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Motor Bar & Restaurant

Motor Bar & Restaurant
  • Street 401 W Canal St
  • City Milwaukee
  • Region Wisconsin
  • Postcode 53203
  • Telphone (414) 287-2778
  • Opentime
  • Raging (99)
  • Website http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/HD_Museum/eat_at_museum.jsp
  • Cuisine American
  • Order     Views: 5
Motor Bar & Restaurant introduction
Estimated average consumption of $9.33 - $18.66 per person. We offer 58 menus, including Pig Skins, Big & Twisted Pretzels, Onion Rings, Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Wings, Wood-Grilled Sausage Cuts, Smoked Chicken & Apple and so on.
Map of Motor Bar & Restaurant
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Motor Bar & Restaurant reviews

By Brian H. at 2016-10-15

Went here for lunch on a recent Friday right as they opened. I wasn't excited about going honestly, I'm not really a Harley fan (indifferent really - just not my thing) and I expected the food to be tourist crap. You know, the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafe, mall food kind of stuff. You're there because you're THERE so the food doesn't really matter.

Well, the food was actually pretty good! I was surprised. It wasn't amazing, but it didn't come across as overpriced AppleBee's food. I had a brisket sandwich and granted, pretty much any real BBQ place probably has a better brisket, but this was acceptable and I enjoyed it. The fries were GREAT too. The burger, and the spicy chicken sandwich that my coworkers had looked pretty legit also.

So! Fear not! You will most likely not be disappointed coming here as long as you're not looking for anything amazing. I'd TOTALLY go back, but I'm not sure this place would be on my regular list.

They have a large parking lot, and what seems like some pretty reasonable overflow, but if you are staying in the area or live in the area, I would suggest walking or Uber'ing over. Even at lunch time, the parking was almost full and I've seen most nights there they have cones up and are directing traffic in/out of the place. There seems to be more motorcycle parking options (for good reason), so if THAT'S your thing, do that.

By George T. at 2016-10-31

I'm writing this thinking shop local, support local, buy local, but this place is just average styled place with slightly over priced novelty of being affiliated HD. Anywhere else this place would suffer a short life, shrivel and die, however, this place has a captive audience and no competition. So what do you expect? I feel like.. why else would you need to step up to be the best place ever, When you're the only horse in the race? This goes for the bar and restaurant experience. I'm not sure if it was just me and one incident. So after cross checking this over my last few experiences. it is not just an outlying experience, it's the mode here. Each and every time no matter if it is a group event, a bike event, individual visit or music event. I was hoping for something better but end up with the same if not worse experience? What is happening here? Are you quickly becoming Applebee's or TGIF of Harley Davidson?

I came here with higher expectations. Feeling a bit sad that it has missed the mark on so many levels. The star rating here is misleading to me. I really wish my expectations were lower and get blown away by great food. Quality, service/delivery, price and value.

Food 3
Ambiance 4
Service 2
Location 4
Value 2

35/2016

By Dave S. at 2016-05-10

Went to the bbq and blues this past Saturday night. Wow was it good! Three piece blues band was playing and man were they good. As a bonus, our mayor, Tom Barett and his wife were at a table next to us enjoying it too. Seems like a nice down to earth guy.
So for $19.99 you got all you can eat chicken, spicy sausage, brisket and pulled pork. Also baked beans, coleslaw and corn muffin. For another $5 spot you could add baby back ribs.
We skipped the ribs and just chowed down on the four meats. Chicken had a nice sear, was totally juicy and a ok. Pulled pork was smoky just like I like it. Had two servings of that. Brisket was rock star! Two portions of that as well (time for sweatpants). Sausage was very good. Great casing crunch. Spicy but not insane.
This special is every Saturday right now so I am sure we will be back for more.

By Mike R. at 2016-02-06

Stopped in with friends on Friday to try the fish fry. The fish was descent / average but we didn't care for the sweat tarter sauce. Over-all, for the price we expected a little more.

We shared the jambalaya. It was full of sausage, shrimp and chicken with good seasoning. Recommend!

The atmosphere reflects the Harley Davidson culture since it's connected to the Harley Museum.

By Rachel F. at 2015-07-15

Bomb diggity cheese curds, fancy turkey burgers with brie + apricot jam, interesting wing flavors that rotate each month... oh my!

For real doe: museum restaurants aren't generally the cream of the crop, but Motor? Motor's pretty great, you guys.

Solid enough for locals to patronize on the regular, for a business lunch, for a special event...

Their space is super neat and the riverfront patio is gorgeous. The service is attentive and kind. The food is pretty dang good.

Four stars, will return, is already solid in my book after just one lunch visit!

By Austin T. at 2016-10-24

Pretty cool. Convenient place to eat while visiting the Harley museum. Not overly special, but good for a solid fill-me-up.

By Sarah R. at 2016-12-01

Found this place after visiting the Harley museum. There chicken wings are top notch. The ambience is also worth the trip. The only reason I give them a 4 is the beer is a bit warm. Also the bathrooms are upstairs and are a pain with young children.

By Zack F. at 2015-07-24

The last two times here have been fairly disappointing. Regardless of the crowd the service tends to fairly slow. I went with a friend and we were chatted up by somebody with fliers for the museum and they copped a nasty attitude when my friend didn't know who Willy G was.
In addition to that, I attended an event that was advertised at a certain rate. We got two tickets and were later charged that price plus a 30% markup. Thirty. Three Zero..
I will say that the food has always been good but the rest of the experience is a real bummer.
0/10 would not bang.

By Johanna A. at 2015-11-12

I was here for lunch before our tour at the museum. It was a group of 25 of us so I think it was a bit overwhelming for the staff.

We had a pre fix menu items to choose from - chicken Caesar salad, Reuben sandwich and a pulled pork sandwich. I ordered the pulled pork. The bbq sauce was good and they give you extra to dip your sandwich or fries. The sandwich itself had an onion ring and a tiny bit of cole slaw. The sandwich would taste better had it had more slaw. The fries were seasoned and were delish!

By Joanna T. at 2015-10-08

I've had the chance to visit Motor a few times - once for an Elite event and most recently, for a work lunch/interview. I had the task of picking the place and was told "not downtown". Motor really fit the bill for a nicer place where we could talk, and as a bonus the people I was meeting with had never been and thought it was really cool.

The space is great - there are nods to Harley's heritage everywhere. Some are obvious - thing engine blocks and vintage photos. Some are more subtle, like the die cuts of the logo on the rear of chairs and leather menu covers. The room feels modern and bit upscale, though you wouldn't be out of place in full riding gear.

Menu-wise, it's a fairly basic spread of burgers, sandwiches and some BBQ. I had the chance to try some of the flatbreads & apps at the Elite event and really liked them. My lunch choice (though I sorely wanted a sloppy burger) was a Caesar salad because, you know, professional decorum and all. It was like every Caesar salad I've ever had which is to say "not bad". The people I was with went with the Smokehouse Chicken salad which was enormous and filled with good stuff - I'd probably pick that next time.

For lunch, our service was exceptional - she managed to be attentive without interrupting and anytime a glass was near empty a new one magically appeared. Know that Motor has a great drink list and a full bar, but their hours are oddly limited with closing at 6:30pm most nights. That's probably due to most of the crowd coming for the museum but it does make it hard for locals to enjoy a dinner here.

I see Motor as a great place for a unique business meeting, a place to take people from out of town or a great place to enjoy some drinks on their patio when the weather is good. The Mister and I still have gift certificates from our domination of the scavenger hunt - I'm excited to head back for some burgers and beers soon.

By Joe P. at 2015-09-30

Descriptive phrase: unique gathering space.

I recently came to Motor Bar and Restaurant for a private event, which ended up being one of the nicer and more unique places for a small event in the city. We were situated on their outdoor patio, which has tables and chairs and lounge areas, as well as beautiful views of the river and plenty of games.

Appetizers, ranging from pretzels to flat breads, were tasty. My main complaint was that we were one of two private events going on (the other inside), both of which were being served by the same single bar, and thus they were severely understaffed. It took at least 15 minutes to get the attention of the bartender. The managers need to do a better job at staffing appropriately, especially for planned events.

Overall, though Motor is an interesting venue with decent food and drinks, worth a stop if you're into Harley.

By Stacie M. at 2016-08-15

The brisket sandwich was phenomenal! Tender and delicious...it was beautiful too with perfect smoke rings. I did scrape off the onion straws because the sandwich was better without them. My husband and my son both got the stuffed burger and enjoyed it. It was nice outside so we choose to sit on the patio...BAD decision. The biting flies (yes, BITING) were horrible and relentless. Our fault because we chose to sit outside, but that really sucked. Ate quickly and headed out right away. Great food though!

By Gabriele T. at 2016-08-22

Went to a great wedding shower at Motor over the weekend. Great food, service, and beer. Keep it up!

By Violet P. at 2015-02-21

Have been here several times and never a problem with the food or service.
The love the cool decor and layout of the place!
The prices are a little high but portion size reflects that.

By Michael S. at 2016-05-28

Was really looking forward to coming here for the Blues & BBQ. Kinda sad I came now. The pulled pork was ok but there was some bone in there that I almost broke a tooth on. The brisket was dry and no discernable smoke in it. The chicken was tender due to being pounded but the rub was kinda off tasting. The sausage links were good moist and spicy. Best thing on the plate besides the fries. The corn muffin was so dry it literally sucked the moisture from my mouth eating it. Plus for allowing the dogs on the patio whom I'm glad we had with us to eat some of this dog food maquarading as bbq. May come back for drinks sometime but not to eat.

By Mark P. at 2015-04-19

Great service, cool atmosphere and delicious burger! Although, the fries were extremely undercooked & the onion rings were from frozen, not fresh. We ordered the $6.95 onion ring appetizer to start, I'm sure they are Sysco's best. But, I was expecting something hand made & spectacular for the price. Kind of pretentious pairing a buttermilk bleu cheese dressing with made from frozen onion rings.
The stuffed burger was pretty good, it had a nice char flavored crust. Although, at near 2" thick it should have been pressed out to a bigger diameter. A bigger diameter burger would have been a better fit for the massive bun, the bun was at least an inch bigger. My dining partner had a build to order burger, she too would have preferred a more pressed out patty
Now the fries, not even worth the calories, they came in a close second to starving to death!! They were a mush inside & soft outside. No flavor, crispiness or crunch. We each ate a few & left the rest.
To wash all this down we each had a couple double Absolut Vodkas with Diet Coke. The first round was extremely light on Vodka. The drinks appeared dark in color. The second round was much better.
Service & ambiance were top notch & the reason for adding an extra star to this review.

By Chelsie L. at 2015-03-07

Motor, oh Motor, how I love you so. Seriously guys, don't count this place out. A part of the Harley-Davidson Museum, this place is amazing. Cool atmosphere, friendly staff, free parking, and the turkey burger, oh-em-gee the turkey burger. I would venture to say it's the best turkey burger in town, or at least the best one I've had in town thus far. Juicy patty, topped with brie and a delightful cranberry sauce, this burger is the bomb dot com. But don't take my word for it, go try it!

By Kim D. at 2016-10-02

I had the Smoke House Chicken Salad. It was awful. I honestly took three bites and pushed it away. They had sprinkled cinnamon over the entire salad. The waitress told me it's the candied pecans. Not sure it was just the pecans because it sure appeared to me it was sprinkled all over the top of the salad. I will say it was a huge salad and the presentation was awesome. The waitress did offer to replace the salad with something else. I did decline and she took it off the final bill. The Bloody Mary I had was very good. I will be back and will try something else.

By B G. at 2015-07-15

We visited the Motor Bar & Restaurant after touring the Harley Museum. We had an outstanding experience and will no doubt visit again when in the area. Our server, Kelly, was exceptional! She was upbeat and pleasant, and able to answer all our questions. She did a great job of describing the items on the menu we were considering. She was also perfectly attentive, not too much or too little. She made her job seem effortless, always with a smile on her face.

We wanted something light because we had dinner plans with family in the evening. My husband had the chili, which he thought was fantastic. I had the smokehouse chicken salad which ranks among the best full meal salads I've ever had. My husband agreed, as it was large enough to share.

We won't hesitate to visit again and look forward to trying other things on the menu.

By Ron R. at 2015-01-23

Currently I'm belching flavors of my really craptacular buffalo chicken sandwich. It wasn't that great going down, and the gaseous remains are a memory of something I'd love to forget. The sandwich had no noticeable "buffalo" flavor. Add a lot of Bleu cheese on top, and it's just not good. It comes on Texas toast- the fries are the best that Sysco has to offer, which means crappy.

Our Living Social deal made it a bit better, but I think I've had my last meal here.

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