"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
Not too long ago, Brady Street was in the doldrums. The corner of Brady Street and Farwell Avenue was desolate and much of the street was run down. The Polish had given way to the Italians who gave way to the hippies, and only the diehards remained from those groups.
But over the last decade, things have gone mega, with dozens of buildings refurbished, the street getting a new look, young professionals moving in and great shops, restaurants and other businesses taking root.
Among them have been some wonderful taverns where you can meet old friends, make new friends, hear live music, listen to a DJ or sit alone and ponder the world. The neighborhood as an entertainment destination is back and better than ever. Join us as we take a stroll along Brady Street, paying particular attention to its watering holes.
1686 N. Van Buren St., (414) 347-4144
When thinking about Angelo's, two words come to mind: Old School. Angelo's is a small lounge with a big atmosphere. Great drinks (one of the most delicate and delicious martinis in town), attentive and often amusing service and live lounge music a couple nights a week make Angelo's a great place to hang out.
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
Balzac food and wine bar is a great restaurant offering small-plate dining and a wine and beer list that is anything but small. The staff is warm and knowledgeable. Balzac is dark and chandeliered, creating an intimate atmosphere for the perfect start or end to an evening out.
728 E Brady St, (414) 271-6000
This bi-level Middle Eastern restaurant & cocktail lounge has plenty to be entertained with hookah and weekly belly dancers. The second floor outdoor patios are covered and heated for Brady Street gazing even during some of the chillier months. Dance the night away with fun DJs and one of the most diverse crowds in the city.
1339 E. Brady St., (414) 278-0188)
Club Brady is a place to own the jukebox, watch sports or just have a few beers with friends. You can play pool, shoot darts and drink a brew (it has expanded and improved the tap list) at this Brady Street anchor.
1875 N. Humboldt Ave., (414) 226-5882
At the corner of Humboldt and Water, Fink's opened in 2013 and describes itself as "a heritage tavern focused on craft beer, specialty cocktails and esoteric spirits." Throw in pinball, and you've got the ethos and charm of this offbeat, interesting and retro-nostalgic bar a few blocks north of the more typical Brady scene.
Hosed on Brady
1689 N. Franklin Pl., (414) 223-3919
This firefighter-themed tavern (located next to the former MFD Engine Co. 6 house) features a long bar, small tables lining the perimeter, a pool table and several flat screen televisions for adequate viewing from every seat. You won't find a fancy cocktail menu, but Hosed taps several beers, offers a full liquor selection and stocks small bags of chips on a metal stand.
Halliday's Irish Pub
1729 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 278-9290
Just off Brady Street, on Farwell Avenue, Halliday's is so unassuming from the outside that you might not even notice it. And that's probably OK with them. For years Halliday's has had a bevy of devoted regulars and the lounge has a small-town feel in the middle of a big-city neighborhood. A back deck is open when the weather permits.
Hi-Hat and Garage
1701 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 220-8090
Offering a stylish and upscale environment with savvy bartenders and signature cocktails, the Hi-Hat is dark and intimate. Its kid brother, the Garage, is connected to the back of the same building and boasts a more casual, vibrant atmosphere, with great bartenders, good music and a fun-loving weekend crowd. In 2013, the Garage underwent a redesign, changing the interior of the bar and making its beer garden-y patio more accessible.
Jack's American Pub
1323 E. Brady St., (414) 763-2830
A Brady Street newcomer, Jack's opened in 2013 and features (what else?) American pub fare, beer and spirits. It's kept a multi-level bar, which is popular on weekends, including an intimate patio deck off the second floor. Jack's revamped its menu, especially its brunch offerings, and has nightly food and drink specials.
1800 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 276-7101
Lodge meets lounge at Jamo's, a bar that's redefining Milwaukee's corner tap. Duck in for a martini or a Miller (or both), and chill in a cozy booth while listening to smart music and enjoying totally random décor.
1311 E. Brady St., (414) 765-9955
Jo-Cat's is sort of a sports bar, sometimes a night club, mostly a dive. It's really a fun neighborhood spot that doesn't fit into any category. There are a few TVs always showing games, several smiling bartenders and, late at night on weekends, lots of dancing (dancing?) 20-somethings. Go for a Packers game, take a Brewers shuttle or make it a stop on a Brady Street bar crawl.
Malone's on Brady Nomad World Pub Pitch's Lounge and Restaurant Points East Pub Red Lion Pub Regano's Roman Coin Scaffidi's Hideout The Standard Thurman's Up and Under Pub Wolski's Tavern
1329 E. Brady St., (414) 763-3209
Malone's replaced the bygone dive bar Listwan's/Bruno's in 2013 and, while retaining the space's coziness, upgraded the decor, improved the selection and increased its popularity. Malone's has an impressive beer list, popular specials and an interior adorned with photos and prints of Milwaukee's lakefront and Downtown.
1401 E. Brady St., (414) 224-8111
The Nomad is Milwaukee's haven for the weary traveler. Specializing in imported beers and liquors, it features eclectic music and morning soccer matches in a fun but cozy setting. During the warm months, Nomad's outdoor patio, which straddles the corner of Brady and Warren Avenue, is one of the best places in the city to sip a drink or two with friends (or your dog), have a cigarette and watch Brady Street's diversity fly by.
1801 N. Humboldt Ave., (414) 272-9313
Serving some of the tastiest barbecue and steaks in Milwaukee along with a mean fish fry, Pitch's is a meat-lovers paradise. Family-owned and operated since 1942, Pitch's has a welcoming bar, nightly specials like "Wacky Wednesday" and some great Milwaukee brews.
1501 N. Jackson St., (414) 277-0122
How could a bar next to a shopping center be cool? Check out Points East Pub and find out. This East Side/Downtown establishment attracts regulars and newcomers with some of the best wings in town and an impressive beer selection. The wait for the wings can be long, but it's worth it, especially with a frosty tap brew in hand.
1850 N. Water St., (414) 431-9009
Located just a bit off the Western terminus of Brady, along North Water Street, the former Brocach Pub has exchanged that old Irish heritage for new English owners and spirit, complete with televised soccer matches and British ales. There's also weekend brunch and, outside on the patio, a poolball table for playing the life-size soccer-mixed-with-pool game.
1004 E. Brady St., (414) 278-9334
If we're talking small-town feel, low-key Regano's Roman Coin, long a fixture of Brady Street, has it in spades. Here's what you need to know about Roman Coin: It's dog-friendly and cash-only. And, if we're being honest, it doesn't take much cash to have a good time there.
1837 N. Humboldt Ave., (414) 273-1665
Like playing pool? This is your spot. If you've ever craved a Cheers-like experience in a neighborhood bar, Scaffidi's is an excellent place to make yourself a regular. With a great jukebox filled with classic rock, good people, and three pool tables that assure an opportunity for a hassle-free game, Scaffidi's is a place where you can go out, hang out, or hide out.
1734 N Franklin Pl., (414) 405-4656
This dark cozy neighborhood bar serves up tasty cocktails plenty of tallboys - though that doesn't mean there isn't a large beer list. Unpretentious and welcoming, The Standard is not to be missed.
1731 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 224-1080
Named after the late New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson, this bar has turned into one of Milwaukee's most colorful and character-rich, if sporadically crowded, spots. Dark, dank, townie but fun, Thurman's has cool bartenders, interesting people, Grateful Dead gilding and shuffleboard.
1216 E. Brady St., (414) 270-0229
Once the Blues Capital of Milwaukee, Up and Under is now one of the city's best venues for local music of any genre. With high ornamental ceilings, wooden floors and a handsome, period bar, it's a trip back in time and a fun place to down a few beers, the list of which includes an impressive array of imports and micros. Open mic night, karaoke and live bands make Up and Under a fun spot on almost any night.
1836 N. Pulaski St., (414) 276-8130
If you've never seen an "I closed Wolski's" bumper sticker on a car or a bathroom wall then you haven't been in Milwaukee long. This small neighborhood bar is a Milwaukee tradition of the highest order. There's nothing fancy inside, but it feels comfortable, the beer is cold and affordable, and there are dart boards and free popcorn. Everyone ought to close Wolski's at least once.
Malone's on Brady
Nomad World Pub
Pitch's Lounge and Restaurant
Points East Pub
Red Lion Pub
Regano's Roman Coin
Up and Under Pub