By Liz Van Pay Small bars are a dime a dozen in Milwaukee, and most are downright forgettable. The scene plays out as it has so many times before: you walk in, grab a beer, and walk out – maybe you have a decent conversation with a stranger to pass time after a long work […]

By Liz Van Pay

Small bars are a dime a dozen in Milwaukee, and most are downright forgettable. The scene plays out as it has so many times before: you walk in, grab a beer, and walk out – maybe you have a decent conversation with a stranger to pass time after a long work day or in an attempt to extend last night’s bender. At Bay View’s Blackbird Bar, leaving without a memorable experience and a smile on your face is not an option. Situated at 3007 South Kinnickinnic Avenue, it can be difficult to find unless you’re looking for it (as it can be best described as a storefront space), but once you do, you will have found your new favorite watering hole.


Laid out in an open style with classic Milwaukee kitsch throughout, Blackbird is a non-discriminating hometown bar that makes you feel like part of the family just for walking in the door. With most drink specials under $5, these good times won’t break your bank, either. Happy Hour runs from 4-8 PM every day and offer $2 taps of Schlitz and Riverwest Stein, $3 microtaps and 2-4-1 well drinks. Find yourself going out for a drink a bit later in the day? Nightly specials are for you, beginning at 9 PM and changing on a regular basis. With twenty bucks in your pocket, you can get a great buzz going in a fun atmosphere with wonderful people from all walks of life. Any night of the week, you are assured great conversation. Sports fan? You can always just enjoy a beer while watching a Brewers game on one of two flat-screen televisions in the front bar area.

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Speaking of the kitsch – there are large, intricate paintings of various blackbirds on the gold walls in the cozy back booth area. In the front bar, bright blue walls are complimented by gold lion statues circling the two large booths across from the long, padded (dare I say comfortable) bar. It seems like a small place from the outside, but spacious once you walk in the door. Depending on the nature of your visit – coming in to catch a post-work beer or with a group to celebrate a birthday or other event – there is ample and appropriate seating for either. Trying to pinpoint a genre for Blackbird is impossible, as there are always new faces and new goings-on that ensure boredom will never be a concern.


Looking for fun on a Thursday night? Every night from 7-9 PM, Blackbird hosts ‘Team Trivia’, a popular event in Bay View with prizes and snacks for attendees. Monday nights have been coined ‘Metal Mondays’ from 7-9, featuring – you guessed it – metal music and even more drink specials.


Open since 2008 and replacing the building’s former occupant The Groove, Blackbird has created its niche as more than just a bar. It is the perfect marriage of bar and coffee shop, of great people and even better times. With more than just beer, Blackbird offers many different veins of amusement. Televisions (of course), board games, always-changing pinball machines and the always-popular photo booth are just a few items that ensure your great times at Blackbird are all but guaranteed with just one stop.

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About the Author
Starting out as a music journalist at age 17, I have been writing reviews and anecdotes for nationally-syndicated publications for the better part of seven years. Early in 2010 I finished my first novel, a work memoir titled On The Sauce, which I am currently shopping to publishers. As a tattoo collector, I thrive on the ability to tell the story of my life on my skin. By day, I work an office job, and by night I am doing anything from writing to knitting a dishcloth for charity. Above all, I attempt to be – in two words – gloriously unpredictable.

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Bar Time Contest entry #1: Art Bar
Bar Time Contest entry #2:
The Iron Horse
Bar Time Contest entry #3: Blackbird


Bar Time Contest entry #4: Taylors
Bar Time Contest entry #5: Nomad World Pub


Bar Time Contest entry #6: At Random


Bar Time Contest entry #7: TJ Aliota’s
Bar Time Contest entry #8: Blackbird (Round 2)


Bar Time Contest entry #9: Von Trier


Bar Time Contest entry #10: Foundation
Bar Time Contest entry #11: County Clare


Bar Time Contest entry #12: Papa’s Social Club


Bar Time Contest entry #13: My Office

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