By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 12, 2009 at 5:38 AM

"Bar Month" at 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

Live music and cold beer go hand in hand, which is way so many Milwaukee bars double as concert venues. But when it comes down to it -- when you really think about the quintessential place to watch a band in this city -- it's tough to compete with the Cactus Club's stronghold on the indie scene for the past decade or so.

Perhaps that's why readers voted the Cactus Club, 2596 S. Wentworth Ave., as their favorite bar to see live music -- local or otherwise.

It was small, dark and kind of dirty, but it was nationally known as the cool place for touring punk, indie and rock bands to play if they were passing through Milwaukee.

Then in 2007 owner Eric Uecke completely gutted and renovated the 100-year-old Bay View tavern into a cleaner, slightly more mature version of its former self.

The full-circle bar was replaced by a U-shaped one, the walls were cleaned up (as were the bathrooms, thankfully) and the blacklights were replaced by track lighting. It feels quite a bit different in there these days, but the Cactus Club remains a live music staple for Milwaukee. editor's choice: Cactus Club

2. Milwaukee Ale House
3. The Rave
4. Shank Hall
5. Mo's Irish Pub
6. Up & Under Pub
7. Trinity Three Irish Pubs
8. BBC
9. The Mad Planet
10. Points East Pub
11. Linneman's
12. Stonefly Brewing Co.
13. The Estate
14. Bad Genie Rock Lounge
15. Live on North
16. Vnuk's
17. Rooters
18. Y-Not III
19. Club Anything
20. Liquor Sweets
21. Borg Ward
22. Treats
23. Yesteryears
24. The Commons