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

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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.

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.