It’s a great location with good music and five hours of discounted drinks daily.
It’s Halloween night. I’m dressed as Fantastic Mr. Fox (with the burglar mask). I’m drinking a rail whiskey and ginger ale at Yield Bar while I wait to see GGOOLLDD, one of the most talked about bands in Milwaukee. Someone dressed as Liv Tyler’s character from Empire Records sashays past me as I make the short descent to the stage area. Royal Blue is murdering the opening set.
Incoming text from my date; she lost her ID. Doorman is being a stickler. A Heath Ledger-era Joker dressed as a nurse cuts in front of me at the lower bar. Action is needed. I saddle up next to the doorman and try to throw my weight around.
“Hey man, my name is Joey. I write for this website and we’re starting a new happy hour column. Does Yield have a happy hour?”
The kid’s eyes light up. Cause yeah they do. Yield opens at four o’clock and serves buy one, get one taps and rails until nine. That’s five hours of discount drinking a day.
“I’ll make your bar the first in my happy hour column if you let my friend in. She’s of age and loves GGOOLLDD.”
The kid goes to his manager and lobbies for the cause. He gives it the “old college try.” (I’m not sure what that phrase actually means, I just wanted to use it. He may or may not be in college.)
When the answer came back negative I assumed the same sort of attitude. I do regret things said to the doorman. And I apologized. Sometimes when you try to be a hero you end up a villain. (For the record, the Heath Ledger Joker dressed as a nurse was wearing a Harvey Dent button.)
So there I am, back at Yield Bar on Monday night fulfilling a promise that the doorman and manager surely do not expect. Al is tending bar. I order a rail whiskey and ginger ale and tell my shameful tale. He sympathizes. He too has been drunk and forgot his ID. But he’s also been a doorman and knows the pressure. I could’ve been an undercover cop. They didn’t know me. I was wearing a burglar mask after all.
Yield is a cozy rock bar plastered with tour/album posters. Bartenders handle the soundtrack with care when no band is onstage. Their bottle beer list is strong, plus they have six rows of the hard stuff. There’s not much in the food department besides $9 frozen pizzas, but you don’t go to Yield to eat, you go to drink and listen to good music. If there’s no band that night, you can play darts on the stage. If you’re a fan of glowing screens, they have TVs.
At least one bartender and one of the owners is from Illinois, so on Sundays they run a Bears bar on the lower level, which is the only day they open at noon. This Sunday should be interesting, and by that I mean Green and GGOOLLDD for the win, no question.
After the Yield happy hour a friend and I went to see Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) at the Oriental Theater, which is just around the corner. Birdman is one of the very best films I’ve seen in years. Do yourself a favor and see it. But maybe have a few at Yield beforehand. Whether you do or not, Yield will be on the corner of Kenilworth and Prospect, slanging thrifty drinks any day of the week and hosting excellent bands on the weekends.
Yield Bar & Restaurant, 1932 E. Kenilworth Pl.
Happy Hours daily, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Buy one and get one free for both tap and rail drinks