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Vote now: The Great Madison Bar Bracket 2015, State Street Region Round of 64

The first region of #B5QBarBracket voting is open. In true Cook County fashion, I encourage you to vote early AND often for your favorite bar.

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Voting is now open for the Round of 64 in the State Street Region of the Great Madison Bar Bracket 2015. You have until Saturday at 6 pm CT to cast your vote for all eight matchups in the region. There are some monster matchups on State Street, so let's get right down to some analysis.

Matchup 1

(1) State Street Brats
  • Located at 603 State Street
  • Home of The Red Brat, an "alumni favorite"
  • Killer patio
  • Millions of TVs
(16) Nick's Restaurant and Lounge
  • Located at 226 State Street
  • A staple on State Street since 1959 located by The Orpheum and Overture Center
  • Outdoor seating on State Street
  • No tap beer, but a good bottle selection

Matchup 2

(8) Hawk's Bar and Grill
  • Located at 425 State Street
  • Nice outdoor patio on State Street
  • Curly fries are great and they have a nice darts set up
  • Karben 4, New Glarus, two Ale Asylum, Lake Louie, Capital and Furthermore on tap, separate whiskey and wine lists
(9) The Plaza Tavern
  • Located at 319 N. Henry Street
  • Plazaburgers y'all. Let's be serious, if you haven't had one... what the hell are you doing with your life?
  • Ultimate dive bar, good jukebox, bubble hockey, pool, darts, cheap beer (sometimes in half-pitchers)
  • I'm assuming it's the same bartenders working there from when I graduated, which is comforting

Matchup 3

(5) The City Bar
  • Located at 636 State Street Lower Level
  • Strawberry Vodka. Get it mixed with lemonade. Trust me.
  • Limited cell reception, so you can hide from your friends/significant other
  • Excellent food, trivia nights on Monday, nice tap beer selection
(12) Buck and Badger
  • Located at 115 State Street
  • Cool fireplace and Northwoods cabin vibe, nice patio on State Street
  • 24 beers on tap and the bison burger is popular
  • Website advertisers trivia on multiple nights (Tues-Thurs)

Matchup 4

(4) Mondays
  • Located at 523 State Street
  • The Ultimate College Dive Bar, please binge responsibly
  • Strong drinks, no food, loud music, their website is literally a page with their logo, address and phone number
  • Front patio and back patio for smoking and sneaking your underage frie... I mean drinking outside at night
(13) The Icon
  • Located at 206 State Street
  • While only three blocks away from Mondays, these two bars could not be more diametrically opposed
  • Super wine list, nice cocktails, tapas style food
  • Try the baked goat cheese

Matchup 5

(6) Paul's Club
  • Located at 204 State Street
  • There is a tree in the middle of the bar
  • Comfy couches, good jukebox, nice beer selection
  • Excellent, veteran bar staff
(11) 608 Restaurant and Bar
  • Located at 212 State Street
  • Serves brunch
  • Outdoor seating on State Street
  • Good cheese curds and Bloody Marys, couldn't find much about the beer selection

Matchup 6

(3) Whiskey Jacks Saloon
  • Located at 552 State Street
  • Huge space with live music on weekends sometimes
  • Great for dancing and games (pool and darts)
  • Extensive shot list, lots of beer, even more whiskey
(14) Irish Pub
  • Located at 317 State Street
  • This is an Irish pub/dive bar. Yes, it's exactly what you're thinking.
  • They have a Ms. Pacman machine
  • Guinness and Smithwicks for all my friends

Matchup 7

(7) AJ Bombers
  • Located at 201 W. Gorham Street
  • This place has peanuts. Lots of peanuts. They are delivered to you via some sort of Mousetrap-like system in a P-nut Bomb
  • Decent beer selection with a number of local beers
  • Awesome burger menu
(10) Capital Tap Haus
  • Located at 107 State Street
  • If you like Capital Brewing, boy have you come to the right place. It seems like every beer they ever brew is on tap here.
  • The Reuben rolls are so good. Seriously, get those to start and then get the Beer and Hog burger.
  • Nice patio on State Street

Matchup 8

(2) The Kollege Klub
  • Located at 529 N. Lake Street
  • Do you like athletes and Greek life? This is your spot.
  • Loud, cheap beer and shots, great for dancing
  • Fun on gamedays, serves breakfast all week (except for Sunday when they are closed)
(15) The Fountain
  • Located at 122 State Street
  • Live weekly jazz
  • Cheese curds AND a separate cheese plate, which plays well in Wisconsin
  • Burgers are rated highly on Yelp, couldn't find much info about the bar selection, but by pictures it looks like a couple of Ale Asylum beers on tap

So there is a brief State Street region breakdown for you. The voting is below and will end Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. Good luck to all the competitors and let's hope to get to "One Shining Moment" intact as a community.