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The Wicked Hop (345 N. Broadway) has sentimental value to me. My brother and I sat outside a bit after dusk. I soaked in the large yellow and blue bulb lanterns. The red string lights add a nice contrast, hugging the iron bars of the industrial overhang. “Do you see that light?” my brother says. […]

The Wicked Hop (345 N. Broadway) has sentimental value to me. My brother and I sat outside a bit after dusk. I soaked in the large yellow and blue bulb lanterns. The red string lights add a nice contrast, hugging the iron bars of the industrial overhang.

“Do you see that light?” my brother says. I struggle for a moment to understand what he’s talking about, but then I see it — a small, north-facing window in the Buffalo Building where my grandparents used to live. I remember looking out that window when I was younger and seeing nothing but vacant warehouses.

The Wicked Hop was one of the first establishments I remember as the Third Ward started blooming. When I visited my grandparents, there was nowhere to go — a couple art galleries and Coquette Café (where my grandpa made himself known). Other than that, we stayed in their super cool loft apartment and played with Mugsy, their heavy breathing pug.

We often had lunch at the Wicked Hop when it opened. This was probably my first experience with the refurbished warehouse look, complete with Cream City brick. I thought it was so cool. There’s nothing quite like it in the old Chicago suburbs. I was also fond of the art. There is a fair amount of metal work. I especially love the elk head and “Old Man and the Sea” poster.

What’s not to like, right? But there is something about the place that I can’t put my finger on. My brother and I are sitting outside, enjoying a gentle breeze and all of a sudden, a Hummer growls to a halt a few feet from our table. The three gentlemen sit in their monstrosity a while longer, finishing a song maybe, and I almost forget about the massive grill a few steps away from my grill.

But then the 30- and 40-somethings emerge, preceded only by their musk. I remember now that I’m turned off by the crowd at the Wicked Hop. Not always, but these guys reminded me that sometimes the clientele is unfavorable (a less offensive word choice than I really want to use).

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Other than the unremarkable food, this is my only complaint about the Wicked Hop. Although I am probably writing a piece of self-banishment, I will continue to go to the Third Ward hot spot, especially if I’m in need of a Bloody. They also have a pretty fantastic “Hoppy Hour” with half-price appetizers, but I can’t rid the image and ensuing smells from that Hummer.



Mo’s Irish Pub
142 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Download a Recipe Card and fill it out with your original cocktail recipe for a chance to win a $200 gift card. Entry deadline is May 31.


Cactus Club
2496 S. Wentworth Ave.
Saturday, May 27
9 p.m.
Come on down for the Cactus Club/Pabst Blue Ribbon Spelling Bee.


Mikey’s
811 N. Jefferson St.
Friday-Saturday, May 28-29
“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.
Mondays
$1 off all taps, and three sliders for $3.


Rustico Pizzeria
223 N. Water St.
Mondays
I’m excited about this one. From 9 p.m.-close, take advantage of $1 slice night.


Blackbird
3007 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Tuesdays
Free tacos from Hector’s, 4-8 p.m., or until supplies last. Also, $4 margaritas and $2 Pacifico and Corona.


Café LuLu
2265 S. Howell Ave.
Wino Wednesdays
Starting at 5 p.m., enjoy $10 off bottles of wine.


Polish Falcon’s Nest 725
801 E. Clarke St.
Wednesdays
Open Bowl on the oldest lanes in town. And it only costs $3.25 a game plus $1 for shoes.


Decibel
1905 North Ave.
Thursdays
Hey ladies! Free drinks until midnight. Everyone else pays $3 for Stoli drinks. Not bad. No cover.

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Hi-Hat Lounge & Garage
1701 N. Arlington Pl.
Thursdays
Ladies Night: DJs Kid Cut Up and Steve Marxx. Two complimentary drinks for the ladies.



Kenadee’s Ultra Pub
718 N. Milwaukee St.
Fridays
Bitch Pleeze Fridays: Ladies drink free mixers every Friday from 10 p.m.-midnight. Kenny Perez provides the music. No cover. No dress code.


Apartment 720
720 N. Milwaukee St.
Saturdays
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.
Monday-Friday
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.
Tuesday-Thursday
Old-Fashioned Cocktail Hour
Bryant’s happy hour is from 5-9 p.m. and includes half-price Old-Fashioneds and Depression-era cocktails.

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