Best bars for a bender
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on July 9, 2007 at 5:29 a.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.
Kneisler's White House (2900 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) -- You know the clientele can pack it away when the walls of a corner tavern are lined with mugs inscribed with the names of customers. The White House is such a place. Settle in with a board game, pop some Elvis Costello on the juke box and get your drink on.
Judge's Irish Pub (1431 E. North Ave.) -- Nothing says college like cheap, plastic pitchers of beers being guzzled at bar that's packed to the gills with thirsty co-eds. Technically speaking, it's an Irish pub, but with a spacious patio filled with picnic tables, Judge's is one of Milwaukee's prototypical East Side college bars. Most everyone who's lived on the East Side has stumbled out of Judge's on at least one occasion.
La Fuente (625 S. 5th St.) -- Truly a Milwaukee institution, La Fuente is a drinking destination where the food takes a backseat to the strong, sugary margaritas. One of them is usually enough to get the party started – but who ever stops at just one?
Nomad World Pub (1401 E. Brady St.) -- Whether you have a stein hanging behind the bar or not, there's no reason to wander any further than The Nomad when you catch yourself with "the drinkies." It doesn't matter if it's 4 p.m. and you slack in the front window, or hours later and you just want to lounge it curbside. Either way, there's a good chance you'll get sucked into the festive vibe and knock back more than your share at this tried-and-true Milwaukee watering hole.
The Old German Beer Hall (1009 N. Old World 3rd St.) -- After a few drinks, the beer hall can almost feel like a trip to Europe. Known for its authentic variety of Stein beers (and other imports), it's an especially good drunken destination on "Free Beer Fridays."
Palm Tavern (2989 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) -- If you're the type who can drink Miller Lite all night and go home stone-cold sober, you might want to avoid the Palm. That's because they don't serve any Miller products. All the beer (and it's quite a list) seems more potent that what you might be used to drinking, and the bar is stocked with an impressive and eclectic list of quality liquors. Good music, a cool crowd and potent drinks -- it's a recipe for instant intoxication.
Rosie's Water Works (1111 N. Water St.) -- Even on "slow" nights, you can count on Rosie's for good conversation, good pool, good pub grub and a friendly drinking atmosphere. It also has history: it's where Charles Barkley drank before he punched a guy in the face in the middle of the street.
The Safe House (779 N. Front St.) -- The famous "Spy's Demise" is one of those fruity concoctions that goes down way too easily. That said, some of us have slurped down a few too many of these evil red cocktails and ended up ducking into the trick phone booth for a clandestine snooze-a-roo.
The Uptowner (1032 E. Center St.) -- Not getting drunk at The Uptowner is like not leaving the Ponderosa in need of maternity pants. It might happen, but chances are, it won't. After all, the free-flowin' Uptowner is no place to sip an appletini. Instead, try a PBR or nine, shoot a sloppy game of pool and stumble home for some stupid antic like trying to bake a frozen pizza in the microwave followed by a wicked case of the bed spins.
Village Pub (4488 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood) -- Something about this Shorewood bar seems entirely Northwoods. That means tasty Bloody Marys, reasonably-priced High Lifes, and lots of local looking for a place to quench their thirst after a softball game. Plop yourself down at the bar, watch a Brewers game, and enjoy their ice-cold beers -- one after another.
Walter's (6930 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa) -- Walter's isn't a drunk fest, rather it's a neighborhood place filled with customers of all ages, many of whom clearly know each other. But, start downing some of the delicious tacos and you'll find the beer is going down pretty smoothly … and quickly.
Wolski's Tavern (1836 N. Pulaski St.) -- Contributing significantly to this small bar's binge factor is the endorsement from the ever-popular drunkfest that is the Lakefront Brewery Tour. At the completion of each tour, the brewery hands out free beer coupons to be cashed in at Wolski's -- as well as a handful of other bars -- and the free, uber salty popcorn helps the pints slide down with ease.
Y-NOT II (706 E. Lyon St.) -- Got a hankerin' for hedonism? The Y-NOT's your place. If Charles Bukowski was still alive, there's a good chance he'd be belly up to the Y-NOT's bar (or passed out in the creepy dentist's chair in the front window). There's always an eclectic mix of people ready to clink glasses, from hardcore alkies who've been bar side for a shift-and-a-half to musician-or-poet types to cheap-o college students who heard wind of free popcorn.
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Halliday's!! Once you open the door it sucks you in and you end up being there all night
I am actually shocked, and slightly impressed by this article. I was sure it'd be another mindless piece pitching all things Eastside. Not so, and rather well done. Some questionable picks like The Safehouse, not so conducive for a bender. However top notch selections like Walters evened that out. I'm adding: Derry Heagharty's (sp) on Bluemound Ray and Dots in Greendale Col. Harts on State Kips Inn on Hwy 100 d00t!
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