Summer Sports Bars Authorities

We Asked 5 Milwaukee Sports Experts About Their Favorite Summer Sports Bars

Who better to recommend sports bars than those who are paid to watch the sports?

Howie Magner: If you didn’t have a ticket, where would you watch the Brewers game?

Drew Olsen, WAUK 540 ESPN: Any of the bars on Bluemound – Kelly’s, Burke’s, J&B’s. You’re close enough to the park to feel connected. 

Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Matty’s Bar & Grille, but it’s for the burger. I may have been asked, ‘How was the game?’ And I responded: delicious.

Greg Matzek, WTMJ 620: I’d head to Point’s East Pub … grab a seat at the bar … eat wings until I can’t move.

Mike Wickett, SportsRadio 1250 WSSP: I like Two Bucks. Cheap beer (most are… 2 bucks). Cheap/good food. TVs in great spots.

Kevin Holden, CBS 58: I need big screens like Replay or Brewski’s. And the worse they’re playing, the cheaper that beer needs to be.

Howie Magner: Where will you watch the World Cup?

Drew Olsen: Nomad and Highbury Pub. I’ll feel like a tourist among their regulars, but the atmosphere is second to none.

Lori Nickel: El Beso. They’ll put on any channel you want. With shrimp fajitas and my phone to follow comments on Twitter. 

Greg Matzek: I’m not ga-ga for soccer, but I am fascinated with the U.S. goalie. I’d head to Nomad or Highbury, and order a foreign beer.

Mike Wickett: Sorry, Soccer Fan, I don’t care about the World Cup. Don’t hate me. 

Kevin Holden: I’m thinking Nomad, but keeping a low profile, like Bobby Valentine in Groucho Marx glasses. I’m a “journalist” after all! 

Howie Magner: Which bar is the best for participatory sports?

Drew Olsen: O’Brien’s on Vliet is overrun with kickball/softball teams. Excellent volleyball at Horny Goat and The Tracks.

Lori Nickel: Tie between pingpong at Evo, volleyball at Horny Goat. But we need a sports bar at a lakefront Par-3 course. Just sayin’

Greg Matzek: Must haves: Golden Tee, Buck Hunter, pool, darts, shufflepuck and great food. Club Paragon fits the bill for me.

Mike Wickett: Schoolyard on North is full of fun stuff, including Pop-a-Shot. Watch out for the boxing game … I still have a scar.

Kevin Holden: Anywhere with a Ms. Pac-Man machine. Weird, right? I can’t imbibe and bowl – I’m bad enough at bowling as it is.

Howie Magner: What makes a great sports bar great?

Drew Olsen: TVs, food and fans are the pillars. You want to be around smart people who are passionate but not annoying.

Lori Nickel: Variety in the menu. The athletes we are watching don’t eat junk food, and I really shouldn’t, either.

Greg Matzek: Great wings and multiple TVs that can be seen clearly from any area. For big-time local events, the sound must be on.

Mike Wickett: Cheap beer. Games on multiple TVs. Comfortable seats. If I’m there for three-plus hours, a bar stool gets a little rough.

Kevin Holden: Relaxed atmosphere and good drinks without sticker shock. It’s about who you’re with. Let the good times roll!

This article appears in the 2014 City Guide in the June 2014 issue of Milwaukee Magazine. 

Read the rest of the City Guide online here, or subscribe to Milwaukee Magazine.





Howie Magner is a former managing editor of Milwaukee Magazine who often writes about sports for the magazine.