We know, Marquette students. You don't need anyone to tell you where to get your drink on. With Murphy's, Caffrey's, Sobelman's and a handful of other campus watering holds just a literal hop, skip and jump away from your dorm room, you know what's up without us having to tell you.
But isn't college about expanding your horizons? That's what all the brochures say, anyway. And Milwaukee's downtown area is so deliciously ripe for the pickins', bar-wise, that we would hate to see you restrict yourself to a three-block radius.
So we'll throw in some of your favorites for good measure, but we're also going to jump across the interchange named for your fine institution of learning and recommend some places beyond your usual stomping grounds. The hallmark of Milwaukee's downtown, after all, is that it's manageable and walk-able, and there's no reason it shouldn't be your playground.
Bar: Murphy's Irish Pub, 1613 W. Wells St.
You all know about this one. It's the unofficial mascot of your school. Join the Mug Club and get specials on beer all semester long or celebrate your 21st birthday here and get a T-shirt. But have you ever thought about making a social experiment of it? Budding anthropologists, you will encounter here every genus of student the campus has to offer, you will observe them in their native element and best of all the chances are good they'll be uninhibited (did we mention the Mug Club?) Track mating rituals on Wednesday Ladies' Night (formerly karaoke night). Take notes on the behavior and drinking patterns of students under severe stress during F.A.C. (Friday After Class) night. Here's the challenge though: with the college-kid-friendly prices, it might be hard staying sober yourself.
Major: Women's and Gender Studies
Bar: Coyote Ugly, 1131 N. Water St.
If you've seen the movie "Coyote Ugly", 2000's Piper Perabo vehicle with a LeeAnn Rimes cameo, you probably know that most of the things you learn about in class can be observed at this bar. Hand-picked bartenders dubbed "coyotes" dancing on bars (inviting girls to dance with them), body shots and a "Sexiest Lady" contest. Or maybe you're a guy who thought that Women and Gender Studies meant something completely different, in which case you will enjoy the threadbare clothing of the vixens behind the bar. This is the place for anyone who's looking to let loose – or who's just curious.
Major: Theater Arts, Biomedical Engineering
Bar: The New Yorker Karaoke Bar, 645 N. James Lovell St.
Theater people, do you remember when performing used to be fun? Before your mom got all intense about it and made you quit Girl Scouts to go on auditions? Before you had to think about voice control and and stage movement techniques? Get back in touch with what you truly love about performing – belting out Shania Twain at the top of your lungs while your friends cheer you on (we know you like it). There's a friendly staff, reasonable prices and the space (featuring a mirrored wall) has a nice lived-in feel. And you biomedical engineering majors ... well, we don't pretend to know or understand what you study, but odds are it's stressful and complicated, and we think you need more karaoke in your life.
Major: Spanish Language and Literature
Bar: Espana Tapas House, 800 N. Plankinton Ave.
Espana just opened its doors this past March, but so far has gotten some good reviews. It's more of a restaurant, with a focus on a variety of cold and hot tapas and paella dishes, but they have some of the best sangria in the city, and during happy hour (4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 p.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday) it's only $4. Non-happy hour pricing may be a little steep for college students, but you're learning Spanish – a valuable skill, and you'll get a job with no problem after graduation. Spring for that $11 martini. You deserve it.
Major: Advertising, History
Bar: The Harp, 113 E. Juneau Ave.
Of course there's the wonderful Harp and Shamrock on Wells Street, a little closer to home. But we said to expand your horizons, so we're featuring The Harp (no shamrock, sorry) on Juneau – a charming, historic structure with the feel of an authentic Irish pub. Advertising majors will be interested in the quaint Visit Ireland posters on the wall. History majors will get a kick out of the building, which has been home to Milwaukee taverns since the 1860s. Everyone will like the relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff.
Colleen Jurkiewicz is a Milwaukee native with a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she loves having a job where she learns something new about the Cream City every day. Her previous incarnations have included stints as a waitress, a barista, a writing tutor, a medical transcriptionist, a freelance journalist, and now this lovely gig at the best online magazine in Milwaukee.