By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jan 10, 2010 at 11:04 AM Photography: Whitney Teska

If you're still looking for a great spot to take in the Packers Playoffs games, a new bar in Bay View should prove worthy. It's called, simply, Bay View Sports Bar & Grill and it opened at 2327 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in late 2009 in the former Dee's Wine Stop space.

Sports lovers are sure to be in their comfort zone here. The four plasma screens (and more are on their way) broadcast "the game" in every direction, there's a pool table, darts and other bar games and the walls are detailed with the numbers and lines of a football field.

Owner John Karearis even brought in his personal collection of sports memorabilia to decorate, including a 1957 Milwaukee Braves pennant with all the players' names and what used to be his crown jewel: an official Packers helmet signed by Brett Favre. The helmet still sits prominently in its case above the bar but Karearis admits he's turned it around so that the now-controversial autograph faces back.

But as the name suggests, the Bay View Sport Bar & Grill serves up more than just drinks. It's got a decently-sized menu that begins with appetizers like jalapeno poppers, potato skins, nachos and his top seller, a two-lb. basket of chicken wings for $7.95. The wings come in three flavors: plain, mild and "extreme hot," which incorporates (owners) own secret hot sauce recipe.

The remainder of the menu is rounded out with a Friday night fish fry, burgers, salads and other typical bar food. A stand out, he says, is his Mexican-style gyro, another vehicle for his hot saucedistribution.

The bar itself is actually connected to its neighbor, the Midwest Diner, via the kitchen, which prepares the fare for both the bar and the diner, which Karearis has owned since its days on 7th and Wisconsin Ave. He has owned the restaurant's current Bay View building for 17 years.

The bar actually takes up the space of two storefronts along Kinnickinnic; the former wine shop and its immediate neighbor to the north, which Dee's owner Deanne Wecker had hoped to transform into a wine tasting room. Karearis conjoined the two, but left a just enough wall to create a natural boundary between the bar area and the pool table.

Bay View Sports Bar is open daily. Monday through Wednesday it opens at 5 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday it opens at 10 a.m. with a cocktail hour (featuring two-for-one drinks) lasting until 6 p.m. on the weekends. And if you play your cards right, there are more specials in store. Any time any Wisconsin team plays, beer specials include $2 Bud and Bud Light and $1.50 taps. Plus, there are the requisite complementary shots for every Packers touchdown. Go team.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”