A Saturday night in Cudahy

For what might very well be the first time ever, I spent my Saturday night going out in Cudahy last weekend. OK, fine, I've attended the occasional show at Vnuk's Lounge, but other than that, there's just never been any establishment in that city that beckoned me to head that far south when I could easily just go out in my surrounding neighborhoods.

That is, until my friends and I decided to make City Lounge, 3455 E. Layton Ave., our refuge from the cold last Saturday. We'd embarked on a group bike ride in the late afternoon, heading south from Walker's Point along the bike trail. When the sun went down, we found ourselves in South Milwaukee, and cold.

Remembering I'd done an interview with Joe Halser, the owner of City Lounge, earlier this year, I suggested it to my friends as our best bet to find warmth and a few drinks. I was right.

The bar is entirely smoke-free, which is not only refreshing after a hearty bike ride, but was doubly rewarding when we got home and realized our jackets, scarves and gloves don't reek of smoke.

A waitress showed up at our table immediately to explain about the smoking policy and was happy to answer our questions about the seasonal beers, including the owner's own brewery, III Dachshunds, which a few people tried (Ankle Biter Ale was a favorite.)

The eclecticness of the bar's decor kept us interested -- there were antiques that looked as if they came straight out of the "Street of Old Milwaukee" exhibit, as well as an '80s, disco-like dance area and a baby grand piano in the front window.

We were surprised to see a doorman (bouncer just seems like the wrong word for a place like this) at a Cudahy bar so early in the evening, but there he was, enduring the brisk night air. It started to make more sense as the hours passed and the bar really began to fill up.

Admittedly, the majority of the crowd looked slightly older than our group, but then again, we were all under 30. Nevertheless, it was a nice, easy and clean place to grab a beer or some bar food and I can definitely see myself going back if I'm the neighborhood.

Talkbacks

Wetslug | Nov. 16, 2007 at 7:15 a.m. (report)

Yes, you went to a truly unique, and pretty cool bar, but you saying you spent the night in Cudahy is misleading. Saying that you got the Cudahy experience by hanging out in the City Lounge is like saying you have spent time in Florida because you went to Disney World. To really get the feel of Cudahy, in terms of drinking, you need start yourself off at the very north end of Packard, and walk south, stopping in every little bar along the way, whether they are smoke free or not, doing a shot and a beer until you fall over on the sidewalk knocking out your two front teeth. Then you've truly spent the night in Cudahy.

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MILWIRISH | Nov. 11, 2007 at 10:22 p.m. (report)

ALWAYS GREAT TO HEAR OF A NICE BAR WHERE THE OWNER IS ALLOWED TO MAKE A DECISION ABOUT SMOKING. WITH EVERYONE IN FAVOR OF SMOKE FREE BARS IT SHOULD BE PACKED ALL THE TIME. INSTEAD OF FORCING NO SMOKING ON EVERYONE
PEOPLE SHOULD GO TO SMOKE FREE BARS AND SUPPORT THE OWNERS.

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Myke | Nov. 7, 2007 at 7:01 p.m. (report)

34599 This is our Fav new spot since discovering it a few moons ago. They also have an all request DJ weekends playing a variety of great music.During the week some of MKE's best entertainers(like Joe Hite)play. The smoke free thing is an answer to prayer & some outstanding,amazing dancing can be witnessed there sometimes too !

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prairiedogg | Nov. 7, 2007 at 10:16 a.m. (report)

great bar! love the city lounge, good atmosphere. smoke free bars are amazing!

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alba | Nov. 7, 2007 at 9:42 a.m. (report)

Smoke-free bars can work. Who will be next?

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