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

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The third 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 Southeast Region of the Great Madison Bar Bracket 2015. You have until Thursday at 2 p.m. CT to cast your vote for all eight matchups in the region. There are some barn-burner matchups in the Southeast region of campus, so let's get right down to some analysis.

Matchup 1

(1) Wando's
  • Located at 602 University Avenue
  • Home of the Fishbowl and Bacon Night
  • A solid Friday Fish Fry, in terms of spots directly on campus
  • A pretty perfect college bar. Cheap beer, loud music, drunk students.
(16) The Double U
  • Located at 620 University Avenue
  • New sports bar where Johnny O's used to be
  • This is a preemptive ranking. Who knows if this bar will be any good!
  • Still has a cool rooftop area. Owned by the same guys that own Chasers.

Matchup 2

(8) Blue Velvet Lounge
  • Located at 430 W. Gilman Street
  • Wide variety of martinis and champagne cocktails that you'll rarely see at a college bar
  • Beer list is decent, but isn't really the focus. They also serve a drink called a One and Done. A friend of mine once drank eight in a night and they changed the rule about how many could be served per person afterword.
  • Turns into a dance club upstairs on weekends, which is fun
(9) Red Rock Saloon
  • Located at 322 W. Johnson Street
  • Live country music and dancing
  • An extensive BBQ menu
  • Cocktails that are just challenging enough for a 21-year-old

Matchup 3

(5) Nitty Gritty
  • Located at 223 N. Frances Street
  • Madison's Birthday Bar. Go on your birthday, get a mug, drink for free.
  • Power Hour every night. Still probably the silliest special in Madison -- I've never seen a bar get so packed so quickly than when 10 pm hits at the Gritty.
  • Top-notch burgers, awesome place to eat/drink before Kohl Center events, great staff
(12) Echo Tap
  • Located at 554 W. Main Street
  • A classic dive bar with a modern beer selection
  • Killer patio for the warmer months
  • High-quality cheese curds, Thursday-night trivia, high number of TVs

Matchup 4

(4) Karaoke Kid
  • Located at 614 University Avenue
  • A great, Japanese-style karaoke bar
  • Sake bombs aplenty to get you up on stage
  • It is really small, which makes it too crowded on weekend nights
(13) Main Depot
  • Located at 627 W. Main Street
  • Another great dive bar located a bit off the beaten path for college students
  • Great cheese curds, reasonable beer prices
  • Dart boards and pool table for bar fun

Matchup 5

(6) Red Shed
  • Located at 406 N. Frances Street
  • Strong drinks (get the Long Island), cash only, loud music
  • I love bars that thrive despite having no regard for new media. The Red Shed doesn't have a website and when you Google the bar, the most recent press is from a 2002 Badger Herald article.
  • Pool, darts, foosball. Probably should pick a different bar to use the bathroom, though.
(11) Madhatter's
  • Located at 322 W. Gorham Street
  • Any bar with a shuffleboard table is OK in my book (they also have foosball and darts)
  • If I'm being honest, I never gave this bar too much of a chance because it wasn't the original Madhatter's in Universtiy Square.
  • Has an ice strip along the bar to keep your drinks cold

Matchup 6

(3) Chasers
  • Located at 319 W. Gorham Street
  • Awesome patio for people watching when it gets nice out
  • Way above-average bar food at reasonable prices
  • Good beer selection, darts, foosball, Photohunt machines
(14) Brickhouse BBQ
  • Located at 408 W. Gorham Street
  • Awesome beer selection -- I believe there are 40 beers on tap
  • Good, not great, BBQ menu
  • Not really a place to end your night, as it is a restaurant, but definitely a place to grab a few hard to find beers before venturing out

Matchup 7

(7) Church Key
  • Located at 626 University Avenue
  • Really used to be an old church, which is pretty cool from an architectural standpoint
  • An upstairs area, with more seating, that took me far too long to discover
  • Good beer selection, wide array of shots, an overall fun atmosphere
(10) Dotty Dumpling's Dowry
  • Located at 317 N. Frances Street
  • Great beer list that is Midwest-focused
  • Awesome burgers and fries; great cheese curds, too
  • Expect a wait before or after Kohl Center events

Matchup 8

(2) Vintage Spirits & Grill
  • Located at 529 University Avenue
  • Large outdoor seating area that is a great spot in the spring/summer to have some drinks and people-watch
  • House-brewed beer from their brewery on the west side
  • Friendly staff, decent food, great specials. An exemplary display of what a college bar can be.
(15) The Side Door Grill and Tap
  • Located at 240 W. Gilman Street
  • Awesome tap list (33 draft lines)
  • This location has changed concepts multiple times since it opened below Samba Brazilian Grill; hopefully this one sticks
  • Menu of burgers, flatbreads and craft beers will probably appeal to a lot of people (me included)

So there is a brief Southeast 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.