Hand sanitizer is back on shelves after a year of shortages, but stores across the country suddenly can’t find anyone to buy it. Apparently America is… sick of sanitizing. We’re ready to get our hands dirty again, and where better to do that than a motorcycle-themed hotel in Milwaukee, the birthplace of Harley-Davidson and some of America’s largest breweries?
EXPLORING THE SPACE
The Iron Horse, a former Milwaukee mattress factory turned boutique hotel, is geared towards business travelers, weekend visitors, and above all: motorcycle enthusiasts. While we’re sure the facilities are plenty clean, the attitude at Iron Horse certainly is not sanitized. “Independent and unapologetic,” they’ll store your gear and pour you a pint with the gruff geniality you’d expect from this industrial corner of the Midwest.
A fixture in the Milwaukee scene since it opened its doors over a decade ago, Iron Horse was a pioneer in the refurbished factory aesthetic before it came to the urban mainstream. Worn leather couches, exposed brickwork, custom-built iron chandeliers, and original timber mingle with turn-of-the-century antiques from around the city. The entire hotel is dog-friendly as well, so if you’ve got a four-legged road companion, don’t worry about them getting shooed off the sofas in the lobby.
As you’d imagine from the city that boasts the oldest continually operating motorcycle manufacturing operation in the US, Milwaukee is very rider-friendly and The Iron Horse is the ultimate rest stop. The hotel features top-notch amenities including covered motorcycle parking, custom bell carts for transporting saddlebag contents, an on-site bike wash, and a repairman on call, just to name a few. Book the Ride The Wind package during your stay for a $50 food & beverage credit, local beer bucket, and two tickets to the Harley-Davidson museum down the road.
Continuing the celebration of local flavor, you’ll find gritty, mural-scaled photography in guest rooms and a massive American flag made from painted blue jeans in the lobby, both by native artist Charles Dwyer. Iron Horse’s three restaurants by Executive Chef Dan Turek—Ash, Branded and The Yard—follow a loose, no-frills manifesto of sorts: “Keep it hearty, cook with fire, eat with company, drink with spirit.” All this coalesces into an atmosphere that’s familiar yet exciting, an ode to brazen Americana and the spirit of independence.
Nothing about Iron Horse is subtle; if the rev of a V-twin engine became a place with four walls and a bar, it would look like this hotel. The brash and gritty here combine with passion and integrity: beer and motorcycles are what Milwaukee is, so beer and motorcycles are what Milwaukee does. At Iron Horse, you’ll find both in ample quantity and first-rate quality.
Book a Premium Loft room for the best views in town, with 12-foot lofted ceilings and eyebrow windows overlooking the city.
Gear up with Milwaukee Boot Co. boots, bags, and accessories, sold in the hotel’s retail space, to bring home some authentic Milwaukee craftsmanship.
Looking to try some local brews? Branded, the hotel taproom has the best selection of seasonal offerings on tap or in a bottle. For the full experience, try the cheese curds.
Iron Horse is located in Walker’s Point, a hub of cultural activity with a thriving restaurant scene. Take a walk around if you’ve got time to explore.