The Landing at Hoyt Park, the park's new beer garden, likely will be open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays on days when the pool is open, executive director Kathleen Slawski said. The beer garden season is expected to run from May into November, depending on weather.
The Landing is expected to open for the first time next month.
While the Common Council approved hours of permitted operation from noon to 10 p.m., the beer garden will not usually be open for that whole period.
The 3 to 9 p.m. beer garden time period works well because many pool users depart in the mid-to-late afternoon, easing parking lot congestion.
Open swim hours at the pool end at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at 6 p.m. on Friday. Evening open swim is from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. See friendsofhoytpark.org for details on times of operation.
The pool is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, so there will be weeks when the beer garden is open and the pool is closed, Slawski noted.
"On days that are outside the pool operation, we would most likely adjust those hours to earlier, and as the days get shorter, it would more likely be noon to 7, or 1 to 8, depending on when the sun sets," she said.
She said adjustments to the beer garden times might also be made when the pool is closed because of weather.
Slawski said live music would not occur every day — maybe once or twice a week — and most likely would be limited to within the time frame of 4 to 8 p.m. on days when it was booked. She said it would be "more of a special occasion type thing rather than a regular occurrence." In the fall, for example, she might consider music in the early afternoon.
Much of the debate about the beer garden centered around music times and types. Alderman John Dubinski, a supporter of the beer garden, was among those who favored a required closing time no later than 9 p.m., allowing music only between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m.
"I think they were just trying to get away from having something that would go to late hours over here, and we don't plan on doing that at all," Slawski said.
She added that the beer garden and pool would not broadcast recorded music.
The beer garden menu will include giant pretzels, brats or some kind of sausage, popcorn, and changing specialties. The concession stand for swimmers and those who use the park (there is a park-side window for those not entering the pool) will stay open as usual, with ice cream, hot dogs, pizza and other snacks being offered.
The beer garden boosts employment at the park by four-to-six people, Slawski said, bringing employment to a total of about 50, including supervisors, security people and others. Most of them are part time. Also, there are between 20 and 30 lifeguards, contracted through the county.
The beer garden requires a licensed bartender on site, and Slawski said servers also will complete responsible-server training.