"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, unique features, drink recipes and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
The votes are in and the winners have been selected for OnMilwaukee's Best: Bars & Clubs, 2009. The results of this readers' poll, including an editors' pick, are available in this series of articles that run all month long in the Bars and Clubs section of OnMilwaukee.com.
When talking about taverns, the term "dive" can be used with derision or delight. When we asked OnMilwaukee readers to name their favorite "dive" bars -- well, let's just say there wasn't any doubt about the context.
Venerable Wolski's Tavern, the century-old gathering spot at 1836 N. Pulaski St., easily outdistanced the field. The Bondar brothers - who since 1973 have operated the bar opened by their great-grandfather, pro claim this victory cold beer, good music, clever conversation, dartboards free popcorn, iconic bumper stickers and a warm, inviting vibe.
Adventure. Danger. Romance. Wolski's is the dive that has it all and easily could have qualified as our editors' pick. After hearing solid arguments on behalf of several contestants, our panel decided to give the nod to another century-old tavern -- The Uptowner, 1032 E. Center St, which boasts the sign "Home of the beautiful people."
According to local lore (and the Milwaukee County Historical Society), The Uptowner became a tavern in 1884, when it was one of 54 "Schlitz taverns" to open in Milwaukee. During prohibition, the place was used as a drug store, but rumor has that spirits still were sold.
In the 1950s and '60s, The Uptowner opened at 6 a.m. to accommodate the lifestyle of third-shift workers from factories, tanneries and breweries. Though it now opens at 11, The Uptowner is still a spot for "day drinkers."
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: The Uptowner
3. Y-Not II
4. Frank's Power Plant
6. Landmark Lanes
7. Club Garibaldi
9. Champion's Pub
10. The Newport
11. Roman Coin
13. The Uptowner
15. Jim's Time Out
16. The Jock Stop