You and I both know that Bryant's Cocktail Lounge, 1579 S. 9th St., is anything but hidden. In fact, for edging closer to a century, the place has been a South Side stalwart, slinging handcrafted cocktails to mood-enhancing music and lighting.
With so many places to choose from, it's easy for some locales - even truly classic Cream City clubs - to fall between the cracks or hide in plain sight. So here are just a few of those hidden gems that you should discover for your next drink.
Capt'n Nick's is a friendly neighborhood tap with a circle-shaped bar and some of the cheapest drinks in town. And it opens every day at 6 a.m. for your day drinking needs.
One of the city's oldest grocery stores, a true neighborhood landmark for generations, stretching all the way back to 1913, has gotten in on the concept of opening a bar - and, most importantly, gotten it totally right.
Bert's Bar in St. Francis has a classic pub and grill feel in an updated space with lots of friendly people who are ready to laugh and chat.
Few bars in Milwaukee can shapeshift like Art*Bar, always a comfortable place for all to meet while, at the same time, constantly transforming and turning into something new - ironic considering the location's reputation before its arrival.
You may have noticed that after two decades, Fluid on 2nd, 819 S. 2nd St., in Walker's Point, recently changed its logo. That new design also gave owner Bill Wardlow inspiration for a theme for this year's holiday decor in the tavern, which he describes as, "a progressive gay bar ... open to everyone."
Some bars celebrate the holidays with festive drinks, twinkling lights and festive decor. Still others are the sort of places where the warmth and spirit of the holiday season can be found all year long. Among those places is Ernie's Wine Bar in Cedarburg.
The enigma that is Victor's on Van Buren Street never fails to fascinate. So the fact it transforms into Christmas paradise during the month of December should come as no surprise.
If you've ever lingered at the stoplight where Forest Home meets Oklahoma Avenue, you may have spied the sign for Una Cafe, a tiny corner bar with a loyal clientele and a reputation for its vibrant, welcoming ambiance.
After nearly two decades in the bar and restaurant game, Steve Miick decided it was time to be his own boss. So, at the end of 2018, he bought a place and in January, he opened Dingers Pub in the former Lucky Chance building at 6139 W. Beloit Rd., in West Allis.
If you've driven past Fuzzy's Sports Pub & Grill in Waukesha, but you've never stopped in, you might well be surprised by what you find inside. After all, the main draw at Fuzzy's isn't likely what you'd expect.
Recently, I was asked about Milwaukee's oldest taverns and one of the contenders would surely be Puddler's Hall, 2461-63 S. St. Clair St., in Bay View, which is, perhaps, second after Landmark 1850.
Places like Reggie & Gerry's - and its longtime owner, Gerry Zeniecki - are a key part of the the fabric of Milwaukee, proving it's definitely not just the drinks that make a neighborhood bar special.
Before Amazon, shopping malls were the place where you could find just about anything. In Southridge Mall's case, that's still the case - with a twist, as among the usual department stores and retail shops, you can also find a full craft brewery.