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Vote now: The Great Madison Bar Bracket 2015, Capitol Square Region Round of 64

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

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Voting is now open for the Round of 64 in the Capitol Square Region of the Great Madison Bar Bracket 2015. You have until Wednesday at 2 pm CT to cast your vote for all eight matchups in the region. There are some contentiuous matchups on the Capitol Square region, so let's get right down to some analysis.

Matchup 1

(1) The Old Fashioned
  • Located at 23 N. Pinckney Street
  • Where Wisconsin is king, almost everything on the menu is produced in-state
  • Only imported beer is usually Grainbelt...from Minnesota. Every other beer is brewed in Wisconsin
  • Excellent fish fry, top notch cheese curds, really good breakfast
(16) Ivory Room
  • Located at 116 W. Mifflin Street
  • Piano bar with live music nightly that plays the hits
  • Nice cocktail list, solid, but small, beer menu
  • Cozy without feeling cramped

Matchup 2

(8) The Cooper's Tavern
  • Located at 20 W. Mifflin Street
  • Nice outdoor patio on the square for people watching, plays soccer and rugby on TVs for you Anglophiles
  • Beer list is killer. Nice mix of midwest and European beers
  • Mussels du jour is out of this world and the harvest soup with chunks of bleu cheese is to die for
(9) Madison's
  • Located at 119 King Street
  • Great spot to dance on the weekends and watch football on Sunday afternoons
  • Solid drink menu: good selection of beer, wide array of cocktails, multiple wine options. Should please everyone
  • I've never eaten here, but they have something called Beer Cheese Brat Tots and I love every single word in that title

Matchup 3

(5) Come Back In
  • Located at 508 E. Wilson Street
  • Polka. Boots of beer. German beer. Wisconsin beer. Does it get any better?
  • Free popcorn
  • Excellent breakfast menu and connected to the Essen Haus for easy access between the two
(12) Maduro
  • Located at 117 E. Main Street
  • Cigar bar with rotating cigar selections from their humidor
  • 19 beers on tap and an expanding cocktail menu
  • Multiple nights of DJ performances (late night) and comfy seating for enjoying a smoke during the day

Matchup 4

(4) Essen Haus
  • Located at 514 E. Wilson Street
  • From their website: "The Essen Haus, Madison's authentic German Restaurant and banquet hall proudly features 16 German biers on tap, 200 import bottles, live oompah music, and incredible events throughout the entire year."
  • Connected to the Come Back In and claims to be "the largest seller of German tap beers in the US"
  • Has a cool outdoor area for boot consumption during the summer
(13) Natt Spil
  • Located at 211 King Street
  • Doesn't have a sign, so you know it's cool
  • Small but complete beer list
  • Cash only, dim, comfortable lighting and atmosphere, solid food menu, ever changing DJ list

Matchup 5

(6) Genna's
  • Located at 105 W. Main Street
  • Sweet outdoor patio area that is perfect to relax on during the Farmer's Market
  • Make your own Bloody Mary bar on the weekends
  • Great Happy Hour specials
(11) Paradise Lounge
  • Located at 119 W. Main Street
  • Ultimate dive bar for people that are older than 22
  • Badass jukebox
  • Pool, darts, cheap beer. You will have fun here

Matchup 6

(3) Merchant
  • Located at 121 S. Pinckney Street
  • Cocktails, son. Cocktails
  • Superior food menu as well
  • Seriously, go check out their cocktail list. I'll wait
(14) Shamrock
  • Located at 117 W. Main Street
  • Cheap beer, good music
  • Darts and pool in the back, multiple TVs that are sometimes on, sometimes off depending on the vibe
  • Nice cocktail selection, kind of an upscale dive bar

Matchup 7

(7) Silver Dollar
  • Located at 117 W. Mifflin Street
  • Another great dive bar around the square
  • Has shuffleboard, which usually is being used so be prepared to challenge someone for the table
  • This is my favorite Yelp review of all time. (Probably a little NSFW what with the sexual references)
(10) Tipsy Cow
  • Located at 102 King Street
  • Great beer list that is midwest focused
  • Bar area can get very crowded, but there are more tables up the steps looking towards Capitol Square
  • Wide variety of fries on the menu and the pork carnitas tacos are off the charts

Matchup 8

(2) The Great Dane
  • Located at 123 E. Doty Street
  • Beautiful, secluded outdoor seating area that is a great spot in the spring/summer to have a meal
  • House brewed beer, wide-ranging food menu that appeals to everyone, multiple bar areas
  • Main bar area has darts, pool, shuffleboard, Big Buck Hunter and myriad TVs
(15) Argus
  • Located at 123 E. Main Street
  • Great little patio for people watching
  • I don't know if this was a one-time thing, but I had some of the best chicken wings I've ever had in my life here
  • Downstairs area for live music and DJs, good craft beer selection, reasonable prices

So there is a brief Capitol Square region breakdown for you. The voting is below and will end Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT. Good luck to all the competitors and let's hope to get to "One Shining Moment" intact as a community.