guys in our group seemed to enjoy the selections, including one beer that supposedly holds a whopping 17% ABV! Many hold at a more reasonable 5 – 10% alcohol content though and each one is clearly marked on the displays.
If you are looking for more than the 12 wines and 24 beers that are featured weekly behind the bar, you can browse through the store. Herein lies a bounty of artisanal wines from all over the world. From sparklers to full bodied reds, dessert and port wines to sweet whites, you will discover many selections not found in your ordinary liquor store. Along the back wall are shelving cubicles loaded with craft beers and hard lemonades and ciders of all kinds, many brewed locally here in Milwaukee and other places in Wisconsin. My friend Lyn asked one of the staff to help her find a good full bodied red wine. He led her to a label called, “Treasure Hunter” which has an intriguing story behind it. Basically the wine company buys up wine that is left over from a high end winery, relabels it and sells it for approximately half of its original retail price. This particular Cabernet Sauvignon likely cost $50 retail under its original label but Lyn grabbed it for only $25 under the Treasure Hunter label. She let me taste it, and well, I was blown away by the smooth tannins and long, lingering dry finish of this Chilean Cabernet that I would not ordinarily be able to afford. Too many Cabs today taste like an old shoe to me, so I was delighted by this wine. If you purchase a bottle of wine or beer from their store, they are happy to open it for a modest corkage fee which includes chilling in a quick chiller if needed.
The third part of this concept is the garden or outdoor seating area. While it is not yet open, partly due to the chilly weather, they also have to finish installing the fencing around it before it can be opened to the public. It promises to be a very popular space as it sits on the west side of the building where the warm sunshine will remain into the late evening hours as summer progresses. I anticipate lingering over a glass, or two, of wine this summer in this garden spot.
One last note. Three Cellars does not have a kitchen, but, they are very happy to let you bring in food or have it delivered from any of the local eateries, such as Ally’s Bistro on the other end of the strip mall. Three Cellars will rent the entire place for private parties. They only ask that you purchase all beverages from them and have your party catered however you prefer.
All in all, this unique and exciting place is worth a stop in after work, on the weekend, or whenever you’re up for discovering something new to taste and enjoy. They have happy hour specials and feature one bottled wine at a greatly discounted price. We picked up this month’s special, a Bulgarian Pinot Noir. It was deliciously wonderful. All the information you need, including the tasting menu, can be found on their website www.threecellers.com. The other location is in Franklin.
With its eclectic décor, high energy, with knowledgeable staff eager to please, and without the usual distractions of loud music or televisions blaring sports games, you and your friends can find a respite from the typical bar scene whether through a wine or beer flight or a simple sampling and being satisfied with your first choice, Three Cellars is the new concept: a community gathering place that offers artisanal wine, craft beers, coffee, and gourmet sodas.
~Observations of an Accidental Catholic~
Address: Off Appleton Ave and Good Hope Road
N72 W13400 Lund Lane—Suite A
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051