Segredo owner Michael Hierl hopes to bring some of the flavor and vibrancy of Brazil to Madison with the opening of his bowling lounge and restaurant Segredo.
After being inspired by the Boutique Bowling Lounge and Restaurant in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Hierl’s vision and opportunity came to fruition Jan. 15 when his establishment opened at the location formerly occupied by Madison Avenue on University Ave.
Boasting an array of four bowling lanes, numerous stations of Wii bowling, an assortment of Brazilian-inspired sports bar games and a “platos-style” menu that caters to a range of tastes, Segredo intends to be an entertainment venue unique to the area, the establishment’s website said.
Hierl owns the exclusive rights to boutique bowling technology in the United States. He said that by hiring Brazilian technicians to install the bowling and gaming technology, he hopes to maintain the unique cultural feel and niche in his establishment.
He emphasized the need to make a break with Madison Avenue in terms of entertainment and accepted behavior in the establishment.
Segredo’s cocktail napkins detail the “house rules” for customers, first and foremost, “be good or be gone.” Other rules listed on every napkin include “Gentlemen will remove their hats,” “No fighting, play fighting or talking about fighting” and “Please exit Segredo quietly. People are trying to sleep across the street.”
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, where the bar is located, said his expectations for Hierl’s business are high, noting he fully expects the comprehensiveness and attention to detail Hierl brought before the Alcohol License Review Committee to continue in his business practices.
“It’s a really amazing and unique concept, I can’t imagine it not being a success,” Verveer said.
A University of Wisconsin graduate, Hierl said he understands the drinking culture of Madison, but believes there should be a clear divide between enjoyment and irresponsibility.
He cited the lines that formed outside of Madison Avenue, the regular presence of police officers outside the establishment and rampant underage drinking.
“To put it simply, we don’t want a customer’s behavior to distract from the experience of another customer,” Hierl said. “We want to be part of the solution.”