"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!
At one time, this section of North Third Street was considered the "Downtown" of Milwaukee's large German population. It's been said that shopkeepers used to hang signs in the window saying "English spoken here" in order to not discourage non-Germans from bringing business. Legendary and iconic Milwaukee businesses like Usinger's, Schlitz and Schuster's Dept. Store were staples on the street.
Many of the original buildings still stand today – some among the oldest in Milwaukee – housing tributes to the city's German heritage alongside some of its newest, most popular nightspots. Everything, from sports bars to music venues to hotel bars to restaurant bars to places to dance and more, can be found on Old World Third – some classic throwback venues, some transplants from elsewhere in the city, some brand new locales hoping to key into Milwaukee's legendarily unquenchable thirst for a good brew.
When taking a walk down Old World Third, it's hard not to find something you're looking for. Take a look at the list below to find a new spot to spend your afternoon or evening Downtown.
1983 Arcade Bar
1110 N. Old World Third St., (262) 949-6903
Old World Third Street offers you the chance to go back in time – in the case of 1983 Arcade Bar, not that far back, though. Striking as the city's first arcade bar, 1983 is a blast back to the past with classic arcade cabinets like Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, Double Dragon, Pac-Man, NBA Jam and plenty of pinball machines all awaiting your high scores – plus drink specials that you can legally imbibe now, as opposed to probably back when you were a teen.
Ale Asylum Riverhouse
1110 N. Old World Third St., (414) 269-8700
Ale Asylum may be proudly brewed and bottled in Madison, but that didn't stop the brewery from claiming a spot in Milwaukee – and on one of the city's hottest streets no less. The Riverhouse serves some tasty ales that are Madison-made in addition to being world class, alongside an equally tasty menu of upscale pub food – including wings, poutine, cheese plates, nachos and, of course, cheese curds. It's a swig of the state capital right here in Milwaukee.
1019 N. Old World Third St., (414) 224-8500
When you play host to the largest bar in the state of Wisconsin, the odds are good you'll do well for yourself. That's been the case for Buck Bradley's, one of the major mainstays on Old World Third Street. Classy without being pompous and full of itself, Buck's has friendly and quick bartenders to go with its decent prices. Add in some really good burgers, pub grub and a tasty Friday fish fry, and Buck Bradley's makes for a solid choice for some no-hassle Downtown dining before making the switch to a liquid diet.
842 N. Old World Third St., (414) 273-3236
If you're looking for some scrumptious Italian food on Old World Third Street – or in the city of Milwaukee, period – there's no going wrong with Calderone Club. If you're planning a path down Old World Third Street, a meal and vino at Calderone Club is a fine place to start.
1110 N. Old World Third St., (414) 897-8137
Taking the place of Matador, Cantina – just opened in the late fall of 2017 – offers a fresh bite of Mexican food hundreds of miles away from the border, featuring more than 100 types of tequila, tacos and burritos of all sorts, and multiple hot sauces to give you just the right amount of kick. And if you want a taste of Milwaukee and Mexico in the same cup, try Cantina's tequila old fashioned.
301 W. Juneau Ave., (414) 223-3311
If we're going to have to cope with some of Chicago's less desirable imports – namely Cubs and Bears fans – it's only fair the city sends us some of its finest as well, such as Carson's. The Windy City icon – mostly due to its steaks and, most importantly, their barbecue ribs – opened a location here in Milwaukee in 2013, and it's been helping sate the city's Downtown carnivores ever since. Hard to imagine a better base for a trip down Old World Third than a heap of tasty meats.
Fiserv Forum Beer Garden
1111 Vel R. Phillips Ave.
As part of the new Fiserv Forum entertainment block, the beer garden faces both Old World Third Street and the arena. The beer garden is equipped with a large screen, a weather-proof roof and other amenities perfect for game day. Seamlessly connecting the entertainment block to Old World Third, the beer garden is a great way to celebrate new buzz in the city and honor some of Milwaukee's old favorites.
Good City Brewing
333 W. Juneau Ave., 414-539-4343
It only seems right that the newest part of Old World Third Street, the Bucks entertainment block, would bring in the new big trend in Brew City: craft brewing and tap rooms. Good City's second locale features an awesome taproom, multiple tasty beers on tap, an open kitchen with snacks to help soak up your brews and a bonus event space on the second floor.
Knight's Bar at Mader's
1041 N. Old World Third St., (414) 271-3377
Mader's is an obvious Milwaukee staple, a thoroughly committed showcase of the food, decor and culture from the city's German heritage. Knight's Bar, branched off of the beloved institution, is no less a tribute to the Cream City's Bavarian roots – and, therefore, beer and other tasty alcoholic beverages.
The Loaded Slate
1137 N. Old World Third St., (414) 273-5700
Old World Third Street offers a truly loaded slate of restaurants and bars for you to enjoy – The Loaded Slate fittingly being one of them. The eatery makes for a perfect place to catch a game, whether it be Bucks, Badgers, Golden Eagles, Brewers and Packers. (It is the self-proclaimed "home of Little Lambeau" after all.) Even if it's an off-day for our hometown squads, however, it's more than worth still loading into The Loaded Slate for its lineup of taps, domestics and imports – not to mention sandwiches and burgers.
340 W. Kilbourn Ave., (414) 271-3414
When it comes to Milwaukee sports bar institutions, Major Goolsby's certainly cracks the list. Featuring memorabilia all over the walls – including a large painting of the late MU coaching great Rick Majerus – and a menu of tasty burgers and other pub grub, the longtime Downtown icon is the perfect place to take in a game and a beer – or a beer, then head over to the games a quick jaunt away at the BMO Harris Bradley Center or UWM Panther Arena.
Milwaukee Brat House
1013 N. Old World Third St., (414) 273-8709
It shouldn't really come as a surprise that a venue called Milwaukee Brat House would become a hit. As you'd expect from the name, Milwaukee Brat House serves a scrumptious traditional Milwaukee-style brat, alongside plenty of other Milwaukee favorites, while also serving a great, comfortable place to watch a game – or, in the case of the Brewers, shuttle over to one.
Oak Barrel Public House
1033 N. Old World Third St., (414) 897-8320
Oak Barrel is one of the newest residents on Old World Third Street, taking the place of the former Comedy Cafe and Giovanni's. Inside, you'll now find – fittingly – a whole lot of oak barrels, putting the focus bar and restaurant's focus on craft beers and whiskey as well as harkening back to the building's history as a hardware store.
Old German Beer Hall
1009 N. Old World Third St., (414) 226-2728
Considering the neighborhood's history as the one-time center of German Milwaukee, the Old German Beer Hall is a quintessential Milwaukee bar. In addition to the big, big tap beers from world-renowned Hofbrau Brewery in Bavaria, you can also get the usual bottled favorites – though why pass up the chance to drink a liter of beer?
The kitchen is open late, and in addition to the standard menu of brats and giant Bavarian-style pretzels, there is usually a couple of delicious German specialties on the menu too. The Beer Hall draws a number of different demographics, from families and "older folks" looking for a good meal, to theater and sports fans catching a drink before or after and event or show as well as the usual college crowds.
Point Burger Bar Express
322 W. State St., (414) 488-8315
Point Burger Bar has already solidified its reputation as one of the area's most popular burgers – but this State Street location brings something new to the formula: an express system, featuring a walk-up window that allows you to grab yourself a tasty one-of-a-kind burger creation and nosh on the go. Or you can hang out inside the Old World Third Street newcomer with its hefty collection of TVs, comfortable seating and thirst-quenching brews to wash your tasty burger down.
The Pub Club
1103 N. Old World Third St., (414) 988-5000
It's the weekend: Do you want to go out to a pub, or do you want to go out to a club? The Pub Club, formerly Suite, asks, "Why do you have to choose?" The Pub Club offers a bit of both: a locale where you can grab a crave-worthy bite and a tasty drink – either a brew or a specialty cocktail – in a comfortable atmosphere, along with a locale where you can dance the evening away.
Punch Bowl Social
1122 N. Vel R. Phillips Ave., (414) 204-7544
The newest entrant in the entertainment block/Old World Third Street area, Punch Bowl Social offers every variety of fun – from unique cocktails to tasty upscale diner dishes. And, of course, there are the games, including giant Jenga, darts, Bonzini foosball, wall scrabble, bowling, board games and not one, not two, but three karaoke rooms.
1044 N. Old World Third St., (414) 226-6044
RWB is the self-proclaimed "Milwaukee party bar," and lives up to their title. What was formerly a live country music entertainment space known as Red, White & Blue has shifted into a more diverse theme with all different kinds of music – and the return of Buckhead Back Bar Saloon. A new bar atmosphere comes with new features, such as the prize wheel, shots bars and dance platform. RWB has transformed into one of Old World Third Street's most popular destinations, while still maintaining their patriotic roots.
Tavern at Turner Hall
1034 N Vel R. Phillips Ave., (414) 346-0800
Since reopening to the public back in October, the Tavern at Turner Hall has worked hard to successfully embrace both a new identity and Milwaukee’s history. The restaurant is open two hours before all BMO Harris Bradley Center events, so Turner Hall makes for a fine stop for a brew or two before the game, concert or event just a hop, skip and jump across the street.
1023 N Old World 3rd St., (414) 800-6240
With three levels of entertainment, TRiO offers three times the fun at their spot on Third Street, just one block from Fiserv Forum. On the first floor you’ll find TRiO restaurant, with casual food and craft brews. The TRiO Lounge offers Ping Pong on multiple tables and a variety of video games suited for adults of any age. View at TRiO is the rooftop party room that is perfect for any corporate or personal gathering, with stunning views of the city. No matter the level at which you find yourself, TRiO is bound to be a great destination to visit on your next trip down Old World Third.
Uber Tap Room
1048 N. Old World Third St., (414) 272-3544
Want a taste of all things Wisconsin? Sample the Uber Tap Room, offering some of the state's finest cheeses along with some of the state's – not to mention the world's – finest brews and wines to wash them down. Go a more laid-back route and enjoy some of the brews – 36 local ones on tap – and curds along with a dish off the Tap Room's traditional Wisconsin menu, featuring sausages, grilled cheese, specially paired cheese plates and not just mac 'n' cheese but five different types of mac 'n' cheese. On the other hand, you could give your palate a very special treat with one of Uber Tap Room's special tasting events, featuring a local brewery and specially paired cheeses for their beers. Either way, as we Wisconsinites know, there's no going wrong with beer and cheese.
1125 N. Old World Third St., (414) 763-3852
It may be called Ugly's, but there's nothing ugly about this self-proclaimed Old World Third Street "place of casual sophistication." Ugly's delivers a bit of everything: a restaurant offering delectable refined American fusion cuisine, bar eats and brunch; a sports bar with multiple TVs to watch the big games; and a bit of nightlife activity.
Who's On Third
1007 N. Old World Third St., (414) 897-8373
Who's On Third: That's who's on Old World Third. The pub, which took over the former One Sports Lounge space in March 2014, isn't just for fans of wordplay, however. Who's On Third aims to be a classic American neighborhood pub in the heart of Downtown, with plenty of TVs to watch the games – not to mention proximity to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the ones taking place across the street – local art of vintage Milwaukee sites decorating the walls and tasty pub grub.
1230 N. Old World Third St., (414) 226-0122
It only seems right to end this bar guide at the end of the alphabet with W XYZ, the Aloft Hotel's swanky bar. The hotel bar offers a collection of beers and wines, as well as a menu of tasty light pub eats. And while it may be last on this list (alphabetically reasons only), with the new Bucks arena popping in pretty much next door in the Park East area, it's unlikely W XYZ will be at the bottom of people's lists heading down to the new venue.