Unique Experience Bars in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Shakers Cigar Bar
Shakers Cigar Bar | © Kelsey Lawson / Courtesy of Shakers Cigar Bar
Photo of Victoria Borisch
Freelance Writer31 March 2018

Wisconsin’s biggest city has no shortage of fine drinking establishments, and those looking for a little something extra with their brew will not be disappointed by Milwaukee’s range of unique experience bars. Mobster haunts, spy adventures, and traditional polka are just a few of the surprises that Milwaukee’s bar scene has in store.


Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, American, Pub Grub, $$$
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If you love spy novels and thrillers, a visit to SafeHouse in Milwaukee is your chance to get in on the action. This spy-themed bar and restaurant is family-friendly during the day but turns into a spy hideaway as night falls. Your first mission will be to uncover the password to gain access to this secret location. Without the password, visitors will have to pass a test in order to be granted clearance for entry. Don’t worry though, supposedly no “friendly” spy has ever been turned away.

Evolution Milwaukee

Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, $$$
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Ping Pong in Milwaukee | © bradleypjohnson/flickr
Ping Pong in Milwaukee | © bradleypjohnson / Flickr
For those with a competitive side, Evolution Milwaukee gives visitors the chance to challenge your friends to a ping pong tournament. Its signature “gastro pong” makes it unlike any other place in town, and you can even play for free on Wednesdays if you buy food and drinks! With a great selection of beers on tap, this bar is a fun place to unwind with friends after a long day at the office.

Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall

Bar, Polish, $$$
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Milwaukee’s history of Polish immigrants once made it a hot spot for polka bars and dance halls, but now there are few left in the area. Kochanski’s Concertina Beer Hall aims to preserve the polka traditions of the past. It also has the claim to fame as Milwaukee’s largest beer garden, and visitors can sample a selection of Polish beers that will be difficult to find anywhere else in Wisconsin.

Koz’s Mini Bowl

Bar, American, $$$
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Koz's Mini Bowl | © Ryan Dickey/flickr
Koz's Mini Bowl | © Ryan Dickey / Flickr
For a unique bowling experience, look no further than Koz’s Mini Bowl in Milwaukee. Ten-inch pins and three-pound balls are set and returned by a pinsetter rather than an automatic machine here, giving visitors a taste of the past. Listen to tunes from an old-school jukebox while playing darts or pool and sipping on PBR. For those who take their mini-bowling seriously, there is a bowling league on Thursdays, and reservations are highly recommended to play in general. Just don’t forget to bring some spare bills to tip the pinsetter!

Shakers Cigar Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Mediterranean, South American, $$$
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Shakers Cigar Bar | © Kelsey Lawson/Courtesy of Shakers Cigar Bar
Shakers Cigar Bar | © Kelsey Lawson / Courtesy of Shakers Cigar Bar
Once a speakeasy owned by Al Capone, Shakers Cigar Bar offers visitors a taste of vintage spirits and wines, as well as a chance of paranormal activity. It is the only licensed cigar bar in Milwaukee and has an exquisite selection of premium hand-rolled cigars, with the choices designed to pair well with the brown spirits on offer. Considered to be the most haunted bar in Milwaukee and the fifth most haunted in the country, a visit to Shakers would be incomplete without taking part in one of their ghost tours. Cemetery, speakeasy, brothel, cigar bar—sometimes walls do talk, and in the case of Shakers, they tell tales of a gruesome past.

The High Note Karaoke Lounge

Bar, American, $$$
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Nothing says a fun night out quite like a karaoke bar. The High Note Karaoke Lounge is Milwaukee’s main spot for belting out your favorite songs while enjoying a few drinks. As it offers karaoke four nights a week, there is always another chance to take the stage and impress your friends or embarrass yourself.

Old German Beer Hall

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, German, $$$
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Old German Beer Hall | © Chelsea Brian Photography/Courtesy of Old German Beer Hall
Old German Beer Hall | © Chelsea Brian Photography / Courtesy of Old German Beer Hall
Milwaukee is proud of its German heritage and offers a taste of Bavaria with the Old German Beer Hall. Embracing the tradition and spirit of Munich’s world famous Hofbräuhaus, visitors will be treated to traditional Bavarian festival fare and Gemütlichkeit. Giant pretzels and beer are imported from Munich, giving Milwaukee’s Old German Beer Hall an authentic taste of the homeland.

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