Water Street bar guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on March 3, 2016 at 3:01 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.
"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is back for another round, brought to you by Great Northern Distilling: grain to glass spirits, handmade in Wisconsin. The whole month of March, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars readers poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
You could say that Milwaukee was built on Water Street. Two centuries ago the city's first European settler, Henry Vieau, built his cabin where the 100 East Wisconsin building now stands. These days it's a vibrant intersection of theater, entertainment, dining and culture.
In recent years a lot of great restaurants have sprung up in the area, but Water Street is still one of the best places to go after work or play to – excuse the pun – wet your whistle.
Here's a look at Milwaukee's premier bar corridor.
1247 N. Water St., (414) 221-9999
Burgers served with an avalanche of peanuts ... a little out of the ordinary, sure, but it's one of the things that makes a trip to Bombers a great alternative to the usual ritual of late-night debauchery. Order food all day and into the night. Enjoy a pretty big selection of mainstream and microbrews ... or the "Bloody Bomber" if you subscribe to the "hair of the dog" theory.
1114 N. Water St., (414) 847-1492
It's a hopping bar/restaurant with a kitchen open late – what more could you ask for in a Downtown watering hole? There's often live music and sports fans will love the flatscreens that line the walls. Bar Louie offers a plethora of beers on tap, dozens of different wines and specialty cocktails. Stop in on Tuesday and enjoy $1 burger night with the purchase of a drink.
1139 N. Water St., (414) 226-6969
The smallest space on the street, Bar None shows that size really doesn't matter. A hole-in-the-wall in the very best sense of the word, this comfortable, no-frills atmosphere is the perfect place to get your buzz on. They've got their finger on the pulse of the college community, dishing out a happy hour and nightly deals you can't afford to miss.
Brothers Bar & Grill
1213 N. Water St., (414) 224-1690
Not just for Minneapolis, Madison or La Crosse anymore, Milwaukee has had its own Brothers for several years now. A very popular hangout for UWM and Marquette students, Brothers is packed on the weekends, and passersby can witness enviously the party rocking on the second-story balcony overlooking the street. A lively atmosphere, cheap drinks and plenty of pool tables and dartboards keep people coming back for more. Stop in on Wednesdays for their 25 cent wing night!
Buffalo Wild Wings (BW3)
1123 N Water St., (414) 277-0293
Wing lovers will unite at Buffalo Wild Wings on Water. Take in a game on any number of TVs and wing it till the end of time.
Duke's on Water
158 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 274-0621
Connected to Scooter's Pub, Duke's on Water has long been the Holy Grail of cheap drinks and loud music in Milwaukee. $1 happy hour every day, pool tables, darts, a giant TV - Duke's is "dive bar" at its very best.
Fire on Water
581 N. Water St.. (414) 291-4411
Go get lit at Fire on Water – both a bar and a music venue. This dual-level lounge features over 50 beers, HD televisions, free pool and live music every weekend.
113 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 289-0700
The Harp has been in its present location overlooking the Milwaukee River since 1965, and the building has housed pubs and taverns since a hundred years before that. Its riverside patio is where many locals have spent the summer portion of their youth. Inside, the two somewhat separated bar areas allow you to enjoy the classic pub setting or gather around a table with friends.
1135 N. Water St., (414) 278-8888
A great place to get your whiskey fix, McGillycuddy's also offers excellent Irish beers on tap. When the weather turns nice, go to the Beer Garden and kiss the Gilly Stone, which is said to bring good fortune to those in need of it. Head to their weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday for cheap yet delicious hangover treatments.
1131 N. Water St., (414) 239-8201
Novo is a three story bar offering three very unique experiences on each level. A sports bar with 4K TVs, a dance floor with DJs and rooftop patio.
1127 N. Water St., (262) 207-4179
Have a hankering for some bourbon? Then you should head to Pourman's which offers small batch bourbons. They also make made from scratch Old Fashions. Want to smoke but don't want to go outside? You're in luck since they have a heated smoking lounge. They even have tables where you can tap your own beer!
Red Rock Saloon
1227 N. Water St., (414) 431-0467
Yeehaw! Red Rock is downtown's only country music venue, and you're sure to catch one of Milwaukee's favorite bands of that genre playing on a Friday night. After you've had a few, hop on the mechanical bull. They also offer weekly specials, a happy hour and amazing(ly huge) burgers.
134 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 763-1102
Located just off Water Street, Rogues Gallery serves up regular drink and shot specials, DJ music and plenty of entertainment. Plus, take in the art showing and gallery events too.
Rosie's on Water
1111 N. Water St., (414) 274-7213
A Milwaukee institution, Rosie's serves up great grill food made with local products (every burger name has a story) and boasts a friendly staff and clientele. Stop in for any reason at all, but make it a point to go on your birthday - free drinks for you and deals for your friends!
The Rumpus Room
1030 N. Water St., (414) 292-0100
Head to the tenth tallest building in Milwaukee, 1000 N. Water St., to see what all the Rumpus is with this Bartolotta restaurant. OnMilwaukee.com had a fabulous retreat luncheon there in 2012, but the Rumpus Room's bar is nothing to sneeze at either. Their beer selection is impressive, with craft beer on draft, beer flights and more, and their craft cocktails and liqueur choices are just as extensive.
154 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 274-7201
Opened in 2006, Scooter's Pub and Duke's on Water collaboratively took over the space that used to be Mel's on Water. Scooter's attracts bikers and college students alike with a $1 happy hour, free popcorn and good conversation.
Trinity Three Irish Pubs
125 E. Juneau Ave., (414) 278-7033
Just west of the intersection of Water and Juneau, this "trio of Irish authenticity" is actually three interconnected bars owned and operated by the same folks that bring you Water Street Brewery. Trinity cooks up a full Irish lunch and dinner while pouring tappers of your favorite Irish brews. Stop in on the weekends for live entertainment.
1122 N. Edison St., (414) 223-1122
Vagabond's atmosphere – created by Flux Design – combines Airstream campers, retro speakers and boom boxes with elements of stainless steel, corrugated metal and reclaimed wood. Street tacos are the menu's main focus -- which go perfectly with margaritas and Coronas.
Water Street Brewery
1101 N. Water St., (414) 272-1195
One of the first brewpubs in Milwaukee, Water Street Brewery features brewing on premises and a variety of seasonal and specialty beers, including seasonal fresh berry beers. Serving appetizers, sandwiches and nightly entrees, there's something here for everyone. Brewery tours, merchandise and carry-out freshly brewed products are also available.
eh | March 9, 2010 at 2:18 p.m. (report)
@devidia I think it's the building Sullivans is in.
Which of these bars used to be Luke's Sports Spectacular? Or am I thinking of somewhere else?
2 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.