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Top Rated Nightlife in Milwaukee

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Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

Legend has it that Bryant Sharp, the owner of this beloved Milwaukee institution just stopped selling beer one day and started serving cocktails sometime in the 1930's. Since then, Milwaukee locals as well as tourists who serendipitously stumble in have always enjoyed a stiff Martini or Manhattan at this cool, dark bar. It is also alleged that old man Bryant created the famous drinks, "The Banshee" and the "Pink Squirrel" back in the 1950's. In addition to the lounge below, the upstairs Velvet Lounge is a great spot for groups or to throw events.

Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall

Kochanski's Beer Hall has revived the long, lost polka pub tradition in the city with its comfy ambiance, Polish beer, and of course, the accordion. It is a little bit out of the way in the neighborhood of West Milwaukee, however the amount of Polish beer and open polka jam sessions throughout the week make the trip worth it.

Wolski's Tavern

Wolski's has been serving drinks for over 100 years to Milwaukeens and it is a true family-run bar. It is still in the hands of Wolski's great-grandsons and retains the same charm as it did a century ago. With a simple beer menu that contains classics like Schlitz, Blatz and Guinness alongside real felt dartboards, no-frills is the name of the game here. Oftentimes the bar has local suds that rotate according to season, from Lakefront Brewery to the heralded New Glarus Brewery, patrons will surely find something tasty. Also, if you are absolutely the last person to stay until the bar closes, you'll receive an 'I Closed Wolski's' bumper sticker.

Koz's Mini Bowl

Milwaukee is a city filled with cool retro nightlife, from Tiki bars to polka halls, this bar with four mini bowling lanes only adds to the list. The interior of Koz's looks like it is part hunting club, part dive bar, in fact they have a massive lion's head along with its hide perched over a bar cabinet. Despite the kitschy and eclectic decorations, most people come here to bowl. In the back, guests can enjoy their PBR while they roll some mini balls down some tiny lanes and if the place is too crowded, the bar has a pool table and great drinks until the next round becomes available.

Von Trier

According to the restaurant website, the story says that there has been a tavern on this spot for well over a century. The spot has changed many times over those last 100 years until Karl Lotharus purchased the restaurant and renamed it after his hometown of Trier in 1978. Since then it has become the quintessential Lotharingian restaurant and bar on the corner of Farwell and North. It has changed owners a few times since Karl died unfortunately just three years after he purchased it, however today the new owners have retained the German beer and brats to the delight of Milwaukee's denizens. It is a real nice place for a drink and the interior oozes authenticity galore with its massive Bier steins, wood and stained glass panels, and of course an awesome beer garden.

La Cage

La Cage is the most frequented and popular LGBT bar in the entire state of Wisconsin. It is open from 6pm daily and every night it features different specials and music until the wee hours of the morning. The complex has several floors, Go-Go dancer cages, live DJs and female impersonators of course. La Cage also has a great happy hour and serves 2-1 priced drinks practically every night of the week. Check website for events and details.

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