Sports bar guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Feb. 12, 2001 at 6:04 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.
In a city like Milwaukee, which has a lot of professional sports teams for its size and more bars per capita than just about any city in the nation, drawing the line between bars and sports bars can be tricky. But we took a shot at it anyway and scooped up the Brew City's best sports bars. If we've missed your favorite, please add it to the list with the talkback feature.
The 4th Base
5117 W. National Ave., (414) 647-8509
Though the atmosphere inside screams baseball and burgers, the chef prepares some incredible meals on a menu that changes daily; you can even view the featured meats and seafood of the day in the deli case.
The atmosphere is great, especially for baseball, with signed baseballs on display, pennants, autographed pictures, newspaper clippings and plaques from many years back, signs and other memorabilia that crowds the walls.
1123 N. Water St., (414) 277-0293
2635 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 302-1900
Each BW-3 location is different; the downtown location offers two big screen TVs and about nine smaller TVs, some with trivia games and SportsCenter constantly playing. There are also several sports-related video games, two dart boards and a head-to-head baseball game called Home Run Classic you can play from the bar.
The only drawback to watching a game at BW-3 is the acoustics. It's nearly impossible to hear a game being called, as the ambient noise of the bar is usually overbearing.
The Mayfair Road location of BW-3 has a different layout, with a bar area separate from the restaurant area and pool tables in addition to darts and a number of TVs.
5030 S. 74th St., Greenfield, (414) 281-0600
1240 N. Moorland Rd. at Greenfield Avenue, Brookfield, (262) 797-6600
A national chain that strives to be more restaurant than bar, Champps still offers enough gigantic TVs, scoring updates and game-related specials to qualify it as one of the better places in town to eat a sit-down meal while taking in a game or two.
There is little sports memorabilia, but the focus on sporting events and good view of the games themselves on the screens keep you focused anyway. The meals there are also very good, with a wide variety of dishes and beverages available from the bar.
The Fire Pit in Potawatomi Bingo Casino
1700 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7993
The Fire Pit glows with multiple big-screen TVs covering multiple sporting events at all times. The menu is standard bar fare with some additional flair, including a delicious chili in an edible bread bowl, shoestring potato fries and multiple spice and hot sauces on each table to suit your taste. The prices are reasonable, so you have money left over for the multitude of slot machines right outside the bar area.
Friday's Front Row Sports Grill
1 Brewers Way, (414) 902-4201
Friday's is the premier sports bar and grill inside Miller Park. There are table packages available for all home games or you can host a private party in the Brew Room. But the coolest thing about this place is regardless of where you sit or stand, you can see the entire baseball field because of the gigantic picture window that runs the length of Friday's and overlooks left field.
Hooligan's Super Bar
2017 E. North Ave., (414) 273-5230
Always a little different than the other North Avenue bars, the game experience at Hooligan's is perhaps a bit more sophisticated than you might be used to. Downstairs is usually packed, but upstairs is manageable. Get there plenty early to reserve a seat, and your best bet is one of the round tables facing the medium-sized big-screen television. Hooligan's is known for its exceptional bar food, which includes all sorts of grilled fare. The beer selection is also immense, with local microbreweries and all the Miller essentials on tap. The crowd is 20-somethings and older and just as rowdy as anywhere you can find. Hooligan's is an excellent choice for all sporting events, especially Monday Night Football games.
7700 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield (414) 817-9464
Hooters is known far and wide as a place to munch sauce-drenched wings, watch the game and fantasize about your server and her co-workers. Indeed, Hooters offers several big-screen TVs and numerous other monitors, along with trivia games, scoring updates, and game-break entertainment offered up the staff, occasionally involving hula-hoops.
The menu also offers up some good concoctions, like the Mahi sandwich and Buffalo shrimp, and it's one the few sports bar-type places where you can get Dom Perignon with wings. Hooters offers up the standard beer selection along with some mixers, including a new one called Hooterade, like Kool-Aid with a kick.
5218 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 258-9837
Brewers fans have flocked to Kelly's for years, and its location near Miller Park will maintain its status as one of Milwaukee's most-loved baseball bars. Kelly's has two big rooms and some smaller rooms featuring three pool tables, five dart boards, video golf and multiple video games. One room features six big screen TVs and there are tons of other TVs throughout the bar.
The menu is mostly standard sandwiches and pizzas, but dinner specials include ribs, shrimp, spaghetti and Mexican food for Wednesday games. There is some memorabilia in each room and you can tell that baseball is a major influence here.
1118 N. 4th St., (414) 283-5300
Its location right across from the Bradley Center pretty much guarantees that Legend's is packed before and after Bucks games, Admirals games and other major sporting events downtown. Sports personalities and athletes often stop at Legend's to rub shoulders with fans and no doubt partake in free drinks. Darts and pool can be played along the back walls and tickets to Bradley Center events can often be purchased from a ticket broker located inside the bar.
340 W. Kilbourn Ave., (414) 271-3414
One of Milwaukee's older sports bars, Major's has pulled in fans for years from MECCA, Milwaukee Arena and Bradley Center events, and keeps 'em coming with the traditional food and drink fare and some great stuff to look at: lots of old memorabilia adorn the walls, including from the Milwaukee Braves era, Marquette's NCAA championship runs and the Bucks' early years.
1135 N. Water St., (414) 278-8888
McGillycuddy's has three levels, multiple TVs and game-related promotions. Sports memorabilia is concentrated on the third level, where there is a cool selection of stuff to look at, especially if you like Brewers memorabilia from their highly competitive years in the early '80s.
The bar food is always good (try the Tuna Steak sandwich), and there are specials tied into certain major events. They are very active with promotions, which can add to the fun. As the weather gets warmer, check out the outdoor patio if you didn't get to last summer.
16755 W. Lisbon Ave., Brookfield, (262) 790-9701
Pistol Pete's serves up a good place to catch games if you like to hang out west. Half a sports bar and half a restaurant with an attached cigar and scotch bar, Pistol Pete's offers two projection TVs, eight other TVs, pool tables, darts, a good selection of video games and a good menu. There isn't a lot of memorabilia, but if you like NASCAR they have some interesting things around.
During Packers games, they offer free pizza and appetizers at halftime and free shots for every touchdown. Other specials are occasionally tied into events like the Final Four, the Super Bowl or the World Series; you can call or stop in for details.
Prime Time Sports Bar & Eatery
8777 N. Deerwood Dr., Brown Deer, (414) 354-1919
One of the smaller places on this list, Prime Time offers a friendly setting for taking in a game. Prime Time features a 61" big-screen TV and six smaller TVs, easily viewed from anywhere in the bar. All major sporting events are shown, with food and drink specials tying in to Packers games and certain other events.
The decor and memorabilia are very sporty with pennants, old buttons, decades-old autographed pictures and newspaper clippings. Food is pretty standard pub fare, but rates high on the taste scale, especially the French onion soup. They also feature Mexican food and rib specials.
Romine's High Pockets
6125 S. 27th St., Franklin, (414) 281-2212
Romine's is a fun place to watch multiple sporting events while enjoying multiple activities. Football and wrestling fans will especially enjoy the wide selection of events broadcast on over 50 TVs, with a central bar, restaurant, video games and tons of pool tables.
The bar and restaurant have extensive food and drink selections and, although sports memorabilia is sparse, the selection of events to watch, drink specials to take advantage of and variety of activities make it a good place to catch a game, or multiple games, especially with a group of people.
Rookie's Sports Club
3915 S. Howell Ave., (414) 482-9700
A South Side staple for years, Rookie's features two bars, big-screen TVs, several smaller TVs, foosball, darts, video games and an outdoor patio that hosts its many sponsored softball league players when the weather's not cruel. Rookie's shows multiple games simultaneously and utilizes digital cable to increase the selection of games that can be shown. Food is limited to standard bar fare and the beer selection is decent. Prices are also reasonable
Steve's on Bluemound
5841 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 257-3210
Steve's is a place to play games as well as watch them. With two bars, 15 TVs including three big screens, you can watch games there. With air hockey, foosball, video games, four pool tables and darts (including leagues), lots of activities can occupy the down times.
Trysting Place Pub
N71 W12980 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls, (262) 255-4110
N112 W16344 Mequon Rd., Germantown, (262) 250-4110
They're not sports bars, specifically, but each Trysting Place Pub location serves up good food, a good drink selection, big screen TVs, video games, darts, pool and some memorabilia. The Menomonee Falls location also offers karaoke on some nights.
Others to try
Boomer's Sports Pub & Grill
N29 W24483 Watertown Rd., Pewaukee, (262) 691-2558
Finn's Bar & Grill
516 W31878 Highway 18, Wales, (262) 968-9800
Glory Daaze Sports Bar & Grill
4200 W. Burleigh St., (414) 449-5350
Highlands Sports Pub
965 Cannon Gate Rd., Oconomowoc, (262) 567-2577
Kettle Moraine Bowl
Highway 60 and 175, Slinger, (262) 644-5959
Mark's Sports Pub
4035 S. Clement Ave., (414) 481-4993
Sharkey's Bar & Grill
2454 N. Grandview Blvd., Waukesha, (262) 650-1599
Sussex Place Sports Bar & Grill
N64 W22480 Main St., Sussex, (262) 820-3500
Karma was voted Milwaukee's Best Sports Bar 2008 on AOL City's Best. Outstanding food, 17 tv's for all games and the atmosphere can't be beat - Badger Band music, Marquette fight song, cheesy Packer tunes!
I am originally from So. Milw. and I have been living in So. Cal. for over 30 years, so along with the teams I grew up with (Packers, Brewers, and Bucks) I'm also a (Chargers, Angels, and Clippers fan) So I would like to inquire as to the existance of a sports bar that caters to the viewing of any or all of these teams. I am moving back to Wi. this summer and would like to hang with a few people with a love of any of these teams (though our home teams will always come first "GO BREWERS"...thank you
I would like to know if any place around is showing the Delahoya vs Mayweather fight on May 5? Thanks!
Yash Shah said: I am looking for a bar which will show Formula 1 races. The final 3 races are critical for 2006 season would like to see them live.
Joe Chiefs Fan said: I just moved here from Kansas City, and I am desperately looking for a bar that will show Chiefs games this season. If there is one..they will have a loyal visitor every week.
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