Hi-Hat lounge and garage: Cool loungy Martini Bar (and Brunch!)
One of three coolest places in Milwaukee.
Good music in two separate sections, good drinks (even brunch), good people-watching.
I could tell you more, but not as much as their own website! Check it out for details on food, drink, more pictures, etc.
Dress Code: Trendy casual. A bit alternative, but in the kind that looks straight from the store.
The SAFE HOUSE: ESPECIALLY FOR SPY MOVIE BUFFS
It is not especially easy to find this place. In fact, I would not have known to look for it without having read another TIP ON THIS SITE. It is worth a peek inside. 779 Front St
seems like a mere alleyway with a building that reads INTERNATIONAL EXPORTS. Open the door and you are greeted by a small room with no other doors.
If you know the password, you can enter
immediately. If not, you will have a fun time getting in as well. That's all I will say. Once inside, you can have a great meal or choose
to enjoy the 60's James Bond-style atmosphere. There are some intriguing
gadgets, but I don't want to spoil the fun for those who have not yet tried the place out. Perhaps sip one of their many different specialty martinis or other concoctions. They even have their own special beer, as well as souveniers. The place has operated under "TOP SECRET" status (wink) since 1966 at the height of the spy movie craze.
My wife and I loved it and will enjoy a return trip soon.
Regano's Roman Coin: A Neighborhood Bar on the Eastside
An honest Milwaukee tavern - nothing fancy - it's where the locals go. You don't have to drink Blatz, either. The building is historic - it was constructed in the 1890s as an original Pabst Brewery tavern - the same architect designed the amazing Pabst Theater. Chatty bartenders.
Dress Code: Casual, of course
Von Trier: Gemütlichkeit Central
Lovers of beer and German beer halls will find a home at the Von Trier, conveniently located across the street from the Oriental Theater, a foreign film/indie palace. (A new Whole Foods is right across the street, so you know that this is yuppie central.)
There's an impressive selection of tap beers, and an even more impressive pricing policy that keeps everything affordable. And the interior is enough to merit a visit from even the most devout beer-aphobe.
- Beer Tasting
Angelo's: A Piano Bar for Frank, Rosemary, and Tony
A great little neighborhood place in the heart of Milwaukee's Italian village, Angelo's is the kind of place where you'd expect to run into Sinatra, Clooney, and Bennedetto. Great karaoke, with an older crowd that enjoys sing-alongs. Italian-Americans rock, IMHO!
Rock Bottom Brewery: Riverwalk Bastion
Yes, it's very corporate. I usually stay away from chains when I'm visiting a city. But when I was looking for a light supper and a good beer outdoors in downtown Milwaukee, the Rock Bottom Brewery was a perfect choice. The location here counts for a lot - the managers here have done an excellent job of maximizing the benefits of the bar's placement at a lovely spot in the middle of Riverwalk. On a warm summer's night, with a decent beer and a great view of pleasure boats crafting by, this is as good as it gets in Milwaukee!
Rock Bottom brews their own, and I've always found something drinkable in their taps. (I have a liking for their red ale.) They also have a full menu available at sit-down tables outdoors, as well an appetizer menu for the bar and at high-top tables.
Dress Code: casual
- Beer Tasting
Landmark Lanes: Cheap drinks on the East Side
This was my favorite place to hang out at when I lived on the East Side. This is primarily a bar, well three bars, but there is also a bowling alley, game arcade, pool and free darts. This is a great place to hang out with none of the east side snootyness. The drinks are also made strong and well below the price of other east side places.
- Theater Travel
- Budget Travel
Regano's Roman Coin: Great Neighborhood Bar
Actually I think they open at 7:00 AM so this is not so much a "nightlife" tip as it is a "good place to find a cold beer" tip. Notice the Blatz sign -- they actually serve Blatz on tap, along with Miller products. They have imports in bottles If you would enjoy abeer in a neighborhood pub atmosphere this is the place. The building is historic, REGANO'S ROMAN COIN is located in an original Pabst Brewery tavern which was built in 1890 and designed by Otto Schank, designer of the Pabst Theater.
Dress Code: just show up!
The Rock Bottom Brewery: "We Stumbled Upon This Gem!"
We found this spot on the Riverfront on a casual stroll one night. In this area there are a number of outdoor cafes that are perfect to sit down with someone special and enjoy.
At the Rock Bottom Brewery at night, there are lights that dance on the water here, music that beckons you indoors.
This place had nice ambiance, drinks, and appetizers. I would definitely visit again. It also was a nice stroll back to our hotel afterward!
Dress Code: Casual, slightly dressy.
- Beer Tasting
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Centanni: Piano Bar - Fun Music
I didn't know this place existed until last night (and I'm sad that I didn't). This small bar is a super fun/chill spot to hang out with friends, sip martinis and listen to piano covers. Centanni's is located on Water Street across from the Ale House. You walk in and there is a long hall with tables set up along the wall. When you come to the small main room there is a bar on the right, tables on the left and the piano in the back corner. We arrived around 8pm and there were only a few people in the place, but by 930pm on a Wednesday night the place was packed and the pianoman was playing. Atmosphere is light colored, modern decor and very low lighting.
They have a long drink menu with tons of martinis, mixed drinks, wine and champagne. Look for martini specials when you go (all there martinis were $5, as opposed to $7 or $8). Get there a bit early and snag a table (by 930pm it was standing room only). Sit back, enjoy good conversation and then sing along to the music! The pianiast was taking requests and playing modern songs. There were even a few couples dancing in the cramped quarters.
Dress Code: Most people were dressed business casual, but there were a few people there in jeans and t-shirts. No one seemed to have a problem with what anyone was wearing.
Dino's Taverna: NightLife
Dino's Taverna is located on Jefferson Street in Downtown Milwaukee.. it is a nice little greek bar, with a touch of class..
we went there on a friday night, and it was bare.. low lights, great atmosphere, and perfect for a nice quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the loud drunken college kids inhabiting nearby Water street..
I had a great chocolate Martini by the name of Aprhodite's delight.. it was great..
i'd recommend this place if you are on a date and you want to impress and have a quiet conversation.. then once you know each other a little better then you can just walk down the street to one of the loud crowded college bars..
Dress Code: club attire, but maybe a little more conservative..
LUCILLE'S: LOUD, ROWDY, BUT VERY FUN/FUNNY!!!!!
This is not your average "piano bar." Lucille's
features non-stop rotating duel pianists/vocalists who sing all of the "feel good" songs and insist that the crowd gets and stays involved. They will pull members of the audience up to join the act, hilariously change the lyrics to trite songs and in general create a non-stop party. Ages when we visited ranged from college to 50 plus and all were made to feel at home. We simply "poked our heads in" and ended up staying until closing time because of the fun.
If you want a place that is loud, fun and rowdy
but still very safe, I'd really give this one high marks!
Dress Code: Most people were pretty casual, although a few were probably hitting other nightclubs
and were dressed up. Everyone blended together.
Eve: Electronica & Hip Hop Martinis
Another of the top three places in Milwaukee.
Electronica and food downstairs, hip hop upstairs. Great Martinis, decor, and the best people-watching. Ages range from early twentys to some fifities (downstairs). Again, check out their own web site below for more details, such as special events, drink & food menu etc.
Dress Code: Dress to impress.
Kenadee's: Excellent hard-to-describe bar opened in Sep. '03
One of the owners of Eve (see separate tip) opened this place up in September 03 and he's scored again! This place is hard to describe, full of contradictions, so bear with me until I get a picture!
First, it has over a hundred types of beers but also serves cocktails. Overall it has the feeling of a modern log cabin yet the people dress up to impress, while the music is no-nonsense hits from classics (American Pie, Police, U2) to newer stuff (Kid Rock, etc.). The decor mixes wood, stone, plasma TVs, fur "paintings", antler lamps, a neon green light shine on everything and everybody at the entrance, while a second story sports a large screen across a 70's neon-green coach fitted with its plastic cover and adorned by a glass table wih a sculpture of a doe. Wheew, that's the best I can do describing it - just check it out!!!
Dress Code: Dress-to-impress, trendy, fashionable, sexy (jeans, sneakers o.k. if you look good) ; )
- Beer Tasting
Dragon Lounge: Most relaxing yet hip lounge
This place has comfy couches, tropical aquari, and everything is bathed in a soothing red light. Very cool. Also has a pool table in a different room. Probably the closest you will get in Milwaukee to a 'lounge' feeling. Good electronic music from time to time.
Dress Code: People look nice, but there is less 'pressure' to do so.