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

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.

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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.