Showtime Sports Bar was once housed in a prime space. It was across the road from that complex that plays host to the type of events that unleash sports enthusiasts on Milwaukee streets on a near nightly basis. Where is it now? Next door to Silk on Silver Spring Road (previously Bada Bing) serving beer and popcorn to the guyrs sick of watching scantily clad women dance around in less than their underwear, as if that’s possible.
I swung through to watch Marquette fall off the bracket and was greeted with championship belts instead of jerseys and fight posters in lieu of team pennants. It was certainly a different take on your average sports bar, but all made sense when one of the bartenders informed me that WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis had a hand in the bars panache by using the word “shareholder.”
|Anthony Pettis Mural|
Suddenly, I took notice of the floor-to-ceiling fight scene murals all flawlessly airbrushed by an outrageously talented Julian Correa. His artwork alone is worth venturing off-the-beaten-bar path, and if done before 7 p.m., you get the added bonus of a 2-4-1 happy hour.
I drank my pint of Blue Moon ($3.75) while March Madness unfolded on the huge projection screen mounted above the bar. I was more interested in watching the bartenders fret over some incorrectly ordered “All You Can Eat Fish Frys” and why every side of ranch they were distributing had “gone sour and tasted like bleu cheese.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s probably because they were serving bleu cheese.
Among the intermittent fails in service, I noticed throngs of people passing through the front door but no crowd forming. Exactly where were all these people congregating, and why wasn’t I invited? I asked this question to one of those employees fraught with worry over the possibility of old condiments, and he informed me that Jokerz Comedy Club is in the basement and getting there isn’t possible without a quick walk-through of Showtime. How very inconvenient and a little misleading. He also told me that the basement is where you can find a male strip show on certain evenings. Did he know of this as an experienced member of the show, I asked. Sarcastic banter mustn’t be his strong suit because he became flustered and even a little standoffish.
MMA groupies must be of the die-hard variety and in desperate need of their own sanctuary if they’re willing to hike it to Milwaukee’s west side for bartenders of the dull variety and perpetual pedestrian traffic. Personally, I’d rather grab a six-pack, a bag of Orville Redenbacher and watch bums fight under a bridge.