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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

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In Bars & Clubs

Olker says he's a "lupper" kind of guy. (PHOTO: McKenna Marie Shaffer)

Bartender Olympian: Jim Olker of Milwaukee Brat House


"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round – brought to you by Aperol, Pinnacle, Jameson, Fireball, Red Stag and Avion. The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

As OnMilwaukee.com gets ready to host its fifth annual Bartender Olympics, you can prepare to cheer on the competition by familiarizing yourself with future Milwaukee Bar Olympians.

We've been talking to the participating bartenders over the last two weeks in preparation for the big night at Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St., on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Drink in the fun as your 2013 competitors go head to head in a recipe competition in which the final results are tasted and voted upon by the audience and select celebrity judges. Watch as Milwaukee's favorite bartenders compete in the yearly favorite Pabst Can Stack and finish off the night with the ever-popular Bartender Karaoke.

Special guests include FM 102.1's Kramp and Adler.

The event is free and features drink specials like $3 shots and small cocktails featuring sponsored brands, $3 Pabst Tall Boys and $5 regular-sized cocktails made with sponsored brands.

Here's a quick Q & A with Milwaukee Brat House's (Notte Nite Lounge's) Jim Olker.

OnMilwaukee.com: How long have you been tending bar?

Jim Olker: Eight years.

OMC: If you could only pick one bar to hang out at (outside of work) where would it be and why?

JO: Sabbatic. It has great hospitality, tall boys and games. Fantastic music, too.

OMC: What's your favorite brunch spot right now?

JO: I usually sleep through brunch, so I'm more of a "lupper" kind of guy. Whatever I find in the fridge around 2 p.m. always hits the spot.

OMC: What's the craziest thing you've ever witnessed in your bar?

JO: A 6 cent tip on a $63 tab from a former coworker.

OMC: If you could open up a bar in Milwaukee tomorrow what type of bar would it be?

JO: An Irish pub with a few games and not a lot of TVs. Too many people get sucked into the TVs at bars and miss out on conversation with the people they came with.

OMC: Who are some of your favorite bartenders to visit in Milwaukee?

JO: Rollie at Rumor, Joel Harris at Catch 22, Steph at Dukes, Sam "Hollywood" Mack at Irish Rec Room, Tara Jade at Stubby's, Phat Sal at Mikey's, and Armon "Fastpants" Noori at Oak.


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