Culinary no-no #680


When it comes to restaurants this is one of Milwaukee’s gems.

Image may contain: people sitting, table and indoor

“Milwaukee has precious few restaurants where seafood is the focus; one of them is Harbor House, where the quality of the fish is excellent. Operated by the Bartolotta group in partnership with Michael Cudahy, it has a stunning view of the lakefront.”
Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Food Critic

Prior to the Harbor House the site was occupied by Pieces of Eight that opened on the lakefront in 1969 and gave way to Harbor 550, operated by Specialty Restaurants Corp. from 2005-2008.

Pieces of Eight Restaurant Milwaukee Wisconsin

Take away that breathtaking view and Pieces of Eight had a well-known reputation of being inferior. You went to Pieces of Eight for a birthday anniversary, or even a marriage proposal. You probably left disappointed because the food and service were at best average.

Regular readers know I’m quite nostalgic. So I was very interested to see a Milwaukee-related Facebook page post a 1970’s cocktail menu from Pieces of Eight.

Other than the ridiculous prices, see if anything jumps out at you.

I was one of the first to comment and mentioned complaints were soon to follow. And they did.

As of this posting there have been over 400 comments with many expressing disbelief that a business would promote a product with an obvious racial slur.

My point was the huge difference between societal opinion from the 1970’s and today.

I could be wrong, but when Pieces of Eight was drawing crowds despite questionable fare there was little to no furor over their drink menu. No satellite trucks feeding live TV reports blasting a certain cocktail. No blaring newspaper editorials. No protests on Lake Drive. No demonstrations.

Not defending that one menu offering. But back then the level of folks being offended was nowhere near what it would be today.


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