Nightlife in Milwaukee

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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.

1135 N Water St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

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.

1815 East Kenilworth Place
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Maple floors and exposed-brick walls contribute to The Riverwest Filling Station’s rustic ambience, which is mirrored in its menu of classic pub fare featuring upscale twists. Alongside indonesian scallops over udon and Southern-style fried chicken topped with beer gravy, the staff serves 30 draught beers. They also pour the libations into take-home growlers using specialized fillers that remove oxygen and pressurize the beer with carbon dioxide, which can extend the shelf life.

701 E Keefe Ave
Milwaukee,
WI
US

On Sunday, June 16—Father's Day—from 10:30 a.m. to noon, the Milwaukee Food Truck Tasting will occupy a portion of the MKE Up Market in Walker's Point. Food trucks will roll in from across Milwaukee, including brand-new vendors such as Fivestar Nacho as well as established favorites such as Gouda Girls. Visitors will be able to taste samples—ranging from half-sandwiches to side dishes—from every truck, which will likely amount to a satisfying and diverse brunch.

540 South 1st St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Parties are always better with friends—especially brand-new ones. In nine cities throughout the US, My Drink On creates occasions for people to meet, mingle, safely imbibe, and responsibly return their pint glasses to the table in one piece. Pub crawls and whiskey tastings, holiday and yacht parties, private fetes and trolley crawls—the group works to create and promote festive, fun events. The fun isn't the only draw, however; many of its parties also raise money for a designated local charity.

1044 N Old World 3rd St
Milwaukee,
WI
US

Depending on the night of the week, WhereHouse cranks out swinging salsa, country favorites, '60s rock, or Argentine tango. Voted Best Dance Club by a trio of media outlets, including WISN, WhereHouse keeps the music flowing on the dance floor as well as in numerous VIP sections that treat guests to bottle service and private bars. Stop in on a Saturday night and receive a free salsa lesson courtesy of the club.

818 South Water Street
Milwaukee,
WI
US