"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs -- including guides, the latest trends, bartender profiles and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
For decades Milwaukee was synonymous with German culture in America, but of course there were strong Polish and other traditions here, too. Milwaukee, like the whole country, is a melting pot of world cultures reflecting the varied backgrounds of the folks who have chosen to settle here over the course of more than 150 years.
While you won't likely fool yourself into thinking you're in another country while tippling in this town, you can sample a world of flavors in Brew City taverns.
Here are some bars you can include on your own little international bar crawl right here in Milwaukee. Add your favorites using the Talkback feature at the bottom.
Prost, slainte, cheers, salute, cin-cin, salud ...
Africa -- Of course Africa is a giant continent overflowing with cultural richness and diversity, but, alas, there isn't a place representing each of those cultures. But Club Timbuktu, 520 E. Center St., opened by two immigrants from Africa, is a great place in Riverwest that is alive with African culture and food and great music and dancing.
England -- Dogs Bollocks, 2321 N. Murray Ave., doesn't look especially like an English pub, but there's Tetley's and owner Tony Wright's passion for his native roots. There's also footie on the telly, some English dishes on the food menu and a range of British decor adorning the walls.
France -- Trocadero, N. Water St., opened with a French theme that included a Euro newsstand, zinc bar top and more. Though the French magazines and Italian newspapers are now long-gone, the Parisian air still wafts through the place. You just have to take the Gauloises outside now, mon ami.
Germany -- The Old German Beer Hall, 1009 N. Old World 3rd St., combines old-world traditions with modern atmosphere. Serving the same beer found in Munich's world-famous Hofbrauhaus and a menu of authentic dinners and Usinger's sausage, the Hall takes you back in time to when German was the predominant language on 3rd Street. Get a group of friends together for a game of nails, or just share a table with strangers and enjoy live music. It's "Gemütlichkeit" at its best.
Greece -- With no whitewashed walls and no deep, clear, aquamarine sea twinkling outside the windows, it might be a little hard to convince yourself you're not in Greece., so why not just go underground (sort of) at Dino's Taverna, 777 N. Jefferson St., and let the warm vibe -- and some anise-y ouzo -- recreate the Grecian isles for you.
Ireland -- There are many places in town where you can get your "Green" fix, but we suggest Broacach, 1850 N. Water St., which has an authentic look and feel and no shortage of Irish delicacies on tap and on the menu. There's a great patio, but if you sit out there, you'll immediately know you're in Brew City.
Italy -- The Calderone Club, 842 N. Old World 3rd St., is more restaurant than bar, but the bar is pretty actually quite popular and very comfortable. If you order a Peroni and pretend the south wall of the bar is actually a window, you might be able to convince yourself you're in a tiny Ligurian town watching the donkeys wander past. Order a plate of pasta al pesto for the fuller effect.
Mexico -- The late Jose Garza opened Conejito's Place, 539 W. Virginia St., in 1972. Garza was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and after a brief stint working in South Side bars, he decided to open a restaurant and offer a taste of his region's cuisine to Brew City. The old corner tavern space still has its long bar and folks love to belly up to it for a Mexican beer or a margarita.
Netherlands -- Holland, the Low Countries, the Netherlands -- call it what you will, but sample it's beers (and watch it's football) at Cafe Hollander at 7677 W. State St. in Tosa Village (or you can opt for the Downer Avenue location, of course). Hollander carries La Trappe Dubbel, Tripel and Quadrupel. The very extensive menu of Belgian beers means you could also use Hollander as a Belgian stand-in, too. Do dubbel duty.
Poland -- The bar at Polonez, 4016 S. Packard Ave., in St. Francis, doesn't feel especially Old Word. In fact, the whole restaurant looks like a Denny's plucked out of Warsaw. But behind the bar, you'll find a tremendous selection of Polish beers and vodkas that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, especially the Żubrówka, a buffalo grass vodka with an incredibly unique taste.
Serbia -- Una, 4410 W. Forest Home Ave., offers Serbian beer (when they can get it), soccer on the television and a number of brands of Slivovitz, a potent plum brandy. MOCT, 240 E. Pittsburgh St., offers a clubbier take.
Turkey -- Tulip, 117 N. Jefferson St., in the Third Ward, has a delectable menu of Turkish treats, but belly (sorry!) up to the bar and order a dark Turkish beer to get the full effect.