Wauwatosa bar guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Feb. 17, 2014 at 5:02 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.
Downtown Milwaukee is still the top spot for nightlife in the area, but more and more folks are turning to Tosa to grab a quick drink or for a full night out.
Tosa serves as a real-life timeline of 20th century bars: You'll find quaint neighborhood taps on the east side; bigger, more modern sports bars to the west; and even larger, corporately-owned bars on the western edge of town.
Check out some of Wauwatosa's watering holes, both old and new, with OnMilwaukee.com. Add your favorites using the talkback feature below.
6817 W. North Ave., (414) 988-8533
BelAir Cantina is a hoppin' place to get a hearty Mexican meal – and cheap tacos on Tuesdays and Thursdays – but it's also got a good range of tequilas that can be sampled alone or in flights, margaritas and beers, both domestic and imported.
Buffalo Wild Wings
2635 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 302-1900
Another chain restaurant but one with a good-sized bar, big beers and plenty of televisions to watch the game. Plus, the always addictive bar trivia network games can keep you occupied if your team is getting throttled.
7700 Harwood Ave., (414) 271-7700
On the restaurant's Facebook page, Lowlands says, "Cafe Bavaria is not your grandmother's German restaurant. Featuring warm German cuisine and beer, the party never ends at Cafe Bavaria." But it is definitely your Lowlands German restaurant. As at Cafe Benelux Downtown, Cafe Bavaria has a wide range of beers, a market attached, and outdoor seating and soccer – Lowlands trademarks – of course, too.
7677 W. State St., (414) 475-6771
This Western outpost opens early seven days a week for breakfast and Sunday brunch and is open late as a bar, too. Lunch and dinner are also served in the welcoming dining room and tables line the bridge and sidewalk outside, offering al fresco dining, in season. As with all Lowlands Group places, you can expect an extremely wide and interesting selection of beer from Europe and a menu very similar to the one offered at the original location on Downer and Belleview.
7615 W State St., (414) 453-2300
The Chancery feels like a local version of Applebee's, with its perky servers and a slick menu full of colorfully-named entrees. In fact, the Chancery is also a chain, albeit a small, Wisconsin one. The restaurant entrees are available in the bar, as well as appetizers and free popcorn.
Club Tap Cocktail Lounge
8816 W. North Ave., (414) 257-4142
Open 365 days a year, Club Tap is Tosa's old reliable. It's been there nearly as long as anyone can remember. It opened in 1939 and many believe it to be the oldest bar in Wauwatosa. On a recent visit, bartender Jason was amicable and less than five minutes after taking a place at the bar, another patron fired up a conversation. That's Club Tap, a neighborhood place of city-wide renown. Fourteen beers on tap, nightly specials and free WiFi make for a affordable -- and productive -- evening. And Lalli's next door has some of the best carry-out pizza in town.
7342 W. State St., (414) 476-3070
There are more doctors here than on the back nine at the Bluemound Country Club on a summer day. Actually they're not doctors, but students from the nearby medical school who frequent Colonel Hart's. It's also a convenient stop for softball players from Hart Park across the street. Colonel Hart's has a number of booths and tables that make it a good spot if you're meeting up with a large group of friends. It also has a notable collection of old newspapers headlines commemorating great moments in Wisconsin sports history.
Dave & Buster's
2201 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 454-0830
The newest addition to Tosa's West Side, Dave & Buster's opened in March 2010, providing adults with a dining, drinking and entertainment complex. The game room and dining areas are separated by a large bar room, allowing patrons to enjoy a drink, watch the game or take their chance in the arcade.
7754 Harwood Ave., (414) 431-1444
Just across the tracks from Cafe Hollander is Firefly, formerly Bjonda and, before that, Jolly's on Harwood. The front has two dining rooms serving full menus, but continue toward the back of the space to find a spacious bar that maintains an intimate vibe and offers a stylish, dimly lit atmosphere for a Wauwatosa cocktail. There's also a patio that's open in the warmer months.
7118 W. State St., (414) 258-5600
This long-lived State Street bar is also the best Mexican restaurant in Tosa, serving enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and more, with a good variety of vegetarian options. Hector's margaritas are also among the city's most beloved.
Jimmy's Island Grill & Iguana Bar
2303 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 257-3400
Jimmy's is a bar and restaurant located in the Radisson Hotel, across the street from Mayfair Mall. The warmth of Key West and the Caribbean comes alive in this parrothead-themed bar, which also serves full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
JoJo's Martini Lounge
418 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 475-5656
Don't be fooled by JoJo's location in a strip mall on Mayfair and Bluemound Roads, across from Mo's. The lounge is a favorite for girls' night out (Thursday offers a range of ladies' night specials) and for couples seeking a frou-frou cocktail.
6030 W. North Ave., (414) 727-6161
Juniper 61, a sibling of Bay View's wildly popular Cafe (and Bar) Lulu, Juniper 61 focuses on food, but also has a bar and, in season, a great little patio where you can enjoy an aperitif or after-dinner drink.
7610 Harwood Ave., (414) 778-3333
Le Reve Patisserie and Cafe is more restaurant than bar, it's true, but like it's Italian neighbor across the street – Ristorante Bartolotta – it's still a lovely place to share an intimate drink.
7208 W. State St., (414) 258-9886
The food is good. The beer is cold. But, Leff's Lucky Town isn't flashy, fancy or very remarkable and the customers in Wauwatosa like it that way. Located in a historic building that once housed a silent movie theater and a shoe store that fronted a Prohibition speakeasy, Leff's is a regular winner in the OnMilwaukee.com Best of Bars survey and has become a landmark Tosa watering hole, especially popular before and after Brewers games. A couple years back owner Chris Leffler took over an old gas station next door to build a patio that allows Leff's to offer outdoor dining in season.
Mo's Irish Pub
10842 W. Bluemound Rd., (414) 774-9782
Like its sister location downtown, the Wauwatosa Mo's Irish Pub, located in the former Ground Round space at Highway 100 and Bluemound Road, offers a variety of Irish and American staples in food and drink. You can get a Shepherd's pie and wash it down with a pint of Guinness or have a cheeseburger and a Miller Lite, all while watching live music and enjoying a fun and upscale casual vibe.
6715 W. North Ave., (414) 607-1045
The former Shepherd's was briefly branded at The Sherbrooke before owner Martin Beaudoin rechristened it as the western outpost of his East Side Red Dot. Burgers, mac 'n' cheese and other comfort food is on the dining menu, but Red Dot is also a great neighborhood watering hole, too, and mixes up a mean Bloody Mary.
The Ruby Tap
1341 Wauwatosa Ave., (414) 456-1300
A wide range of wine is available at this Tosa Village hotspot that allows patrons to pour their own tipples from automatic wine dispensers. But don't pass up the tasting menu, which offers delicious cheeses, meats and small plates to enhance your wine-tasting experience.
Walters' on North
6930 W. North Ave., (414) 774-0440
Walter's barely looks like a tavern on the outside. But inside, there's a long snaking bar, with a perennially-sizzling grill, a range of video games and friendly patrons. There are five TVs usually showing sports, the standard Milwaukee-area beer offerings with a healthy dose of specialty brews mixed in and delicious tacos and fish fry on Thursdays and Fridays, respectively.
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