By Rebecca Rinn
I had recently moved back into the area when a friend from college informed she was planning a trip to visit. In an attempt to ensure she would be entertained I commissioned a former co-worker and Milwaukee enthusiast to create a young adult’s guide to the city. He included brewery tours, places to get the best fish fry and of course a slew of bars and their infamous cocktails and happy hour specials. Amongst those was At Random, a bar in Bay View (2501 S. Delaware Ave.) known for their creative menu featuring inventive concoctions including rum spiked milkshakes and fish bowls containing almost lethal doses of tropical liquors. Beer and wine aren’t anywhere on the bill of fare so I was skeptical but finally gave into my morbid curiosity and set out to Bay View.
We arrived outside of At Random and remained in the car speculating on the legitimacy of this operation because of the seemingly creepy exterior of the building and its awkward location in a quiet residential neighborhood. Finally gathering the courage to approach the door we were ushered in by an elderly man dressed in what appeared to be the outfit of a street performer. I half expected him to conjure an organ and a monkey on a chain but the lights were so dim I could barely make out the floor at my feet. He summoned an equally old waitress who offered her guiding hand before leading us into an even darker dining area. The little décor I was able to make out on the way to our table was reminiscent of a 50’s diner and it would seem that the help had been around just as long.
We were seated, given a chance let our eyes adjust and subsequently peruse our menus. The drinks were as imaginative as described and priced moderately. My companion kept insisting that it was dark enough in the dining area to consume her drink sans pants and kept threatening to remove them. We ordered our drinks, mine a Strawberry Shortcake milkshake and hers a raspberry flavored ice cream cocktail. While we waited for the waitress to return to our table I was able to examine our fellow patrons and immediately felt as though I was on the Tunnel of Love ride at the carnival. Couples were huddled together in the dark embracing their secret rendezvous while the centerpiece, resembling a pink version of Avatar’s tree of souls, basked them in a romantic glow.
My friend and I, accepting the fact that we looked as if we were on a hot date, devoured our drinks, both excellent in taste and alcohol levels. We then scrambled to come up with the money to cover our tab as we both prefer plastic and At Random only accepts hard cash.
At Random definitely held up to its name providing a memorable moment in our evening but it’s definitely geared towards the aphrodisiac-seeking crowd. Although, not being the pretentious type, I’m not sure I would return, even if I were in the company of an actual date.
About the Author
The name is Rebecca, but my friends call me Funky Cold Rebecca. Okay, that’s a lie, but I wish they would. I’m a drinking enthusiast, always responsibly of course, and a full-time student. My vices are days at the beach, semi-expensive footwear, afternoon naps, boxed wine and tattoos. I hope to one day be famous enough that my presence is requested on Dancing With The Stars.