The bars we once loved
"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, bartender profiles, drink recipes and even a little Brew City bar history. Cheers!
We're not going to write a country song about our favorite old hangouts, but we must admit: thinking about those bars we frequented back in the day, well, it brings back nice (and sometimes blurry) memories.
It's not that we hold anything against these joints. Either we outgrew them or they outgrew us. And we're happy to report that our old favorites are still in business, catering to a new generation of drinking enthusiasts. Here's our list of our favorite bars that we used to patronize. Please add your own using the Talkback feature below.
Molly Snyder Edler
Another lifetime ago, I lived two blocks away from The Nomad, 1401 E. Brady St., and used to hang out there just about every weekend. I still love The Nomad, but don't get there as often as I used to. Not long after The Nomad opened, I joined the Stein Club, which entitled me to a personalized ceramic mug that hung from a hook at the bar, but after not visiting regularly, I decided to take my mug home last year. I still use it sometimes, and when I do, I always remember the great times I had hanging out there with friends and ripping it up until last call.
There are lots of other bars that I used to visit frequently that, for no particular reason, I don't anymore, like The Y-Not II, Tony's Tavern, The Landmark, Champion's Pub and La Cage. These days, if I feel like dancing, I go to The Mad Planet, since it's in my neighborhood and I'm a sucker for the Retro Dance Party on Friday nights.
I'll admit it. I used to go to Axel's Inn, 2859 N. Oakland Ave., during my illustrious UW-Milwaukee undergrad years. And it gets worse: I think I enjoyed it, from what I remember.
But here's where I (hopefully) redeem myself. I wasn't usually one of the slobbering masses killing time before a 3 a.m. greasy chow-down session at Oakland Gyros. My Axel's experience was limited to Sunday afternoons, when my friends who lived nearby needed to do their laundry at the laundromat around the corner on Locust Street. We'd meet at the bar for rounds of pool and $2 imports while the coin machines did our dirty work. We'd always have the place almost entirely to ourselves, with Saturday night's regular patrons probably still passed out in bed.
My absolute favorite Axel's memory involved my friend and I ordering Bloody Marys one Sunday. The bartender just shook her head and said something to the effect of, "Trust me, you don't want one from here." It turned out that at the time (things very well may have changed since then, I have no idea ...) their Bloody Mary mix came out of the soda gun. The lines tended to cross and leak, rendering the mix a slightly sweet, watered-down version of crappy tomato juice. Basically, it tasted like an un-flavored Bloody Mary chased with Sprite.
To compensate, the bartender told us that if we ran next door to Gilbert's and bought our own $5 bottle of mix, she'd supply the ice, vodka and fixings at half the price of a regular drink. Her offer was too good to pass up, and thus, drinking half homemade Bloodies on Sundays at Axel's became a regular event.
Page 1 of 2 (view all on one page)
How can I not add to this? I used to work at Chump's Rusty Bucket in Walker's Point on 2nd Street. I think it is now called Wilbur's. I remember kneeling on top of the bar while folks would put their head in my lap and I'd pour upside down shots of Alabama Slammers in their mouths. I think by the time I was done working there, we had over 150 bras hanging on the ceiling. I sure do miss the good ole days...
Loved The Dubliner when it was in Walker's Point - I think the walls used to drip from the humidity (hot inside/cold outside) - great place for Irish music. McGillicuddy's rocked when it was on the corner. Music was always good and everyone danced on the booths along the wall. Also, we really loved the Vox.
deaconkennedy-Murray Tap. Black Shamrock was one of the best bars in that location but not even close to when it was Murray Tap.
Judges Irish Pub has to be included on any list. Thursday nights, $1 pitchers, random fights
Back in my UWM days Judges on North was one of our hangouts. It was known for letting in underagers. One night one of my friends went in with a fake ID and then passed the SAME fake ID back to another friend - they both got in and enjoyed a good night of college parting! The place was a dump, but it was fun.
Show me the other 27 Talkbacks
32 comments about this article.
Post a comment / write a review.
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.