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

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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.

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.