Readers of OnMilwaukee.com named Leff's Lucky Town the best bar in Wauwatosa in 2011, and it’s easy to see why. Though the historic building has housed both a silent-movie theater and a shoe store concealing a Prohibition-era speakeasy, today the wood-paneled bar is anything but silent, and the taps flow freely and legally. Groups of friends and family members wash down 10 signature burgers and a menu of Cajun barbecue wings, larger-than-life pretzels with stone-ground mustard, and sandwiches such as The Hulkster—hot ham, turkey, and roast beef.
Yet what may have been the award clincher is the spot's welcoming, humbly homey atmosphere, which may have also contributed to it being featured on the Fox6 Days of Dining Week. Tucked amid sports memorabilia or together on the outdoor patio, parties gather to catch their favorite sports or telekinetic spoon-bending competitions on high-definition televisions.
Beers unfurl from taps into sparkling pints at O’Brien’s Irish Pub, ready for hearty sips or splashes from ping-pong balls during bar-sanctioned games of beer pong. In between rounds of darts and cheers for pro teams playing on the bar’s TVs, patrons dig into a menu of house-roasted prime rib sandwiches, taco pizza, and Guinness french onion soup. O’Brien’s also welcomes tailgaters before every home Brewers game, and provides two complimentary shuttle busses to and from the stadium.
The atmosphere at Jonny Hammers is that of a classic diner and bar, with regulars enjoying a game at the free pool table while guests discuss the finer points of the game over pints of Wisconsin beers. While watching the day’s favored sport’s game on the bar’s television or socializing on the patio, guests can dig into classic American dishes such as burgers, fish fry plates, and thin crust pizzas bursting with fresh produce like an embezzling scarecrow. The diner opens up bright and early at 6 AM every day, with a 12-hour happy hour seeing it through until the evening bar hours.
Amid Centercourt’s 14,000-square-foot hardwood haven, people entertain their eyeballs with 20 flat-screen TVs, their ears with frequent live music, and their taste buds with a hearty spread of pub grub and brews. Centercourt fields a full team of wines and spirits, in addition to the 16 on-tap offerings and 30+ bottled beers awaiting their release. Sports enthusiasts can create an edible lineup with build-your-own sandwiches or Hobo fries (spud spears smothered in cheese and beef gravy; $4.95)—an appetizer that can be customized with bacon, chicken, or steak (up to $3.95 each). For a meal as light as a globetrotting eccentric’s hot air balloon, there are salads ($3.95–$9.95) and a roasted-vegetable wrap ($8.95).
About 200 feet from the storied Milwaukee River, The Irish Pub's founding family emulates the Emerald Isle with an oak-topped bar and Irish paraphernalia. Brews served in 20-oz English pints such as Stella Artois and Guinness join cocktail fixings and wines behind the wood-inlay bar, where a chalkboard menu announces nightly specials and which waiters get detention. During the winter season, customers may also enjoy spiked hot caramel apple cider. The pub's kitchen whips up wings, half-pound burgers, salads, soups, plates of fish 'n' chips, and other quintessential comfort food, as well as corned beef sandwiches and curried-chicken-salad wraps. Flat-screen TVs dot the dining room's exposed brick walls, where they broadcast sports games and other major events.
They've got 22 televisions. 22 barstools. The Catch 22 owners' penchant for the number 22 nearly rivals their enthusiasm for all things sports. Nearly. Despite its posh decor—exposed brick walls, loft-style beams, and gleaming wood floors—the downtown space is a sports bar through and through. There’s “not a bad seat in the house,” even the men’s bathroom has a TV, and even that TV has a TV. Revelers with tickets to a game can often grab a free shuttle to a local stadium or arena. Those who stay to watch the match munch a new menu of traditional bar fare with a modern twist, such as hand-cut sweet-potato fries with curry and basil dip, or a burger slider topped with gorgonzola, creole sauce, and caramelized onions. At the full bar that stocks a dozen on-tap brews, 25+ bottled beers, premium liquors, and memory-scrambling “bombs”, patrons wash down savory dinners or toast half-court double plays.