As the Brewers prepare to open the 2009 season Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco, many fans wonder if they'll have enough pitchers to make it through the season.
Fortunately, that shouldn't be a problem for area taverns.
Whether they operate on Bluemound Road, National Avenue, State Street or as far away as South Milwaukee and Saukville, bar owners will tell you that a robust performance by the Brewers is good for business.
With the team coming off its first playoff berth since 1982 and nearly 2 million tickets sold before the home opener -- which, if you missed the memo, is at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon -- bar owners are bracing for a busy spring.
As with the Packers, virtually any bar in town can refer to itself as a "Brewers Bar." That makes it almost impossible to create a comprehensive guide, but we're going to give it a try. Feel free to use the Talkback feature to add your favorites.
Derry Hegarty's Pub
5328 W. Bluemound Rd.
This stadium-area has been pleasing baseball enthusiasts, Irish pub aficionados and fish fry fanatics for decades. The banquet hall has hosted weddings and parties.
5108 W. Bluemound Rd.
There is nothing wrong with replacing peanuts, bratwurst and beer with chips, salsa and margaritas. Garibaldi has delicious food and a lively pre- and post-game atmosphere. You might see Carlos Villanueva drop by for a bite.
5218 W. Bluemound Rd.
If you've ever been to the Cubby Bear Lounge across from Wrigley Field, imagine if it had more character, nicer acoutrements and much better food. That's kind of the vibe at Kelly's. There are two big rooms and some smaller rooms with pool tables, dart board and video games. One room features six big screen TVs.
5230 W. Bluemound Rd.
Baseball and bowling have been providing Milwaukeeans with a reason to drink for decades. There is a bowling alley in the back hall at Long Wong's, but the beer specials, baseball conversation and poker tournaments provide much of the activity.
5901 W. Bluemound Rd.
Virtually all of the Bluemound bars offer shuttle service to Miller Park. McGinn's was at the front of the pack with the "Slim-o-suine." This is a friendly spot with excellent food.
6317 W. Bluemound Rd.
As it approaches its first birthday, Tim Toetz's establishment -- located in the building that once housed Cassidy's -- is hitting its stride with an excellent menu, a smoke-free room and free chicken wings after every Brewers home game.
Steve's on Bluemound
5841 W. Bluemound Rd.
You have to love a place that the employees and regulars refer to as "S.O.B's." Steve's is a place to play games as well as watch them. With two bars, 15 TVs including three big screens, you can watch games there. With air hockey, foosball, video games, four pool tables and darts (including leagues), lots of activities can occupy time during pitching changes, rain delays and blowouts.
5527 W. National Ave.
Best known as the hotel/bar that former Brewers manager Harvey Kuenn owned with his wife, Audrey. Order a Harvey Wallbanger, for old time's sake.
8911 W. National Ave.
A bit further west, Magoo's a party bar that has some of the best wings in town. Magoo's has nearly a dozen TVs to watch the games, pool tables and dart boards. Monday night is Karaoke and Wednesday nights are saved for open jams.
4631 W. National Ave.
Happy hour is quite happy at Mollica's, where drinks are specially-priced on Saturday nights. Mollica's runs a shuttle to Miller Park, but the front door might be closer than some of the remote lots at the ballpark.
The 4th Base
5117 W. National Ave.
Though the atmosphere inside screams baseball and burgers, the chef prepares some incredible meals on a menu that changes daily; you can even view the featured meats and seafood of the day in the deli case. The atmosphere is great, especially for baseball, with signed baseballs on display, pennants, autographed pictures, newspaper clippings and plaques from many years back, signs and other memorabilia that crowds the walls.
HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE DIVISION
1601 Miller Park Way
Located just south of the ballpark, this chain gets a bump in business on game day.
Friday's Front Row Sports Grill
1 Brewers Way
There are bars close to Miller Park, but his one is inside the facility. It's a cool place to catch lunch year-round, but it really pumps during home games. There are table packages available for all home games or you can host a private party in the Brew Room. It's also a good place to go wait for the traffic to filter out of the park.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.