• College Nightlife

Nightlife at University of Wisconsin Madison


Getting to know the nightlife scene in college is a rite of passage. The best bars to go to for any occasion, or which to avoid at any cost, are important things to know for your day to day life. At the University of Wisconsin Madison the nightlife rarely sleeps and the beer flows for miles upon miles. There are different sections of town that house a lot of places to provide good eats, good tunes, and good drinks. Here are just a few of those special locales.

1.) University Ave

This part of town is nestled closely to Lake Mendota, and there are plenty of nightlife happenings around! Johnny O’s has been a UW Madison hot spot for many years. The huge rooftop is perfect for spring and summer dining and drinking and the occasional cigarette if that’s your thing. This bar is equipped with darts, beer pong tables, a ginormous floor for getting your groove on, and great food.

If you come into Johnny’s for your birthday, you will enjoy a birthday shot on Johnny himself!  This is one of the finer sports bars that you’ll find in the area, so if you have a hot date who’s looking to have a good time bring them to Johnny’s!  Another great spot on University Ave. is the Karaoke Kid.  If you are looking for a little Madison gem and to let your vocal pipes soar Karaoke Kid is the right place for you! This bar is quaint and personal with great prices on beer, you can’t go wrong.

2.) The Plaza Tavern

This one goes out to all of the hipsters out there! The Plaza Tavern is an awesome bar equipped with a jukebox, pool tables, and the world famous Plaza-burger. There is a secret room in the back of the bar with a foosball table and darts. Drink specials are phenomenal last I had were $2.00 Long Island Iced Teas on Thursdays and $1.50 Pabst Blue Ribbon on Mondays, you can start and end the week correctly at the Plaza!

3.) Echo Tap

If you are looking for a little more space and to be away from the exhausting crowds of college and college bars, the Echo Tap is the place for you! Located just off campus on Main St., the Echo Tap is full of townies and locals just looking for a cold beer and some good grub. There’s a quaint patio in front of the bar to soak in that clean Wisconsin air during the spring, summer, and fall months, and maybe in the winter if you dare!  Happy hour is every weekday, which includes ½ off appetizers, and various specials on beer and booze.

4.) Capitol Square

Looking for variety? Check out Capitol Square, where you have over 20 restaurants and bars to choose from. Perfect for organized stylish pub-crawls or date nights. Capitol Square is the finer area of Madison nestled in between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona.

Brocach Irish pub is an amazing bar with two levels and multiple rooms throughout the establishment you’ll never know what you’ll find. Upstairs in one of the back rooms there are wine and painting classes, where you drink delicious wine and paint sloppy (or abstract) pictures! The menu is one of a finer dining and is quite creative! A great place to bring a date to listen to the open mic nights or for a great Irish dinner and stout!

5.) State Street

State Street is another area in downtown Madison with a slew of bar and restaurants. But this area is not known for the fine dining, but more so focused on being the drinking outlet of UW Madison students.  The City Bar, being one of the occupants, has great happy hour treats and free darts on Tuesdays and the bar also has a Nintendo 64 for its patrons to play on! Anyone up for Super Smash Brothers! Whiskey Jacks Saloon is another great spot, which recently opened in 2010.

Whiskey Jacks is a great place to see a live show, or have a birthday party. With an array of whiskeys from all over the world it would put Jack Daniels to shame! If you’re looking to drink your problems or triumphs away with only a few dollars in your pockets, Mondays Bar is a great place for you!  But do be careful, the drinks are extremely strong and your liver just might hate you while you’re there!

UW Madison is a great party school, because the nightlife is vivacious and always happening.  Although I’m sure parents aren’t too thrilled about this fact, it is a fact nonetheless.  You can try your luck at the sports bars on University Ave., the finer dining in Capitol Square, or liver damage on State Street.  Wherever you go, however, you will be sure to have a great time!

Lucas Fisher graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2010 with a degree in Liberal Arts. Sue Callender graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011. Receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a specialization in cultural studies and media analysis.

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