"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, bartender profiles, drink recipes and even a little Brew City bar history. Cheers!
We think of bars as the places to do our drinking, but you can imbibe responsibly away from the smoke and the noise and the smell of day-old beer, too. Here are a few suggestions.
Chuck E. Cheese's -- Yes, alcohol numbs the horror of a mechanical mouse singing "La Bamba," but remember: No matter how much a cold one helps you deal with your posse of token-spending second graders, it only worsens your game of skee ball. And in this dismal situation, skee ball is all you've got.
Groom -- You can't buy beer at groom, 330 E. St. Paul Ave., but upon entering and checking in for your hair cut, you're always offered a frosty Miller (or other beverage, of course, if you prefer). A beer, neck rub, shave and a hair cut. Does it get much better?
The Zoo -- For some reason walking around with a kid looking at the animals and carrying a beer feels a little wrong and sometimes we have to fight the urge to hide it, as if someone will bust us. But, hey, the beer is on sale and it's allowed. On an especially hot day, it's also very refreshing. Just go easy there, fella.
Whole Foods & Metro Market -- Again, it seems like the place where you'd have to keep the cup under your jacket, but Whole Foods has a beer and brat bar toward the north end of the store and as far as we can tell, there's no reason why you can't stick your brew in the shopping cart cup holder and get a little shopping done, too! Metro Market also has beer and wine ready for you.
Brewers game -- Of course, beer and sporting events go together like, well, beer and sporting events. But of all the places in town to get a drink outside a tavern, there's nothing quite like the old ballyard. Sunny day, some local suds (yup, you can get ‘em there, just gotta look) and the Brewers on the field? Perfection.
Fred Boutique -- It's becoming a trend in the fashion world to offer complementary wine to shoppers as they peruse and try on clothing. Fred Boutique, 524 N. Water St., is one of the several Milwaukee boutiques that offer a glass of red or white to customers nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. In that vein, Fred's shopping parties and monthly martini nights combine what might be the ultimate in female attractions: boutique shopping and frou frou drinks.
Upscale movie theaters -- Several of your finer area theaters, including the Rosebud, IPic, Fox Bay and Majestic, let you get your drink on while you take in a movie. Just like every concession, prices are steep. But think of how cool it would've been to enjoy a White Russian while watching "The Big Lebowski." Or to sip a screwdriver during "Leaving Las Vegas." Wait, that wouldn't have been cool at all.
Tall boys -- Some bars double as music venues, but not all music venues double as bars. Sure, it's common to find alcohol at most live shows in Milwaukee but you're likely paying twice what you'd normally pay for that plastic cup of Miller Lite. The Pabst, Riverside and Turner Hall team changed that when they introduced their infamous $3 Pabst "Tall Boy" cans a few years ago. At 16 ounces, these puppies sell like hotcakes to concert-goers who like an affordable libation or three while taking in a live performance.
Summer festivals -- But you knew all about this already.
My patio or yours -- Enjoying a drink among friends and family at home, under the patio umbrella, with some music playing and the grill sizzling ... makes us wish it wasn't February.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.