Bay View bar guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Feb. 20, 2013 at 5:19 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
To many, Bay View is one of the Milwaukee neighborhoods experiencing a revival of sorts. Just south of downtown, the "other East Side" boasts affordable homes (though not for much longer) and new shopping, as well as a mix of old and new restaurants and bars. Some Bay View taverns have been around forever, it seems, while others are just hitting the hipster scene.
2501 S. Delaware Ave., (414) 481-8030
At Random is a quiet and dimly-lit bar with decor stuck in the '50s, prodigious ice cream-based drinks and plenty of attitude. Of course, you can also have more typical cocktails, wine and beer, but who can pass up a cozy booth, an astonishing Tiki Love Bowl and two straws? Miaaaaooooow. Note: At Random seems to be randomly closed, so call first.
2265 S. Howell Ave., (414) 294-5858
Bar Lulu is an expansion of Cafe Lulu, and it's easily one of the funkiest lounges in Bay View. Not only do they serve the cafe's excellent and reasonably-priced food (like their beloved sandwiches), Lulu is also big enough for live music and ample seating. The bar has an impressive beer and wine list and makes one heck of a Mojito.
Bay View Bowl
2416 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 483-0950
Yes, it's a bowling alley, but BVB also holds its own as a bar. With super-cheap taps of ice-cold beer, as well as famous Bloody Mary's, owners Mike and Andrea will treat you right. Just don't ask them to turn down the Cheap Trick.
3007 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 486-1344
Blackbird opened in the former Groove space in late 2008. The bar takes it old school with old time video games, push button booths, board games and a pinball league. Come on Thursdays for Team Trivia and cram as many friends as you can in the photo booth.
3158 S. Howell Ave., (414) 482-4941
Just don't call it a water fountain. Good beer, good service and good prices - plus, Vinchi's Pizza is served in-house, so there are plenty of goodies to nosh on while you drink and watch one of the new HDTVs.
2599 S. Logan Ave., (414) 294-0490
Loyal customers of this neighborhood icon will tell you anytime what they love about their local bar. Pool and shuffleboard in the back, Burnhearts regularly has DJs, great drink specials, an extensive beer list and a hometown vibe. Happy Hour is 3 to 7 p.m. every weekday, with $1 off all taps and Rehorst cocktails and $2 Pabst bottles.
Boone & Crockett
2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 988-4758
Bay View's newest addition is owned and operated by the folks that brought you Hotel Foster on North Avenue. The place has a vintage feel but isn't intimidating, and the cocktail prices aren't too shabby. Regulars like the music and the friendly vibe.
2496 S. Wentworth Ave., (414) 482-0160
The Cactus Club is a homey corner bar that welcomes a diverse crowd of alternative music fans. The expanded back room is the scene of regular gigs featuring a wide variety of live music by bands from Milwaukee and beyond.
2306 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 755-0377
Cafe Centraal more than filled the old open corner on Kinnickinnic and Lincoln Avenues. Serving both lunch and dinner, Cafe Centraal has a binder full of Belgian beers and taps.
2501 S. Superior St., (414) 483-6335
A remnant of Bay View's northern Italian community, the first such enclave in the city, Club Garibaldi -- named for the great Italian patriot -- is also a reminder of the many mutual aid societies that Italian-American communities founded throughout America. A friendly place with regular local gigs in the spacious back room, Club Garibaldi sits just across the Hoan Bridge making it a mere five-minute ride from downtown.
The Down and Over Pub
2535 S. Kinnikinnic Ave., (414) 481-8860
The sister bar of the Up and Under on Brady Street, the Down and Over Pub is fasting making a name for itself as a solid bar and music venue. They have a daily Happy Hour Monday through Saturday, Swing Dance night on Thursdays, and plenty of local acts to keep things interesting.
Franky's Newport Lounge
939 E. Conway, (414) 486-1768
Nothing pretentious here: just locals enjoying a cold drink. Drink a couple more, then try to figure out the deal with the giant wall-sized mural of famous (and not famous) people adorning it.
Frank's Power Plant
2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 481-9200
Frank's was formerly known as Chuck's on KK. Chuck's loyal rockabilly crowd can still be found here, as can a mellow vibe (except after softball games, etc., when it can get boisterous). They also frequently have live music (like on Metal Monday or Karaoke Saturday).
The Highbury Pub
2322 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 294-4400
You might not find a lot of soccer bars in Milwaukee, and until The Highbury, you certainly wouldn't find many in Bay View. But Joe Katz changed that when he opened the pub on KK. They focus on good beer and live music, and it's not hard to see the influence of The Nomad World Pub at this uber-cool bar, just south of Lincoln. Even if you can't make it down, you can keep up on the "futbol" schedule on their Web site.
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I was bummed to see Victoria's and Barnacle Bud's missing too. Still, a pretty good list.
Rocco's also has a brand spankin' new patio which we be open for dining and music wants the weather warms. It also has free live music Thurs. - Sat. New owners took over Feb. 1 and will bring drink specials and other surprises for the masses.
You forgot Baby Boomers. A family-run establishment with cheap drinks and a super good fish fry
This guide is missing many places in the heart of Bay View - Bay Street Pub, Gerry's Diamond Tap, Victoria's, Still Shakers, Home Bar, Bay View Sports Bar, The Backyard, even Barnacle Buds (technically a bar that serves food).
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