Spotlight on Union Park Tavern: Q&A w/ Ben & Angie

Union Park Tavern

“You can really get it all here at Union Park Tavern.” – Ben

At Union Park Tavern, you’ll find everything you’re looking for: unbeatable Friday fish fry, an extensive beer selection, top-notch wait staff, live music, entertainment, refreshing drinks, delightful brunch, satisfying lunch, dinner options, and countless other offerings. Join us as we chat with Ben & Angie to uncover the latest happenings at UPT…

Q. Can you give us a little rundown on the history of Union Park Tavern?
Ben: Sure, actually Union Park Tavern has a really long history. The building that we’re in right now was built in the 1920s, and the house that’s behind it was about 20 years older than that. And then through the doorway, which is our separate dining room, was also built around the 1920s. So there are three different structures that come together to make up Union Park Tavern. And over the years, it’s changed its name, changed its history. Most recently, before we purchased it, it was Pete’s Place, run by Pete and Brenda Zakovic for many years. It became a spot for award-winning fish fry and great for the neighborhood. And we really kept that tradition going and built onto it. Brought it back to its roots as Union Park Tavern, which was the name it had, I think as early as…
Angie: I think that was the original name.
Ben: yeah, it was the original name of the tavern.
Ben: So Union Park’s had a lot of history too, and we’re reconnecting with that and keeping the best of Pete’s Place still going here.

Cheers to UPT

Q. So what makes Union Park Tavern stand out?
Ben: Well, I think what’s great about Union Park Tavern is the terrific location next to Union Park. The trolley stops here in the summer. We have a terrific backyard and beer garden. So we’re really kind of a four seasons place here. You can get breakfast, you can get lunch, you can get dinner. We have incredible entertainment pretty much every night of the week so everything from open mics and jams to karaoke to live bands and DJs. You can really get it all here at union park Tavern.

Q. What is something about downtown Kenosha that you would like new or future residents to know about?
Ben: Well, it’s a city for all seasons. The market happens in the summer, but it also has a winter location. There’s great winter activities. There’s obviously with late great summer activities. And so if you’re thinking of coming to Kenosha, whatever season you visit be sure to ask what’s happening throughout the whole year, because really there’s something here every weekend and every week. So you gotta be sure that you talk to some locals or check out

Q. What are some things that you guys personally like to do in downtown Kenosha?
Angie: Personally, I like to check out the local businesses. I like to shop downtown. I also like to eat and have cocktails, What about you?
Ben: Yeah, same for me, but also the summer festivals, the Taste of Wisconsin is incredible, the Kenosha Art Market, there are  just all sorts of fun things do in downtown Kenosha.

Angie serving up the famous UPT fish fry.

Q. All right, how do you guys stay updated on the industry trends and change?
Ben: We get invited by our distributors to conferences in Milwaukee. Kenosha being between Milwaukee and Chicago you get to see a lot of what happens in a big city like Chicago and also like a big midwestern city like Milwaukee.  Kenosha has a really good spot to stay up to date on all the industry stuff.

Q. Can you guys just give us a description of what Union Park Tavern is all about?
Angie: I would say good food, great entertainment, wonderful cocktails, and great people!

Kenosha’s Cutest Couple, Angie & Ben

Q. Can you tell us what a day in the life of owning Union Park Tavern is all about?
Ben: It starts early and it ends late. It starts about, I don’t know, 6 o’clock in the morning and we clean the place from top to bottom and it ends usually at whatever bar time it is, 2 o’clock in the morning or 2.30 am. So really we are only closed about 3 hours, you know, when somebody isn’t here. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes too, not just out front.

Q. Alright, last question. What is next for Union Park Tavern?
Ben: Well, we opened up a little brother down the road. So Pete Zakovic, who was the owner of Pete’s Place, his twin brother, Pavle, passed away suddenly. And so we’re keeping that tradition alive just down the road on 52nd Street with Pavle’s Lounge. So we kind of wouldn’t call it ”a second location”, but we’re bringing kind of the best of arts and entertainment over to that location as well.

Union Park Tavern 4520 8th Ave.

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They offer indoor or outdoor seating and carry out.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11am – Bar Closing • Sat. & Sun. 9am – Bar Closing
Also Check out Pavle’s Lounge at 1724 52nd Street.
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Hours: Thrusday – Saturday at 6pm – Bar Closing

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Check out the interview here!

Q&A and concept by Donny Stancato & Jenna Zeihen • Edited by Meridith Jumisko, Jenna Zeihen & Donny Stancato • Photos by Donny Stancato •