5 of Milwaukee's Best Sports Bars
Fall is on its way, and that means football. Packers preseason games start this week already—can you believe it? I love cooking a big pot of chili and staying in for the games, but watching a Packers game at a sports bar is something I have to do a few times each season. Here are some of my favorite places to catch a game around Milwaukee.
Because The Fire Pit is located right off the casino floor in Potawatomi, there's always excitement and good crowds here. The layout and setup of TVs is perhaps the best in MKE: The space is one large room, plastered with projection and flat screen televisions on three walls and up to the high ceiling. Every table has an unobstructed view of at least six screens, and that's without turning your head. If you want to watch the Packers cream the Bears (again) but you also need to keep an eye on your fantasy players, this is a great choice because the sheer amount of TVs allows them to play at least three channels at a time. Bonus: It's open 24/7 on weekends.
This Bronzeville sports bar is by far the newest bar on this list, but they quickly built up a loyal following. They have almost 50 TVs, spread out among two floors, including a semi-private lounge area downstairs. Decor is sleek and modern with sports photos and memorabilia thrown up for good measure. There's also a pool table, retro video games, darts and a basketball game for a little halftime entertainment. The food is standard bar fare, but they're big on daily specials here, both on food and drink. Live music, DJs, and community events are the norm around here.
Considered the classic sports bar downtown, Goolsby's has been around for a long time. The place will be packed before (and sometimes after) events at the Bradley Center or Panther Arena, and they pull a decent crowd for Packers games as well. Television placement is not bad, but the differing levels of seating help with views. Thanks to working the Goolsby's booth at Summerfest when I was a teenager, I have a soft spot in my heart for their food, but it's admittedly bare bones. Stick with a cheeseburger and wings, which are battered and coated in sauce and dry seasoning.
Though the log cabin theme is a little confusing considering the alligator enjoying a tropical drink on their sign, Club Paragon is a pretty great spot to watch football games. High ceilings mean you don't feel cramped with all those TVs hanging around, and offer better views for projection screens. The atmosphere is usually pretty electric during big games, and it gets crowded. They have very specific specials during Packers (and Badgers, Brewers, etc.) games, usually involving pitchers of wings and beer, pizza and a Packers-themed mixed drink. Check their website for details, as they update it regularly. Packers preseason game specials are already listed.
Matty's is on the very southwest side of the the Milwaukee area (technically New Berlin) but you wouldn't know it by the size of the crowds they get for Packers games. The main bar area is not huge, but there's an additional sun room-like dining area with TVs, plus the amazing patio area. A fire pit and outdoor, all-weather TVs mean you can watch the game outside all season. Before the weather gets too terrible, Matty's often has a patio Packers game special that includes an open bar, half time buffet and other goodies for a set price. They've also got a varied and large menu for a sports bar so plan on eating here.
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