"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
Join OnMilwaukee.com's Bartender Games (formerly the Bartender Olympics) at Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.
Emceed by FM 102.1's Jon Adler, the Bartender Games will see the return of past participants who will battle it out against new competitors. Other special guests include Sarah Laux Photography and DJ E.Rich.
Cheer on your favorite bartenders and teams while they compete in the signature cocktail competition, Pabst can stack and a bartender lip sync competition.
You, the audience, will be part of the judging and can try and vote on the signature recipes. While you're there, enjoy sampling of new Red Bull Tropical Yellow Edition and be entered to win a year of free Red Bull.
The Rookies of the Year will be aiming to earn their place. The team includes Jared Looze of The Wicked Hop/Jackalope Lounj, Mike Pierce of Who's On Third, Juston Calvert of Bel Air Cantina, and Claire Jacques of The Harp.
OnMilwaukee.com: What's your favorite thing about the bar you work at?
Jared Looze: I love that we have two bars in one building. Working behind both gives you a very different experience. The Hop side is more laid back and the Jackalope is higher volume.
Claire Jacques: The patio and the staff's weirdness they bring out in everyone.
OMC: What are some of your favorite Milwaukee bars (outside of where you work) and what bartenders do you visit around town?
JL: Nomad, Malone's, Rogues Gallery, and all of 2nd Street. Joe Conforti, Kir and Sara at The Nomad and Amber K. at Rogues.
Juston Calvert: Scaffidi's, Nomad, Finks and Hi Hat/Garage. I visit Mario Lanza at Finks, Kyle and Kirsten at Nomad, and Aleks at Hi Hat on Sunday.
OMC: What's your favorite Milwaukee restaurant right now? Why?
CJ: Tenuta's. Can't go wrong with lots of wine and a stomach full of Italian food.
JL: The Noble. They have a staff that is like a family and an awesome menu that changes everyday.
JC: Probably Points East Pub. I'm all about wings. They have the best in town.
OMC: What's the craziest thing you've ever witnessed/experienced while behind the bar?
Mike Pierce: Saw a guy's face light on fire from a "151" shot!
CJ: Anyone over the age of 35 stripping. It happens too often and once you see it, it can't be unseen.
JC: Cutting people off is always interesting. I would say the first time I was in the weeds. Just me and a full bar and I loved it. Made me realize I was doing something I love.
OMC: What do you think the next big trend will be in the Milwaukee bar scene?
JL: Local products are hot right now, but there are a lot of great new breweries and distilleries popping up all over the state that I'm excited about.
CJ: More redheads and glitter.
JC: Live art.
MP: Whatever they're doing in Europe.