Sometimes, after a long day at work, you need a quick cocktail at happy hour to calm those jangled nerves.
Then, there are those days when that happy hour turns into a six-hour bender. Stinko, loopy, or just plain drunk -- call it what you will. We've all been there, and while we don't endorse binge drinking, some bars are just better for getting hammered. You know what we mean -- you don't go to Hotel Metro to drink five martinis, but you do go to Import Night at the Landmark to tie one on.
Arguably, we could list thousands of corner taps as taverns where you can get blotto (they are bars, after all -- serving booze is why they exist). Instead, we picked some of our favorites. Grab a designated driver, drink one for us, and use the Talkback feature below to add your own favorite watering holes for getting wasted.
At Random (2501 S. Delaware Ave.) -- It's actually hard (and expensive) to get drunk on weak, tasty and expensive ice cream drinks. But the curve ball at this Bay View landmark (which, coincidentally seems to be open, at random, too) is the Tiki Love Bowl. Designed for two, but frequently consumed by one, it might better be called a Hangover In A Big Glass.
The Eastsider (1732 E. North Ave.) -- In the land of young professionals and college students, happy hour is king and cheap beer is queen – making this corner bar a royal palace. When happy hour taps of tasty brews like Guinness, Smithwick’s Irish Ale and Spotted Cow set you back a mere $2.50 until 8 p.m. (after which the Thursday night $1 Jaeger bombs kick in), the chances of stumbling across the street for mini doughnuts at midnight is moderate to high.
The Foundation (2718 N. Bremen St.) -- Tiki Tuesdays at the Foundation are the ideal get-drunk destination. The drinks are tall, strong and festive which makes binge drinking less sad. In fact, it’s downright fun to soak up cocktails any night of the week in this hip, Hawaiian lounge that’s usually cranking superb tunes.
The Harp (113 E. Juneau Ave.) -- With its serene setting on the Milwaukee River, this is one of those bars that can sneak up on you. Sit down for a happy hour or a late Sunday afternoon and you may find it difficult to pull yourself away.
Hector's South (3040 S. Delaware Ave.) -- Maybe it's those pints of hand-mixed margaritas (and they use decent tequila, too). Maybe it's the atmosphere, with bartenders who feel like old friends. But try to sit at the bar at Hector's and leave sober. Muy difícil, amigo.
Jim Hegarty’s Pub (1120 W. Wells St.) -- The best bar on
Marquette’s campus, and by best, we mean drunkest (naturally).
Bartenders make drinking bets with patrons. Girls (and guys even) are
known to dance on countertops. Some drunken streaking is not even
outside the realm of possibility. The intoxication culminates during
infamous Wednesday nights, where the bar “doubles your dough” until 10
Landmark Lanes (2220 N. Farwell Ave.) -- Does it really need to be said? Landmark Lanes has been the place to tie one on for generations. Especially on Import Night Tuesdays. Two more words: drunk bowling.
Leff's (7208 W. State St., Wauwatosa) -- Thirsty patrons won't feel out of place at this Wauwatosa landmark. The softball, kickball, volleyball and basketball teams are in constant competition to see who can consume the most pitchers in a season. There is free popcorn and a menu of good bar food.
King Pins (4102 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., St. Francis) -- There's nothing fancy about King Pins. The beer is cheap, the vibe is pure South Side softball and darts pub. But with owner "Babs" behind the bar, you might just find yourself drinking more than you bargained for at this St. Francis hideaway.
Judge's Irish Pub (1431 E. North Ave.) -- Nothing says college like cheap, plastic pitchers of beers being guzzled at bar that's packed to the gills with thirsty co-eds. Technically speaking, it's an Irish pub, but with a spacious patio filled with picnic tables, Judge's is one of Milwaukee's prototypical East Side college bars. Most everyone who's lived on the East Side has stumbled out of Judge's on at least one occasion.
La Fuente (625 S. 5th St.) -- Truly a Milwaukee institution, La Fuente is a drinking destination where the food takes a backseat to the strong, sugary margaritas. One of them is usually enough to get the party started – but who ever stops at just one?
Nomad World Pub (1401 E. Brady St.) -- Whether you have a stein hanging behind the bar or not, there’s no reason to wander any further than The Nomad when you catch yourself with “the drinkies.” It doesn’t matter if it’s 4 p.m. and you slack in the front window, or hours later and you just want to lounge it curbside. Either way, there’s a good chance you’ll get sucked into the festive vibe and knock back more than your share at this tried-and-true Milwaukee watering hole.
The Old German Beer Hall (1009 N. Old World 3rd St.) -- After a few drinks, the beer hall can almost feel like a trip to Europe. Known for its authentic variety of Stein beers (and other imports), it’s an especially good drunken destination on “Free Beer Fridays.”
Palm Tavern (2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) -- If you're the type who can drink Miller Lite all night and go home stone-cold sober, you might want to avoid the Palm. That's because they don't serve any Miller products. All the beer (and it's quite a list) seems more potent that what you might be used to drinking, and the bar is stocked with an impressive and eclectic list of quality liquors. Good music, a cool crowd and potent drinks -- it's a recipe for instant intoxication.
Rosie's Water Works (1111 N. Water St.) -- Even on "slow" nights, you can count on Rosie's for good conversation, good pool, good pub grub and a friendly drinking atmosphere. It also has history: it's where Charles Barkley drank before he punched a guy in the face in the middle of the street.
The Safe House (779 N. Front St.) -- The famous “Spy's Demise” is one of those fruity concoctions that goes down way too easily. That said, some of us have slurped down a few too many of these evil red cocktails and ended up ducking into the trick phone booth for a clandestine snooze-a-roo.
The Uptowner (1032 E. Center St.) -- Not getting drunk at The Uptowner is like not leaving the Ponderosa in need of maternity pants. It might happen, but chances are, it won’t. After all, the free-flowin’ Uptowner is no place to sip an appletini. Instead, try a PBR or nine, shoot a sloppy game of pool and stumble home for some stupid antic like trying to bake a frozen pizza in the microwave followed by a wicked case of the bed spins.
Village Pub (4488 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood) -- Something about this Shorewood bar seems entirely Northwoods. That means tasty Bloody Marys, reasonably-priced High Lifes, and lots of local looking for a place to quench their thirst after a softball game. Plop yourself down at the bar, watch a Brewers game, and enjoy their ice-cold beers -- one after another.
Walter’s (6930 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa) -- Walter’s isn’t a drunk fest, rather it’s a neighborhood place filled with customers of all ages, many of whom clearly know each other. But, start downing some of the delicious tacos and you’ll find the beer is going down pretty smoothly … and quickly.
Wolski’s Tavern (1836 N. Pulaski St.) -- Contributing significantly to this small bar’s binge factor is the endorsement from the ever-popular drunkfest that is the Lakefront Brewery Tour. At the completion of each tour, the brewery hands out free beer coupons to be cashed in at Wolski’s -- as well as a handful of other bars -- and the free, uber salty popcorn helps the pints slide down with ease.
Y-NOT II (706 E. Lyon St.) -- Got a hankerin’ for hedonism? The Y-NOT’s your place. If Charles Bukowski was still alive, there’s a good chance he’d be belly up to the Y-NOT’s bar (or passed out in the creepy dentist’s chair in the front window). There’s always an eclectic mix of people ready to clink glasses, from hardcore alkies who’ve been bar side for a shift-and-a-half to musician-or-poet types to cheap-o college students who heard wind of free popcorn.