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Milwaukee with 11 yr olds soccer team....casual dinner

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We are visiting Milwaukee this weekend (May 5th) for a soccer tournament in Franklin (staying by MKE). We want a casual restaurant that can sit about 11 or so 12 yr olds and about 15 adults on May 5th (Saturday night, which complicates things).
Normally that combination has forced us to go to chain places (I know, heresy right?) like lunch at Jimmy John's/Chipotle/Buffalo Wild Wings and usually dinner at places like Chilly's/Fridays/Olive Garden (gulp!)
We have not been to Milwaukee before and will not make it justice given our hectic game schedule, but maybe we can steal one slice of it and ideally eat at a place that has outdoor seating, by the lake, with a decent menu for adults/kids. We have transportation and want to travel no more than 10-15 miles (which probably means just north of downtown)

Alternatively, a good pizza, burger or italian is ok too

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  1. Kopp's on 76th and Layton would meet all of your criteria except that it is not right on the lake.

    Casual - yes

    Good for kids as well as adults - yes

    A Milwaukee institution that is not a national chain - yes

    Outdoor seating - yes

    http://www.kopps.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fowler

      Yeah, I was going to suggest Kopp's also.

    2. If you think everyone would like Mexican, El Fuego on Layton is near MKE and has a nice outdoor patio and casual, tasty food. It's a rather large restaurant so I'm sure they wouldn't have any problem accommodating your large group.

      It's not near the lake, but they do have a rather large pond/waterfall in the patio area. :)

      1. Not outdoors and not downtown, but a Milwaukee institution nonetheless...Organ Piper Pizza on Hwy 100 (aka 108th Street) is an experience. The pizza is decent, and the atmosphere is one that I've never seen anywhere else. There is a large pipe organ that the organist plays and takes requests from the diners.

        1. Thank you for your recommendations. Will reach to both places and see who can sit 25 of us (Organ Piper recommends 2 weeks advance notice!)
          Do you know which of the 3 Kopp's is bigger (or less busy)?

          1 Reply
          1. re: CHenlinea

            Hi,

            The Kopp's in Brookfield is the largest and has the most outdoor seating but it is not close to either Franklin or the airport.

          2. Where did you end up going for the dinner and brunch the next day?