Outer Brown Deer – Milwaukee, WI

The Outer Brown Deer area is one of the North Shore Communities located in the northern Milwaukee suburbs. The area shares its rich history with its big city neighbor. Located about 20 minutes north of Milwaukee’s downtown, the neighborhood's residents have access to some of the best art museums, theater and sports attractions in the state. In 2013, CNN placed Brown Deer at number 19 on its “Best Places to Live” list. The Outer Brown Deer area provides its residents with many opportunities for outdoor activities at the expansive Brown Deer County Park and along the banks of the Milwaukee River.

Schools in Outer Brown Deer

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

The area surrounding Brown Deer offers a variety of dining options from fast food franchises to more upscale eateries. For quality Mexican food, locals head to Poco Loco Cantina for the sweet and sour taste of margaritas and a variety of wines, beer and tequila. Then there is the food, of course. Here, the more common choices of taco fillings, such as steak and chicken, are supplemented with delicate lamb and fish offerings. House specialties include fresh blue crab quesadillas and the Poco lunch plate, which is served with pork, tortillas, beans and rice. For more upscale fare, residents love the River Lane Inn for its small but tasty menu featuring sauteed rainbow trout with oven-roasted butternut squash and the 14-ounce Black Angus New York strip steak, served plain or blackened. Residents who prefer something more laid-back, the atmosphere of the Thirsty Fox may be just the ticket. Lovingly referred to as a dive bar by its patrons, this joint has cheap drinks, friendly bartenders and a nice patio to enjoy the summer weather. The Silver Spring House provides an excellent atmosphere for food, drinks and sports. This historic bar hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including Oktoberfest and $2 taco Tuesdays. In addition to these notable neighborhood attractions, locals also know there are plenty more dining and entertainment options awaiting them south in downtown Milwaukee.

History & Culture

The area around Brown Deer was first settled by Native Americans hundred of years before the arrival of French fur trappers in the 1700s. Over the next few centuries, European immigrants would arrive, from Germany initially but also from Poland and Serbia. In the early to mid-20th century, many African Americans migrated north from southern states in search of employment opportunities. Beginning in the1950s, the Hispanic population began to grow and thrive in the area. After annexing a portion of the town of Granville to the west, Brown Deer was incorporated in 1955 and has seen tremendous growth and improvements since then. With a large German population, Oktoberfest remains a big event in the area, and the live music of Summerfest draws a million people to the area. Residents also enjoy the theatrical productions staged by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the exhibits curated by the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Transportation

Brown Deer may be a suburb, but it is surrounded by the urban Milwaukee Metropolitan Area. Caution is always required when walking and biking on city sidewalks and streets, however, Milwaukee County’s many miles of bike paths provide citizens the chance to hike and bike safely. Bus routes serviced by the Milwaukee County Transit system are available for travel around the Outer Brown Deer area and for trips downtown. Taxis are common throughout the city, but unless you are downtown heading home, it’s better to phone for service than attempt to hail one. Uber also provides the option of ride sharing. Paid public parking is available in the city center of Milwaukee, and free parking can be found fairly easily in the outer suburban areas including Outer Brown Deer. For journeys beyond the county line, travelers can access US Route 41, so the southeast, for trips up north to Fond du Lac and to the south, Route 45 can be used to join Interstate 94 for travel west to Madison or south to Chicago.

Cost

A domestic beer at a local watering hole might set you back about three bucks, and a draught of locally brewed beer, or a bottle of imported beer, costs about $4.50. A gallon of gas in the outlying Brown Deer area can be purchased for about 5 percent less than the national average. The cost of living is about 5 percent lower than the national average as well. The median rental price for a one bedroom apartment in the area is $865. A bus ride downtown costs $2.25 with reduced fares available for kids under 12 and seniors.

Shopping

For everyday shopping, Walmart Super Center has a wide selection of household products, groceries, apparel and much more at low prices. Apple Store has a location close to the Brown Deer area, where locals can get the latest in technology for laptops, desktops and smart phones. For upscale culinary and dinnerware, Sur La Table has an assortment of kitchen implements for the gracious host and amateur gourmet chef. Clothing boutiques in Outer Brown Deer include the I See London Ltd. boutique with a fantastic selection of clothing and accessories for women. For another great, high-end clothing option, White House Black Market features the latest styles in sweaters, tops and jackets. Residents in the Brown Deer area have a wide choice for groceries. Trader Joe's and the Fresh Market have plenty to offer, while Brown Deer Farmers Market provides residents the opportunity to shop for local produce from May to October in the parking lot at West Brown Deer Road and 66th Street.

Parks

Brown Deer County Park provides visitors many options for sporting activities such as softball, soccer, disc golf, swimming and boating. There’s plenty of green space for adults, kids and whole families to enjoy picnics an assorted outdoor fun. For more outdoor exercise options, the Oak Leaf Trail provides over 100 miles of jogging and biking possibilities. Both the trail and the park are free and open to the public. The Brown Deer Golf Course, designed in 1929, features 18 holes, 60 bunkers and a historic clubhouse. As a special treat for their beloved pets, locals take them to the Granville Dog Park, where they have the freedom to roam around in grassy, wooded areas and even jump in the Menomonee River for a swim. Unlike more traditional parks, the Granville Dog Park is not completely enclosed, so keep your dog on a leash. Summefest remains one of the biggest draws in the area. This huge 11-day music festival, held in Henry Maier Festival Park, plays host to hundreds of bands and entertains spectators from around the globe.
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