After a lot of soggy asphalt siding came off the building, we started to see a glimpse of what the structure originally looked like. The siding was in pretty good shape given that it had been covered for so many years. There is hardly any paint on the original structure, which will be good for our next steps of this restoration. It was likely painted with milk paint, very cool.
We started seeing the original placement and size of the windows, as well as evidence of doors and windows that had been covered or moved over the years.
Seeing the original placement of the window also helps us imagine what the interior looked like when it was first built. The placement of the original bar and tavern wall would have made the interior much smaller than it is today. We have some photos of the pre-prohibition interior, we'll share those soon!
As we reach the "no turning back" phase of our restoration, it's good to take a moment to remember WHY we are doing this - it's because this place is special! At Random is a treasure that Milwaukee should be proud to have. Most of these historic, genuine cocktail lounges have disappeared from our urban fabric, replaced by unoffensive, generic businesses. Don't get me wrong, these modern concepts have their place in every city, but it's the unique places that make a city shine. It's places like At Random that make Milwaukee a special place to visit because it makes milwaukee unique. Plus it's a damn good place to get a cocktail!