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.
- 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.
(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
(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
(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
(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.
- 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
- 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
(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
(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.