By Maureen Post Special to Published May 22, 2009 at 4:48 PM

It's true; last weekend I was looking for a western night out on the town.

In honor of friends moving to Nashville, we threw a hoedown showdown complete with country music, cowboy attire and plenty of Jack Daniels.

Later in the night, we were looking to take our western gear public, but found ourselves stumped; is there anywhere "western" or "cowboy" to go out to in Milwaukee?

Honestly, the world of shiny belt buckles and tasseled shirts is a new one for me. I've never listened to much country music and I don't know the first thing about line dancing, square dancing or bull riding.

Regardless of my skill deficiencies, I somehow suspect there are Milwaukeeans who do. And consequently, there are certain to be places these people go to meet other "westerners" and revel in their country ways.

So, where is Milwaukee's country? Do you have to travel the rural roads to find "country?"

My search left me with few options. I'm positively certain that side of nightlife must be out there but literally, I'm at a loss.

Apparently the Sussex bowling alley doubles as the Square Benders Square Dancing headquarters with square dancing at least once a week. Occasionally, the Milwaukee Ale House hosts live country acts and Kelly's Bleachers on Bluemound Road has been known to play as much pop country as top 40 on the dance floor.

It's hard to say though, that these limited options are indeed authentically "western."

I suppose it depends on your impression of "country western." The category is a vague descriptor for everything southern, conjuring a wide spectrum of images ranging from Buffalo Bill's Wild West to a marriage between country superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

Milwaukee's The Championship dabbles in country tones and of course Riverwest regulars The Trusty Knife bring sounds of Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry to the live stage.
But these are just occasional tones or glimpses of cowboy nightlife.

Perhaps Milwaukee's truest sense of cowboy can be found in Mexican run establishments on the near South Side. It was the exported system of hacienda living infiltrating Mexico centuries ago that led to the American cowboy; ultimately at the root of all impressions of "western" living.

But what's your suggestion? Where do you head for a good dose of country music and a little line dancing? Use the Talkback feature below to weigh in on this "western" discussion.

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.