The Bar Next Door takes bar food to the next level

Enjoy your favorite greasy goodness with a little twist at this new spot.
Disco Fries on a plate
Courtesy of The Bar Next Door
Disco Fries

Bar food is a common favorite among Wisconsinites, and The Bar Next Door definitely has plenty of that greasy goodness we crave. At this new Windsor restaurant, you’re in for a bit of an “elevated” experience.

For Pete Beeber, the owner of The Bar Next Door, it’s more than a restaurant — it’s a place where anyone can feel welcome. 

“The place was perfect to start from scratch. It was pretty outdated and needed a lot of love. The first bar I managed back in the early 2000s was called the Bar Next Door, currently, the Wonder Bar, and this place just popped out at me when we walked in,” Beeber says. “It had that same small feel to it: a gathering place where we had all walks of life walk in that door.”

And the food served at The Bar Next Door is just as inclusive as the restaurant itself.

“The theme is a little something for everyone. The ideas came from each of our staff’s favorite food that you may not find out here in the area. We call it elevated bar food,” Beeber says. “If you want the best greasy Smash Burger, a great late-night gyro, fried cheese curds [from Mouse House Cheese House in Windsor] or enjoy fresh mussels during happy hour, you can find that here.”

The SmashBurger is a twist on the classic burger, complete with a double patty using meat from Fred’s Market in Waunakee, smoked bacon and American cheese. The late-night gyro includes Waunakee’s Athens Grill gyro meat, pita, tomatoes, onions and Tzatziki sauce.

After a couple of weeks in operation, one item on the menu has already come out on top — the signature Disco Fries with house-made red wine onion gravy and mozzarella.

Getting the business up and running was not an easy task for Beeber. He originally bought the building back in February — a month before COVID-19 hit — and he couldn’t start operating until the start of December. Still, he says the time away gave him a chance to figure out a plan of action for running his restaurant. 

Currently, the restaurant is open for dine-in and curbside pickup. Social distancing and masks are required.

Even though things are anything but normal right now, Beeber truly loves the work he does — and the people he gets to meet. 

“We get to make people happy serving them great food and drinks. We also love to see our staff grow in their personal and restaurant lives. We are so fortunate to have each of them,” says Beeber. “We all look out for each other every day.” 

The location on Lake Circle isn’t the end of the story for Beeber and The Bar Next Door, either. He hopes to expand the business further in the future. 

“There is a lot of talent around in our staff and we know if we don’t give them the opportunity to manage their own places, we will lose them to places that are growing,” Beeber says. We love to develop and learn from them.”

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