Brady Street bar guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on March 10, 2016 at 3:01 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Not too long ago, Brady Street was in the doldrums. The corner of Brady Street and Farwell Avenue was desolate and much of the street was run down. The Polish had given way to the Italians who gave way to the hippies, and only the diehards remained from those groups.
But over the last decade, things have gone mega, with dozens of buildings refurbished, the street getting a new look, young professionals moving in and great shops, restaurants and other businesses taking root.
Among them have been some wonderful taverns where you can meet old friends, make new friends, hear live music, listen to a DJ or sit alone and ponder the world. The neighborhood as an entertainment destination is back and better than ever. Join us as we take a stroll along Brady Street, paying particular attention to its watering holes.
1686 N. Van Buren St., (414) 347-4144
When thinking about Angelo's, two words come to mind: Old School. Angelo's is a small lounge with a big atmosphere. Great drinks (one of the most delicate and delicious martinis in town), attentive and often amusing service and live lounge music a couple nights a week make Angelo's a great place to hang out.
1716 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 755-0099
Balzac food and wine bar is a great restaurant offering small-plate dining and a wine and beer list that is anything but small. The staff is warm and knowledgeable. Balzac is dark and chandeliered, creating an intimate atmosphere for the perfect start or end to an evening out.
1339 E. Brady St., (414) 278-0188)
Club Brady is a place to own the jukebox, watch sports or just have a few beers with friends. You can play pool, shoot darts and drink a brew (they've expanded and improved their tap list) at this Brady St. anchor.
1875 N. Humboldt Ave., (414) 226-5882
At the corner of Humbolt and Water, Fink's opened in 2013 and describes itself as "a heritage tavern focused on craft beer, specialty cocktails and esoteric spirits." Throw in pinball, and you've got the ethos and charm of this offbeat, interesting and retro-nostalgic bar a few blocks north of the more typical Brady scene.
Hosed on Brady
1689 N. Franklin Pl., (414) 223-3919
This firefighter-themed tavern (located next to MFD's Engine Co. 6) features a long bar, small tables lining the perimeter, a pool table and several flat screen televisions for adequate viewing from every seat. You won't find a fancy cocktail menu, but Hosed taps several beers, offers a full liquor selection and stocks small bags of chips on a metal stand. And every time a truck pulls out of Engine 6, a round of shots is on the house.
Halliday's Irish Pub
1729 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 278-9290
Just off Brady Street, on Farwell Avenue, Halliday's is so unassuming from the outside that you might not even notice it. And that's probably OK with them. For years Halliday's has had a bevy of devoted regulars and the lounge has a small-town feel in the middle of a big-city neighborhood. A back deck is open when the weather permits.
Hi-Hat and Garage
1701 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 220-8090
Offering a stylish and upscale environment with savvy bartenders and signature cocktails, the Hi-Hat is dark and intimate. Its kid brother, the Garage, is connected to the back of the same building and boasts a more casual, vibrant atmosphere, with great bartenders, good music and a fun-loving weekend crowd. In 2013, the Garage underwent a redesign, changing the interior of the bar and making its beer garden-y patio more accessible.
707 E. Brady St., (414) 810-1809
Nate Fried opened the East Side's first gay bar in spring 2010. Hybrid, located on the far west end of Brady Street, welcomes everybody (as its name suggests), offers nightly specials, karaoke and other events and features a menu that's both progressive and health-conscious. On weekends, be prepared to dance.
Jack's American Pub
1323 E. Brady St., (414) 763-2830
A Brady Street newcomer, Jack's opened in 2013, replacing Crisp, and features (what else?) American pub fare, beer and spirits. It's kept a multi-level bar, which is popular on weekends, including an intimate patio deck off the second floor. Jack's revamped its menu, especially its brunch offerings, and has nightly food and drink specials.
1800 N. Arlington Pl., (414) 276-7101
Lodge meets lounge at Jamo's, a bar that's redefining Milwaukee's corner tap. Duck in for a martini or a Miller (or both), and chill in a cozy booth while listening to smart music and enjoying totally random décor.
1311 E. Brady St., (414) 765-9955
Jo-Cat's is sort of a sports bar, sometimes a night club, mostly a dive. It's really a fun neighborhood spot that doesn't fit into any category. There are a few TVs always showing games, several smiling bartenders and, late at night on weekends, lots of dancing (dancing?) 20-somethings. Go for a Packers game, take a Brewers shuttle or make it a stop on a Brady Street bar crawl.
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