Milwaukee's best jukeboxes
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Jan. 29, 2007 at 2:27 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.
Although many have been replaced by live DJs or the omniscience of the almighty Internet jukebox, there is something irreplaceably charming about the sound and pre-selected choices of the old school jukebox.
But the question is, what defines a great jukebox in the city of Milwaukee? Is it an eclectic album selection, the depth of its target music genre, the best value listeners get of their buck? We sampled a slew of local jukeboxes and compiled a list of some of our most notable finds. With so many options and so many local bars, we encourage readers to add a few choice finds of their own.
2496 S. Wentworth Ave.
This jukebox probably hasn't been updated since the bar opened, but that's just the thing with punk rock, it doesn't need to. It's not eclectic in any sense of the word, but what it does do -- old school punk, thrash, some metal, post-punk, (real) emo, indie rock -- it does unrelentlessly. So much so, in fact, that it's repeatedly been voted the best jukebox in Milwaukee.
Oh, and it's free on Sundays, so go play "Teenagers From Mars" 'til your heart's content.
Hannon's Fine Food and Cocktails
357 W. Broadway, Waukesha
Stationed at the hub of downtown Waukesha's topsy-turvy street maze, this local watering hole prefers to market itself as an "Irish sports bar" rather than a "pre-second-shift" hang out site catering towards hard-working locals.
But don't be fooled by the dim decor of this 16-year-old Waukesha tradition. While the interior resembles a 1970s-styled bowling alley bar room (complete with wood paneling, bulbous Christmas lights and mock-tiffany lamps), the jukebox offers a much needed refining touch.
The playlist is heavily weighted with classic rock staples (a la Jimi, Jerry and Janis), but the addition of legendary, and not-so-overplayed bar room albums, separates this jukebox from the rest. Remote classics like Van Morrison's "Too Long in Exile" and David Bowie's immortal chronicle of the "Rise and Fall of Ziggy Star Dust," give added depth to a selection of signature classic rock albums that have already found their ways into most area music indexes. Then there are the occasionally out-of-genre surprise, like the Talking Heads classic "Stop Making Sense," and certain landmark albums, including the Beatles' "Abbey Road" and "Revolver," which make the frosted green windows inside Hannon's a little easier to endure.
"People seem to like it," said owner Mark Hannon of his ever-evolving jukebox. Since he opened his doors 16 years ago, Hannon said he makes sure to change "a couple" of CDs on a monthly basis to cater to the after-work crowds.
But Waukesha locals, and any other visitors who can find their way through the local downtown, can be sure to find a disco-free music catalogue on this jukebox. What they will find is an eclectic mix of classic rock, a few classic waltzes and even a multi-cultural sampling of Los Lobos. From "The King," to old Frankie "Blue Eyes," Hannon's offers one of the most inviting after-work sound boards west of Milwaukee County.Page 1 of 3 (view all on one page)
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