Moran’s Pub in South Milwaukee to Take on
Wizard Theme in October

Pop-Up Pub Partnership with Artist Lauren Marvell Celebrates
Wizardkind with Events, Games, Specialty Drinks, and More

SOUTH MILWAUKEE – In its 115 years, the J.R. Grunder Building in downtown South Milwaukee – today home to Moran’s Pub – has housed everything from a real estate office to a bakery, confectionary, and ice cream parlor to a pool hall to a lunch room, restaurant and cafe. Go-go dancers danced here at one point.

Indeed, 912 Milwaukee Ave. has about seen it all since it was built in 1907. Now you can add “wizard-themed pop-up” to that list, as Moran’s Pub transforms from an Irish and sports pub to something even more magical in the month of October. The pop-up, curated by local artist Lauren Marvell, includes events, specialty drinks, games and more through October 31.

The idea was Marvell’s; she is a Milwaukee artist who has worked closely with Moran for years as a designer. Marvell is an executive board member of the Cudahy Art Coalition, and her work as an illustrator has included the design of beer labels for Central Waters Brewing Co. She has also created a mural for the Cudahy Health Department and illustrations for the city of South Milwaukee to beautify empty storefronts in its downtown. Marvell also won a nationwide design competition with Culver’s as part of the “Thank You Farmers Project.” “It was rewarding to be able to work on something special for a pub that means so much to me,” Marvell said. “The best part was working with my sister, boyfriend, James, and a few other friends to create a truly memorable (and magical) experience for the community. Halloween has always been my absolute favorite, and I have a feeling this is going to be my favorite Halloween yet.”


Wednesday, October 5
Harry Potter trivia

Saturday, October 15
Wizard Games (scavenger hunt, Ministry of Magic Memo
Paper Airplane Competition, and dueling dice)

Friday, October 21
A Tipsy Recitation of Our Favorite Wizard Books

Saturday, October 22
The Buzzed Word + Moran’s Beer Pong Tournament

Thursday, October 27
Sip & Craft Halloween crafts

Saturday, October 29
Moran’s Halloween Costume Party

Sunday, October 30
Doughnuts & Drafts event, with Supernova Doughnuts made by
Moran’s neighbor and Avenue Coffeehouse owner Sara Lewkowski

For a full and updated list of events, visit the Moran’s Pub Facebook page.


The wizard-themed cocktail menu includes:

  • Classic butterbeer (no alcohol) and Irish butterbeer (for those 21+)
  • A Mandrake: Inspired by the “Harry Potter” character and the drink that, legend has it, was drunk by witches to help them fly, the green Mandrake includes vodka and Matcha lemonade with homemade simple syrups.
  • Love Potion: This pink drink has gin with fresh lemon juice, homemade simple syrups and cherry juice drizzled on top.
  • Dementor: Like a “black and tan,” this has Harp on the bottom, Guinness on top and cherry juice to finish it off.
  • Eat Slugs shot: Enjoy a shot with booze-soaked rainbow gummy worms.

Learn more about Moran’s Pub on its website and Facebook page.

Wizard Items for Sale

Attendees can also purchase a “Wizard Pack” for $25 featuring goodies like a homemade wand, Harry Potter glasses, a scar tattoo, Golden Snitch candy, a plastic cauldron mug, and a ticket for a free mule at Moran’s.

Moran’s wizard-themed merchandise, designed by Marvell, will also be on sale.

And Moran’s is hosting a “Wizardry School Letter” contest in October. For $3 you can purchase a letter to find out if you were accepted into Wizadry School. Most will get rejected, but if you are lucky enough to get an acceptance letter you win a gift box, including a Moran’s quarter-barrel party, Wizard Pack and other items.

New Look

The biggest wizardly change is the stunning transformation of the pub, which has already seen more than $250,000 in interior and exterior improvements in the last five years (and an outdoor beer garden area coming in 2023). With the historical rehab – and its Cream City brick, natural woodwork, furniture choices, and black, orange and dark wood colors – “It’s almost like the pub has been built for this,” Moran said.

Moran and Marvell have been hard at work in the last week delivering a pub full of wizard- and witch-themed artwork, displays and decorations. Moran is also seeking Harry Potter scarves to replace the soccer team scarves that usually hang in the pub.

“It’s like a museum in here,” Moran said. “It’s pretty amazing what Lauren has done. I don’t think many pubs could have pulled this off like we have.”

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