The bottles that make up Thief Wine's diverse inventory are not stolen, but they may as well be. The shop's name—a reference to the long tube or "barrel thief" used to sample maturing wines waiting to be bottled—reflects the air of mischief shoppers experience in encounters with otherwise inaccessible wines that makes each of the shop's selections feel like the product of a thrilling cellar heist. The fruits of Thief's careful wine curation decorate the walls of Thief Wine's two locations with more than 500 selections, which mix familiar labels with artisanal up-and-comers from around the globe. At each location's wine bar, certified sommeliers pare down the hulking inventory to about 30 essential bottles, which slosh into thematic tasting flights or full glasses to flank small plates of cheese and charcuterie.
Since its founding in 1974, the nonprofit organization Historic Milwaukee has tirelessly advocated for an awareness and preservation of the city's architecture and cultural heritage. The organization lifts the veil on Milwaukee's buildings and the people of its past through neighborhood walking tours and boat tours on the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers. Throughout the year, special tours take visitors on bike excursions and deeper explorations of more focused historical topics. To further engage history buffs, Historic Milwaukee also helms events ranging from a panel discussion series on city history to a citywide open house featuring more than 100 buildings.
Red Dot's selection of upscale pub grub provides libation-sippers with solid brain food in between intense study sessions of the bar's beer menu. Red Dot's signature plate of poutine ($5 for regular size) pays homage to the Canadian staple with local flair, blanketing french fries in homemade gravy and Wisconsin cheese curds. The Hot Stuff pizza (ranging from $7 for an 8-inch to $15 for a 16-inch) balances bean salsa, black olives, and jalapeños atop its crust, and the "loaded" grilled cheese ($6.50) trumps Mom's made-with-love version, piling on onions, cucumbers, tomato, and four types of cheese. Wash meals down into the soul where they'll frolic forever with local brews such as Lakefront Brewery's Cream City Pale Ale ($4.25) or out-of-state sips such as Rogue Dead Guy Ale ($5) from the exotic island of Oregon.
• For $7, you get one food item and two 12-ounce beers (up to a $15 value). • For $14, you get one food item and two cocktails (up to a $27 value). At Cans Bar and Canteen, a river of more than 50 canned American beers ripples from the vibrations of juke box music, and classic arcade-game light floods the interior. Sidle up to the glossy wood bar to moisten your glass with a Miller, Corona, Rolling Rock, or other domestic or import brew (a $3.50–$4 value). Or order one of Cans' signature cocktails, such as Feelin' Dirty, which combines super-frosty Level vodka with a splash of olive juice and liquefied panache for a classically classy beverage (a $10 value). Declare victory in Head-to-Head Tetris or Ms. Pac-Man before replenishing with something from the grub menu, such as the bite-sized cordon bleu, which wraps crispy fried chicken around cheese sauce and ham (a $6 value). In the Kick Ass Margarita, a glass rim encrusted with shimmering salt crystals embraces raspberry liqueur and lime juice—like a football player embraces an area of painted grass—in a sea of El Tesoro Anejo tequila and triple sec (an $8 value on the rocks; a $10 value up).
Even with the ambitious goal of trying a new variety every night, it would take months to sample every single beer at Stubby’s Gastrogrub & Beer Bar. Not only are there 53 different drafts and an array of cellar reserve bottles, but the selection is constantly updated with new craft brews from Wisconsin and around the world. Beer-savvy bartenders make their own recommendations behind the circular center bar as servers deliver trays of imaginative gastropub dishes—crab-stuffed jalapeños, freshwater bluegill sliders, and the hefty burger lauded by reporters from A.V. Club Milwaukee as “drool-inducing.” When not toppling giant Jenga blocks or throwing darts, guests can gaze up at the flat-screen televisions and cheer when a hardened banker learns to love in a Lifetime movie. The massive wooden deck gives al fresco enthusiasts space to linger over bites of cod tacos and barbecue pork nachos.
The Fox Bay Cinema Grill marquee lights up the theater's outdoor marble ticket kiosk, transporting moviegoers to a bygone era of the silver screen. Renovated in 2000, the spacious art-deco theater drapes its large screens in scarlet curtains, and wraparound, swivel lounge chairs and tables wait to support patrons as they immerse themselves in the digital sound and projection pouring forth from the latest Hollywood hits. The theater doesn't only sate the imagination's appetite with lush filmscapes; servers shell out light finger foods and hearty pizzas and sandwiches throughout the movie, quieting growling bellies that may otherwise spoil the film's ending. Though not included with this deal, alcohol is available via Fox Bay's wait staff and at the lobby bar.
Crisp Pizza Bar & Lounge’s super-heated Neapolitan-style oven bakes crunchy cracker-like crusts topped with chef-curated ingredient bouquets or build-your-own-pizza creations. The restaurant also transforms into a morning-meal factory for Friday–Sunday brunches, flipping expectations on the heads with funky adaptations of morning classics, such as the breakfast pizza topped with scrambled eggs and a pepperoni-wrapped alarm clock. By night, the eatery doubles as a music venue, with a rotating schedule of DJs setting hips asway with high-octane playlists.