Michael Horne
Top 10 of 2019

The Year’s Most Popular Bar Exams

Actually all the bar reviews were popular, but these were the tops in readership.

By - Dec 28th, 2019 09:10 am

The past year was a busy one in Milwaukee’s tavern scene, with new formats like taprooms, and new locations like the Deer District competing with mainstays like The Tracks, which was the top Bar Exam for the year. We try to visit historical neighborhood taverns, which are perennially popular with readers and customers. A good example of this is Riverwest‘s wonderful Falcon Bowl. A 2016 review remained in the Top 10 for 2019. Some bars were worth a second look, like von Trier, which underwent an ownership change and a decluttering, while still remaining faithful to its Teutonic roots. Drink Wisconsinbly moved from Walker’s Point to its new home across from Fiserv Forum, and the new Cambria Hotel located its lobby bar pretty much in the same spot where one had been decades before, linking past and present.

I would like to thank the tavern owners who allowed me to wander around their establishments, aiming my camera at everything except customers, who are not to be disturbed while drinking. As always, the staff of the City of Milwaukee Development Center, the Assessor’s Office, the Municipal Research Library and the Historic Preservation Commission are to be thanked for providing me with source research documents that are essential for finding the story behind old taverns, and which can be found nowhere else.

Cheers! I’ll catch you at the corner tap next time I’m in your neighborhood.

10. Drink Wisconsinbly Moves Downtown

Drink Wisconsinbly. Photo by Michael Horne.

Drink Wisconsinbly. Photo by Michael Horne.

9. Falcon Bowl, a Polish Milwaukee Treasure

Falcon Bowl. Photo by Michael Horne.

Falcon Bowl. Photo by Michael Horne.

8. New 414 Bar + Kitchen Has a History?

414 Bar + Kitchen. Photo by Michael Horne.

414 Bar + Kitchen. Photo by Michael Horne.

7. Sabbatic Is Very Historic Yet Punk

Sabbatic. Photo by Michael Horne.

Sabbatic. Photo by Michael Horne.

6.  Von Trier Revisited

Von Trier. Photo by Joey Grihalva.

Von Trier. Photo by Joey Grihalva.

5. Indeed Brewery’s Taproom Is Unique

Indeed Brewing Company. Photo by Michael Horne.

Indeed Brewing Company. Photo by Michael Horne.

4. Hacienda Beer Company A Radical Redo

Hacienda Beer Company taproom. Photo by Michael Horne.

Hacienda Beer Company taproom. Photo by Michael Horne.

3. There’s Only One Liquid Johnny’s

Liquid Johnny's. Photo by Michael Horne.

Liquid Johnny’s. Photo by Michael Horne.

2. Elwood’s Is Downtown and Very Urbane

Elwood's Liquor & Tap. Photo by Michael Horne.

Elwood’s Liquor & Tap. Photo by Michael Horne.

1. The Tracks Has Always Been a Tavern

The Tracks. Photo by Michael Horne.

The Tracks. Photo by Michael Horne.

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