By Maureen Post Special to Published Dec 21, 2009 at 4:37 PM
When I was growing up, we spent our Christmas dinners at The Black Kettle Restaurant. Relatively close to my grandparent’s house at the time, The Black Kettle became our annual Christmas tradition. I don’t think I’ve been back there in 10 or 15 years but the restaurant’s thick evergreen trim, decorated holiday tree and warm Christmas feel still sticks in my mind as being festive and full of holiday cheer.

In the week to come, you have just a few days left to enjoy the holiday nightlife spirit in true Milwaukee tradition. So, grab family and friends and spend the evening at anyone of these festive holiday destinations.

At Random
2501 S. Delaware Ave., (414) 481-8030

At Random is the obvious holiday choice. Low level lighting, red velvet booths, holiday lights up all year round plus a waitress reminiscent of granny, At Random has the holiday feel nailed. Serving plenty of warm coffee drinks or sweet ice cream concoctions, At Random is holiday nightlife wrapped up with a neat little bow.

Leff’s Lucky Town
7208 W. State St., (414) 258-9886

Make waiting until the last minute a good thing as you pop into Leff’s Lucky Town for a Christmas tree and a beer this week. After recently purchasing Locker’s Floral, Leff’s has a stock of evergreen Christmas trees waiting right outside their door. So, have a pint and then head home to decorate the tree.

Libby’s Sports Bar and Grill
1682 N. Van Buren St., (414) 276-1975

If you don’t know where this bar and grill is, just look for glowing lights above their Van Buren Street location. Yep, the same as years in the past, Libby’s roof it decked with holiday scenes of Santa and his reindeer.

Balzac Wine Bar
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099

The Young Jewish Adults of Milwaukee re-launch their programming with a brand new-coordinator just in time to fill your Christmas Eve evening. Instead of revisiting that Chinese restaurant or movie theater, Young Jewish professionals are invited for drinks, appetizers and more information on YJAM at Balzac Wine Bar. Get more information at

Starbucks at Red Arrow Park
Water Street and State Street

You can’t have a much more wintery view than that of an ice skating rink and holiday festival of lights. One of a dozen Milwaukee Starbuck’s locations sits on the eastside of Red Arrow Park. Sit inside and sip hot chocolate or caramel apple cider as you watch kids of all ages skate the rink under the glow of Milwaukee’s City Christmas tree.  

The Anvil, Tomaso’s or Maxwell’s Tavern
Washington Avenue, Cedarburg

Downtown Cedarburg could very well be Newbury or Bedford Falls. Small shops don holiday lights, Christmas music pipes all along "Main Street" and chocolate shops, the winery and restaurants all offer holiday specialties. You can easily take your choice- The Anvil Bar and Grill, Tomaso’s, Maxwell’s Tavern—of local bars and restaurants for festive merriment and a dose of small town holiday cheer.
Maureen Post Special to staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.

After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.

Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.