Amid the tangy aroma of buffalo wings and the clink of beer glasses, patrons at Karma Bar & Grill gather around 20 HDTVs with MLB, NHL, NFL, and UFC packages, eyes locked on the match. Servers keep the atmosphere inviting as they deliver pitchers of beer, hefty 1/2-pound Angus steak burgers, plates of six-cheese mac or house-smoked brisket and pork, Friday fish fries, and other from-scratch specialties. During baseball season, Karma offers patrons a Brewer shuttle during every home game, and stand-up comedians appear on select Wednesdays and Fridays. The private Karma Lounge is also available for rental for groups of 10?80, and sports a giant projection screen along with a private bar.
In 1999, Dave Sobelman was serving burgers and pitchers of beer to blue collar workers in the rough and rugged Menomonee Valley. With the checks he cashed on weekends from the humble factory workers he began ordering some of the finest ingredients for this burgers - locally baked country-butter rolls and the best beef available.
Then one day, Dave walked out of his burger bar and saw a newspaper stand for the Shepherd Express. The cover story highlighted the Top 5 "Pub Grub" locations in Milwaukee and Dave's did not make the list. This omission was a turning point in Sobelman's history.
After seeing the article, Dave called the author of the story and invited him over for a burger. The local writer came into Sobelman's the next day and sat at the bar, ordered a PLAIN burger, and a beer. That very next week, Dave Sobelman had his own feature article on the front page of the Shepherd Express praising the burgers at Sobelman's Pub and Grill as the absolute best in Milwaukee.
Dave became wild with the possibility of fame after seeing his name and acclaimed burger in print. So with the help of this wife - Melanie - Dave began placing his energies into continuously providing the most quality ingredients and best tasting menu he could create for the public - and of course this menu included drinks. Dave's location is after all, a storied Schlitz tavern.
It's really not what's inside the glass that makes Sobelman's Pub and Grill's signature bloody mary stand out. The drink, or "Bloody Masterpiece" as it's affectionally called (not to be confused with the "Baconado" or "Crown Mary"), arrives with 13 garnishes. Brussels sprouts, celery, sausage, cheese, and even a cheeseburger slider stick out of the drink like an edible bouquet. The creative drink has garnered many fans, not to mention a feature on Good Morning America.
That slider garnish serves as an introduction to Sobelman's menu. The husband-and-wife team will proudly tell you that they have always had the best burgers in Milwaukee, and they back up the claim with a 2013 Readers’ Choice Award from Milwaukee Magazine and three other local Best Burger Awards in the last 3 plus years. Each Certified Prime Black Angus patty is sandwiched between a fresh baked country-butter roll and rests beneath toppings such as homemade chili, diced jalapeño, or The Piggyback's pork belly, which comes drizzled in bourbon sauce. These burgers have often been imitated around the city, but never duplicated. Aside from burgers, the cooks craft chicken cordon bleu sandwiches and host a Friday fish fry with beer-battered cod.
Despite the creativity shown on the menu, Sobelman's Pub and Grill's original location on St. Paul Avenue has a timeless element. The Sobelmans make great use of their building and they've kept original Schlitz tavern elements such as beer-barrel tables and strict adherence to the law of gravity in the revived Menomonee Valley neighborhood. Simply put, Sobelman's Pub and Grill is Classic Milwaukee.
Floor-to-ceiling wood panels frame School Yard Bar & Grill, an East Side hangout that doles out beer and burgers in equal measure. The menu features half-pound Wisconsin beef sandwiches named after prototypical high-school characters such as the Bully—cheddar, bacon, roasted-garlic mayo, and a fried egg—and the Principal, which is accompanied by swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, and a stern letter to your parents. Patrons can dig into these and other pub dishes, including wings, mozzarella sticks, and tacos, while drinking in views of overhead TVs and domestic drafts at the bar.
McGillycuddy’s traces its heritage back to Murphy "Gilly" McGillycuddy, a mythic figure who, on his deathbed, touted "relations, whiskey, bacon, cold beer … and this stone" as the keys to life. The stone in question was not Ireland's fabled Blarney Stone, but the Gilly Stone, which, like Bon Jovi's hair, promises good fortune to anyone who brushes up against it. The stone now rests in the beer garden of the Water Street pub, an Irish watering hole whose success only amplifies the stone's considerable legend. Irish-American cuisine, including Guinness-soaked bratwurst and beer-battered fish, tackles taste buds on a covered patio or in the wood-accented interior, where pride for the Green Bay Packers colors every corner. Ample enough to comfortably cradle up to 200 revelers, McGillycuddy’s party room comes with its own catering menu and happily hosts large- or small-scale gatherings and luncheons.
Barcrawls.com and joonbug.com team up to throw themed parties at locations from New York to Los Angeles. Events are typically held at hip nightlife spots such as clubs, lounges, and restaurants. Each year's get-togethers typically include parties for holidays—including Thanksgiving Eve—and viewing parties for baseball's beloved home-run derby as well as the sport's lesser-known "Is It a Balk?" contest.
In the 14th century, John Hawk was becoming an English maritime legend. Because he was one of the greatest soldiers of fortune, Rome, Pisa, Milan, and Florence all sought his services. In 1972, he became the slice of English history that set the tone for John Hawks Pub.
Appropriately, the venue overlooks the waterfront, with its dining patio jutting out several feet over the river. There, guests tuck into a newly revamped menu of English-style pub grub and stateside favorites. The menu includes Ward’s prime-rib sandwich, an import from new owner Brian Ward, whose prime rib won acclaim from the Travel Channel’s Big Beef Paradise. Dangling wrought-iron chandeliers surround a massive stone hearth, enclosed in walls paneled with wood stained so darkly it almost appears black. Above, a circular stained-glass ceiling displays English heraldry and scenes from John Hawk’s life, depicting him captaining a storm-tossed ship or beating Poseidon in the Sea-Doo race that won him the ability to drink ocean water.