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The Tracks and Onopa Brewing Co.

It’s that time of year again. The air is cooling, there’s a red leaf on the tree out the window, and the Marquette frosh haven’t learned how to cross the street yet. Yup, it’s fall, a season equaled only by winter, spring, and summer for bar-going. But where to go? As you may have noticed, there’s a lot of bars in Riverwest, so we here at the Currents have decided to check it all out for you. No no, no need to thank us. It’s just what we do. The Tracks 1020 E. Locust Street Ambience: Just your ordinary neighborhood bar, complete with a beach volleyball league and lots and lots of train memorabilia. Wait, that’s not ordinary at all. Also plenty of TVs tuned to a game of some kind, except for when Dubya declares war on St. Patrick’s Day. Crowd: College students and young professionals acting like college students. Everyone’s having a good time, and the mood’s infectious. On tap: Stalwarts Bud and MGD are there, but so are local boys like Lakefront Brewery and some unusual selections like Blue Moon. Top Shelf: Shelf? Jukebox: Overruled in favor of a house classic rock mix. Men’s Room: No graffiti of note, probably because any marks on the wall would take up what little space there is. However, there is porn posted next to the urinal. Women’s Room: Lovely Assistant reports that “it’s totally like being in someone’s bathroom — the color scheme, the flower tiles — and then there’s porn on the wall.” Additional comments: Mmm. . .nachos. . . Onopa Brewing Co. 735 E. Center Street Ambience: Music and art. Funky chairs in the window and rotating paintings and sculpture in the walls. Crowd: Hip and arty (depending on the night), but in an inclusive way. On tap: As the name says, they brew their own. There are also a few “guest” beers on tap, but “no Miller, no Bud.” Top Shelf: Johnnie Walker Black, Grey Goose Vodka, Oban single malt scotch, and some stuff I didn’t recognize, but it looked expensive. Jukebox: In the unlikely event that no one’s onstage, it’s bartender’s choice. This means anything from Tom Jones to what was almost certainly Melt Banana, or something Japanese and abrasive as shit anyway. Men’s Room: There’s a big “AAA Approved” sign, a painting of flowers, and some steel plate art things. Graffiti mostly features band names and tags, but does include the memorable “Fuel Cafe is a fashion show.” The Beyond the Call of Duty award is split between the posters on the (very high) ceiling, and whoever tagged the plunger. Women’s room: LA says “I love the women’s room here!” The walls are full of conversations and interesting graffiti (including “rock out with your cock out,” and “jam out with your clam out”) and there are posters and leaflets with information on sexual assault, counseling, and the like. Memorable quote “Today I listened to weed metal with my friends and drank beer. I love my life.” Additional Comments: I’ll be sleeping on the couch if I don’t plug the oatmeal stout. So, yeah — the oatmeal stout is awesome!