One of the very first articles I wrote for OnMilwaukee.com featured a bar on the South Side called JJ Stripes, 3101 S. 15th Pl. It was the first time I'd been there, and sadly I haven't been back since, but completely naïve to orchestrating an interview and assuredly uncomfortable and nervous in my demeanor, the hour or so I spent there made quite an impression.
Like so many corner bars frequented by hard working men and women who come in for an after work beer day in and day out, JJ revealed himself to be a salt of the earth bar owner who wrapped his life in his work and in return reaped the rewards of customer loyalty.
Combining creative professionals, innovative tradesmen and manufacturing industrials, Milwaukee is a city that works hard and plays hard.
As such, there are establishments and bars all across the city which serve as a gathering place for men and women just off work, looking for a cold drink and good conversation. They are the bars that replicate familial ties; when you walk in the door, everyone at the bar turns to see who you are because more often than not, it's someone they sit around with regularly.
As I thought about JJ Stripes, I tried to compile a mental list of bars that really embrace the working man, serving reasonably priced drinks and welcoming the same local after-work crowd on a daily basis. Sobelman's, Wolski's, the Uptowner and Frank's Power Plant immediately came to mind. Moving out to the suburbs, I thought of the Silver Spring House, Leff's Lucky Town and the Village Pub.
And then, as the list got progressively longer, I realized there are just too many to name. Depending on your neighborhood, your job and your local connections, people everywhere have small taverns and corner bars they frequent regularly after a long day of labor.
Places like the Swinging Door, Jamo's, McBob's, Champion's Pub and Y-Not I, II and III all represent the sentiment hard-working Milwaukeean's rightfully celebrate this Labor Day.
But the list goes on and on. Where do you think local laborers go to unwind after a long day in the office? Use the Talkback feature to name your favorite.
OnMilwaukee.com 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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.