Efforts Underway To Open Novelty Tiny Beer Garden In Tiny House In Kaszube’s Park

April 1, 2018

By Ivana Jones

After a year roaming throughout Bay View with their tiny house in tow, Wilhelmina Beasley and her husband Jeremy Huffnagel have decided  they want a permanent home in Kaszube’s Park, on the northern tip of Jones Island. There they hope to host a year-round beer garden from their 96-square-foot tiny house, if they are able to procure appropriate permits and licenses from the city. The park is owned by the city of Milwaukee.

The couple was drawn to the tiny house trend, an architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in very small homes, after Beasley and Huffnagel closed their cat-walking business. “It just wasn’t profitable,” Beasley sighed, “and the stress of trying to trot the cats down the sidewalks was just too much! With Jeremy and me both standing almost six feet tall, we often had to bend down to pick up the wayward cats, so our backs hurt at the end of the day. We just said the hell with it, sold everything, and toured Bay View for a while in our tiny house.”

After they were asked to discontinue occupying the parking lots of Bay View Quick Mart, Hawthorne, Colectivo, and Roma’s Bakery, Beasley and Huffnagel searched for a more permanent place to park their tiny home. They came up with the concept for the tiny beer garden when they read an article about Kaszube’s Park, which is maintained by the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works and that has been designated as the smallest park in Milwaukee County. The park is one-fifteenth of an acre, and according to a historical marker on the property, it was erected “as a landmark in 1974 in recognition of the unique multi-ethnic fishing village that flourished on this peninsula during the late 19th and 20th centuries and played a significant role in the city’s history.”

The couple said they also noticed the beer gardens in both Humboldt and South Shore parks during their tours of the neighborhood.

Beasley and Huffnagel said their eyes lit up at “one-fifteenth of an acre.” “It’s the perfect concept,” said Beasley. They began to work on a business plan and to set their dream in motion.

“We will park our tiny house at Kaszube’s Park and build a tiny counter on the side of the house (probably under a tiny window) from which we’ll serve the beer.” To complete the tiny beer garden in the tiny house in Milwaukee County’s tiniest park, the couple wants to offer beer from Wee Chateau Brewery, which will be served in tiny mugs sourced from the manufacturer of children’s kitchen play sets. Snacks will include tiny pretzels “even smaller than Rold Gold,” said Beasley, “like the kind in Gardetto’s snack mix.”

They procured small chairs and a couple of small classroom-sized tables from the recently shuttered Donald Trump Academy, a failed voucher school that closed after three months of operation. “We chose tiny chairs so that everyone would have a place to sit down,” Huffnagel said. “And it will fit our tiny theme. People might even feel like it’s a holiday and they’re at the kid’s table with all their favorite relatives.”

When asked about logistics, such as the ability of customers to find tiny Kaszube’s Park, or if a three-ounce serving of beer will satisfy the thirst of dockworkers and ship crews that frequent Jones Island—or anyone else, Beasley and Huffnagel had the answers.

“The obscurity of the location is part of the fun,” Beasley said, as she held up one of the I FOUND THE TINY BEER GARDEN bumper stickers they recently had made. “If people find Barnacle Bud’s, they can find us. And as far as the tiny serving-size, people never stop at just one.”

Beasley and Huffnagel will present their business plan to DPW, and if approved, to the city’s Zoning and License Committees. They are optimistic the city will get behind the tiny beer garden and approve zoning permits and licenses so that they will be able to reside in and operate at the park all year long.

If we find we need to finance this project to complete our dream, I bet we’ll only need a tiny loan,” Beasley quipped.

The couple said they were not yet ready to disclose just how tiny the price of a tiny beer would be.


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