After working at popular Milwaukee-area bars since 2006, this bartender just opened his own in West Allis – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Growing up with a mom who bartended, Benjamin Buss “always had an interest in the business.”
He got his first taste of bartending in 2006 at Uno Pizzeria and Grill in Menomonee Falls. Since then, he’s worked at popular establishments throughout the Milwaukee-area, including The Belmont Tavern, Jack’s American Pub, Milwaukee Brat House, Who’s on Third, Nomad World Pub and O’Lydia’s Bar and Grill. 
“I’ve been planning and looking to open a bar for a long time,” Buss said. 
And now, he has. He opened Stalley Cats, 6201 W. Mitchell St., West Allis, Dec. 18. 
“I’m so fortunate to be able to say I’ve accomplished a dream, and very few people get to say that,” he said. “It’s a pride like I’ve never felt.”
At Stalley Cats, it’s all about the drinks, Buss said, with an “ever-expanding” spirits list. 
The bar’s staple is a Funyun bloody mary. It features vodka, a homemade bloody mary mix, tomato juice and garnishes, including Funyuns. 
Buss described himself as a “passionate” bloody mary fan. He said he explores the area with his wife, Codi Peters, for “good” bloodies and has for a “long time.”
“I would like to be able to be on the list of best bloodies in the city, and have that be something we really thrive off of,” Buss said. 
Stalley Cats has about 25 types of bottled or canned beverages, including Spotted Cow, Blue Moon, Stella Artois, Guinness, Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat Ale, and White Claw. 
“That will be changing pretty consistently,” Buss said. “I like to bring in new products and see what works and what doesn’t.”
There are eight draft beers, about half of which will rotate. Current tap offerings include, Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Modelo, Riverwest Stein, Milwaukee Brewing Co. IPA, Central Waters Brewing’s Mudpuppy Porter and Woodchuck Cider. 
Drinks range from $3 for a domestic beer to about $7 for a tall double of Captain and Coke or Jack and Coke. 
The bar plans to launch a brief appetizer menu by February with “pub fare,” such as, broccoli cheddar bites and tater tots. Frozen pizzas are currently available. 
“Stalley Cats” is what a friend nicknamed Buss and Peters, when they moved to West Allis four years ago. 
Peters, who owns Fresh Prints of Milwaukee, designed the Stalley Cats’ logo and merchandise. 
Just like Buss, Peters isn’t new to the bar business, spending the past decade in the industry. 
The pair met while both working at Jack’s. 
“The industry brought us together, so it hits home for me,” Peters said.
“We’re trying to be a step up from what most people are used to in West Allis,” Buss said. “I’ve brought in the staff that I’ve brought in very intentionally.”
The staff of five has a combined total of more than 70 years of bartending experience, he said. 
“I don’t go back to a bar because it has pretty art on the walls,” Buss said. “I go back to a bar because the staff takes care of me.”
So far, Buss said, the clientele has been “service industry-heavy.” 
“We all have a great circle of friends we’ve known and met through the years in different spaces that we’ve all worked in,” he said. “I’ve been getting so much love and support.”
Buss and Peters are both taking shifts behind the bar throughout the week. 
“Seeing him shine and do what he loves and finally work for himself feels pretty good,” Peters said. 
The bar, which was formerly Charlie O’s, has four dart boards, video amusement machines, an internet jukebox, a “retro” mini Nintendo and TVs. 
Buss said they’re planning to have dart, sheepshead and cribbage leagues in the future. By summer, he hopes the bar will be able to be a go-to spot to watch sports. 
Staff members are required to wear masks, Buss said, and they’re “encouraging” customers to as well. 
“We’re taking it very seriously and being very cautious with the staff, and taking a lot of extra cleaning measures, constantly,” he said. 
Customers’ spots are cleaned when they leave, he said, and hand sanitizer is placed throughout the bar. 
The bar is open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday. On March 1, the bar plans to begin opening at 7:30 a.m. 
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