And the summer shall start with a festival, a festival on Locust Street. And you shall drink in the bars of Locust Street. And the sky shall turn yellow, and the sun shall turn blue. And you shall say: “Hey — who dosed my Leinie’s?” –Book of Revelations, Milwaukee ed. Linneman’s Riverwest Inn 1001 E. Locust • 263-9844 Ambiance: Rock and Roll lives. Many a framed portrait of musicians past adorns the walls, with a slight Dylan majority. Crowd: Hard to say, since we managed to choose the one completely dead night on the calendar. Past experience suggests a little bit of everybody, especially musicians and music fans. On Tap: Guinness, Newcastle, Pilsner Urquell, Sierra Nevada, some Miller, three flavors of Lakefront, and something called Hacker-Pschorr. Top Shelf: Skyy, Absolut, Bushmills, Jameson, and Yukon Jack whiskey, which might have to supplant Old Granddad as the stuff I’ll drink on the porch when I become a cantankerous old man. Juke Box: It would be a waste of money. There’s music six nights a week, and the house CD player takes care of the rest. Men’s Room: There’s a chalk board with not one intelligible word written on it. No chalk, either. Women’s Room: Lovely Assistant gives one thumbs up, one down. “Props- the most fabulously large bathroom stalls I’ve ever been in. So there’s room to maneuver if you’re drunk. But then they have the sucky bathroom faucet you have to hold down.” Additional Comments: Unless you happen to, ahem, come in on a Tuesday, there’ll be live music, including the long-running Wednesday acoustic open stage. Riverwest Commons 815 E. Locust • 372-9656 Ambiance: Band and beer posters fill up the walls, plus a bit of weird art. Also, the coolest lights I’ve seen so far. I love the amber-toned ones over the bar. Crowd: Funny thing about actually barhopping. If you happen to choose a dead night one place, it might be similarly dead elsewhere. On Tap: Lakefronts Eastside and RW Stein, Millers Lite and MGD, Leinie’s, and Louie’s Demise. Top Shelf: Seagram’s, Cuervo, Bombay Sapphire. Juke Box: Fiona Apple, classic rock, country, Eminem, Smashing Pumpkins, TLC, B-52s, Rob Zombie, what appeared to be a compilation of dirty polka songs, and the lone U2 album is Zooropa. If the crowd reflects the music, we’re talking serious diversity. Men’s Room: There’s a cool sticker by an artist named “Pepe,” and someone wrote “Fred and Ethel rock!” on the wall. Go local folk! And there’s a sticker on the high ceiling. Really, how do people do this? Do they carry ladders into the can? Women’s Room: “It was the same freaky pink color women’s bathrooms always are,” says Lovely Assistant. “There was no lid on the toilet tank.” Additional Comments: The Commons is also home to live music. Well, that’s June. Join us in July, when we attempt to pick a night in which bars have people other than us and the bartender in them.
By Jeremy Berg