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In Dining

Lo-Cash Live owner Jay Carter shows off some of his barbecue with fries and mac 'n' cheese. (PHOTO: Damien Jaques)

Lo-Cash Live: Nashville on National

Jay Carter's 25 years in the bar and restaurant business have included associations with some high profile national names in the industry. He was the senior general manager at the ESPN Zone in Chicago and a partner at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Brookfield.

But he rides a Harley, has a penchant for barbecue, loves Johnny Cash and thinks Nashville may be heaven. JC, as he likes to be called, has ditched the suit and gone into business for himself, opening a Walker's Point honky-tonk that serves fried okra ($4.95), shrimp po-boys ($9.95) and fried chicken salad ($7.95).

Oh, and barbecue, of course.

Beer. Bands. Barbecue. That's the slogan behind Lo-Cash Live, which opened 10 days ago in the old Dubliner space at 124 W. National Ave.

Barbecue covers a lot of territory at Lo-Cash. You can get it as a dinner with five ribs ($10.95), brisket ($8.95), pulled pork ($8.95) or pulled chicken ($7.95).

A customer can choose among three sauces – traditional, spicy and Carolina mustard based. The entrees are served with fries and a choice of southern vinegar slaw, baked beans, mac 'n' cheese or corn on the cob.

Barbecue also shows up on a bun, with brisket ($8.95), pulled pork ($7.95) and pulled chicken ($7.95), all accompanied by slaw. Pulled pork or chicken also goes on quesadillas ($6.95). Other distinctly southern goodies on the menu are corn fritters with powdered sugar ($2.95) and peach cobbler ($3.95).

"It's all comfort food, and the most expensive thing is $10.95," JC says.

All 12 beers on tap have a Wisconsin connection, but the Lo-Cash "hootch," as it is identified on the menu, has a southern flair. The NASCAR is a sidecar with Bulleit bourbon and a sugared rim.

Bubba Collins is Tom Collins' cousin with the customer's choice of Smirnoff, Jack Daniels, Bombay Sapphire or Jim Beam. Shotgun Wedding mixes Smirnoff orange vodka, cranberry juice and assorted juices.

Carter did little to change The Dubliner's sleek wood interior. He attached chicken wire to the walls to give the space a rustic hint and he built a low 10-ft. by 12-ft. stage to accommodate the musicians who are currently playing at Lo-Cash Wednesday through Saturday nights.

As a tribute to local musicians who achieved regional, national and international success, the walls also contain posters and photos of Liberace, Woody Herman, Al Jarreau, the Chordettes, Jerry Harrison, the Spanic Boys and others.

About 60 persons can be accommodated for dining and listening indoors. An outdoor deck Carter calls the porch seats 40 in rocking chairs and at picnic tables.

There is no cover charge for the music, which local musician Brian Smith is coordinating. Smith, who sounds a lot like Johnny Cash, performs with an acoustic guitar as a solo act and with the band God's Outlaw.

"We want down and gritty Nashville music here," he says. "Music from before country turned pop. Music that tells stories."

Carter adds, "It's raw, it's real and it's barbecue."

The two men are not ruling out trying other musical genres on the small stage. Blues and blue grass are possibilities.

"I'm pretty much open to anything," Carter says. "We'll try anything once, twice if we like it," adds Smith.

Lo-Cash has a sound system in place, so musicians simply have to plug in and play.

And what about the new honky tonk's name? Low cash is a term defined by the Urban Dictionary as something cool but not requiring a lot of cash.

"That's it!" Carter declares.


Talkbacks

joeydunne19 | Jan. 3, 2012 at 2:01 p.m. (report)

I went to Lo Cash Live on Friday evening after hearing some good things about the food, music and owner. This BBQ, Beer and Bands venue exceeded my expectations! The interior is warm, southern and comfy. They also have a large outdoor patio, complete with a parking lot. I was able to try the bbq beef brisket and fried okra. The beef brisket was among the best briskets I ever ate. It was tender, great balanced sauce, delicious! If you like fried okra, you will love it at Lo Cash Live. The staff was very attentive, friendly and unpretentious. Its tough to find places that have as good of a staff. This place also has country/bluegrass bands playing music on stage every night. It was a fun, lively ambiance and it seems like everyone in the place was really enjoying themselves. I was very impressed with this place SO MUCH, that I returned the next night for their NYE celebration. Couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate the new year than listen to great music, eat bbq, and all you can drink for $20! I cant wait to come back in the summer time!

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Bayviewboozer | Aug. 11, 2011 at 10:20 a.m. (report)

We had lunch ( 12 noon ) here on Sat. 8/6 and the food was very good. The brisket was tender the mac & cheese very good. The spicy BBQ could use a little more kick.

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CarolV | Aug. 4, 2011 at 10:02 a.m. (report)

Wanted to go there for lunch yesterday but found out (after my taste buds were all prepped for some down home BBQ) from their website before I ventured out, that they didn't serve lunch :( I am hoping maybe that might change? If it does at some point, please let folks know!

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BrewCityAllstar | Aug. 4, 2011 at 9:48 a.m. (report)

Checked it out... It's the real deal. Great live music, Superb BBQ, nice owner and staff. My only problem was that a didn't want to leave.

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naturekid1 | Aug. 2, 2011 at 4:47 p.m. (report)

I posted on this place under the bars/clubs area article, but I will re-iterate. Food and service were fantastic. BBQ places don;t seem to last in milwaukee, but I sure hope this place does. The baked beans were proabaly the best i ever had. my wife doesn't normally like bbq, but she really enjoyed the ribs, and the brisket was super tender with one of th thickest smoke rings I've ever seen. I feel bad (not really) for all the people waiting for 45mins. for a table at famous dave's on a saturday night thinking they're gettin good BBQ. A must try!

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