My brother told me about his first experience at Shaker’s (422 S. Second St.), and I knew I had to go see for myself. He and his friends were led down into the basement of the cigar bar and each was told to hold their hand over the spot where a woman hung herself years ago. You are supposed to feel cold air. My brother said his hand started burning and the “basement guide” told him “Shake it out, shake it out!” And so he did.
Other than finding out that my brother is a demon; the discovery of this haunted bar also intrigued me.
After my second visit back to Transfer (The pizza was awesome.), we rode our bicycles north on Second Street to the notorious Shaker’s.
We walked in and I first noticed the small, open kitchen behind the bar. Tidy and rustic, the kitchen made me crave food though I wasn’t hungry. The bartender greeted us right away and offered a pint or cocktail. She was attentive; intense even. When we asked how late they serve food (this was after 11 p.m.), she looked us each in the eye and said, “As long as you’re hungry.”
She regressed a little, saying the menu was limited at this time, but she was up for making pizza or shrimp.
Anyway, back to the booze; we each got a pint at $5 a piece and asked if we could go up to the rooftop, which my brother described as a killer feature to the place. Killer, ha. I know, if you have to explain your joke…
The place was pretty dead (sorry), so the rooftop wasn’t technically open, but the owner let us go up anyway. He named a few stipulations like: “don’t fall off the roof, don’t climb the ladder, and don’t steal anything.”
We felt his conditions were fair, and after a nod and “thank you,” we passed a small group of middle-aged folks enjoying their cigars on cozy couches and chairs and walked up the narrow steps to the roof. Once we got to the top of the stairs, we passed through a hallway with random furniture covered in white sheets. I kept a quick pace, eager to get out of the eerie passageway.
The roof was lovely with strung lanterns, a panoramic view of the city and AstroTurf. The owner eventually joined us, and I asked him, “Why the turf?”
“As opposed to what?” he said, as if I were crazy, and green turf was the clear choice. We joked around about bringing our putters next time, and he told us we should come back on July 3 for the big fireworks spectacle. For this occasion, he said we could go up two more levels to the top-tier roof, accessed only by ladder.
He went back downstairs, and as we finished our beers. I noticed a generous slant to the roof — restless spirits weighing it down perhaps? We hurried along, went back downstairs, and I took a visit to Tinkle Town before we left. On my way, I passed another bar and room with plenty of seating. The bar was gorgeous and so, I don’t know, heavy. The wooden structure seemed so substantial, so prominent, so old. I hope to go back for the fireworks and get a better look. I think I’ll go ahead and mark Shaker’s on my top-five Milwaukee bars. Such fun. Go see for yourself. And bring your Proton Pack.
Thief Wine Shop and Bar
400 N. Water St.
Tuesday, July 6
Come taste wines of South Africa. Taste six wines for $15. Seatings are at 5, 6:15 and 7:30 p.m., and RSVPs are required.
811 N. Jefferson St.
Saturday, July 10
“Bye, Bye, Liver: The Milwaukee Drinking Play.” Enjoy this interactive, comedic performance from 9-11 p.m. Go to www.byebyeliver.comfor ticket and show information.
Benno’s Genuine Bar & Grill
7413 W. Greenfield Ave.
$1 off all taps, and three sliders for $3.
125 E. National Ave.
Half price bottles of wine.
223 N. Water St.
I’m excited about this one. From 9 p.m.-close, take advantage of $1 slice night.
3007 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Free tacos from Hector’s, 4-8 p.m., or until supplies last. Also, $4 margaritas and $2 Pacifico and Corona.
2265 S. Howell Ave.
Every Wednesday starting at 5 p.m., enjoy $10 off bottles of wine.
Polish Falcon’s Nest 725
801 E. Clarke St.
Open Bowl on the oldest lanes in town. And it only costs $3.25 a game plus $1 for shoes.
1905 North Ave.
Hey ladies! Free drinks until midnight. Everyone else pays $3 for Stoli drinks. Not bad. No cover.
Hi Hat Lounge & Garage
1701 N. Arlington Pl.
Ladies Night: DJs Kid Cut Up and Steve Marxx. Two complimentary drinks for the ladies.
Kenadee’s Ultra Pub
718 N. Milwaukee St.
Bitch Pleeze Fridays: Ladies drink free mixers every Friday from 10 p.m.-midnight. Kenny Perez provides the music. No cover. No dress code.
720 N. Milwaukee St.
Enjoy the spins of special guest DJs from LA, Las Vegas, New York City and Chicago. The special of the evening: $100 bottles of Belvedere vodka, of course.
Brocach Irish Pub and Restaurant
1850 N. Water St.
From 3:30 to 6 p.m., try happy hour: half off all top-shelf Irish and scotch whiskies. 20 oz. pint of Guinness and shot of Powers for $6.25. $5 wines by the glass.
Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge
1579 S. Ninth St.
Old-Fashioned Cocktail Hour
Bryant’s happy hour is from 5-9 p.m. and includes half price old-fashioneds and Depression-era cocktails.