Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


City bar is tasty and delicious

I am about as excited to leave Madison as I am at leaving a bar at bartime. Living here is an emotional thrill ride, but will inevitably come to a final stop. The problem for me, and I am certain countless others, is that I love the ride. We can do our best to prolong the trip, but like it or not, we’ll have to say goodbye to the carefree lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to during our stay here.

More than just the ride itself, I love the riders. Yet at some point we have to say our farewells to good friends. We all can’t coordinate our schedules, and some of us will move on while others stay. We can always come back to Madison, but it is one thing to return as a visitor and another thing to be part of a group that feels like it is running the circus.

On Tuesday, some friends gathered at the City Bar and Grill, located at 636 State Street, to enjoy one more night together before one of us left. Lured by strong drinks, comfortable seats, and good service, the City was an excellent choice to conclude one particular chapter.


Located in a basement, the City offers the advantage of letting time stand still. By not seeing the world outside, it is easy to forget about your watch until the inevitable announcement of “Last call!” Given our frame of mind, this was a good thing.

Tasty drinks ease your spirit from the more serious matter at hand. I’m not advocating drowning your sorrows, but a few stiff ones can take the edge off. Fortunately, the City has the art of the cocktail down, regardless of the day of the week or occasion.

The bar is perhaps best known for its delicious strawberry infused vodka. Made with Thor’s Hammer vodka and fresh strawberries, this drink is homemade and sells out fast. “We’ll bring in a few bottles at 10:00pm, only to be finished by 10:45pm,” bartender Elan Berle explains.

Although demand is high, the City keeps the price within reach. Served on the rocks, or as a martini, this treat is available for $5.75 and $7.25 respectively.

When the strawberry isn’t available, a Stoli Peach Press is a solid alternative. Tasting more like peach candy, and priced at $3.75, a few of these can get your night started in good fashion.

The martini list is extensive, but not overwhelming. Variations of the Cosmo are popular. If pure decadence is your aim, try one of their Chocolate Martini’s, made with five liquors. “We take pride in our drinks,” Berle adds, “and when there is down-time, we’ll practice or try to come up with something new.”

One new drink is the Raspberry Rocket, made with Bacardi Raspberry. Available in a pint glass or as a shot, it is a new twist on the Red Bull craze.

The City opened in 1998, but it has quickly matured on campus. Its Tuesday special features $2 rail mixers and $2.50 Jäeger bombs. Informally dubbed “Tube Top Tuesday”, the special does draw an attractive crowd.

On Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., live jazz or blues is performed. Artists such as Westside Andy or Roger Brotherhood frequently appear. There is no cover charge, and the music matches the City’s cocktails with class.

Outside of Friday, the music selection is driven by the jukebox or the bartenders. The jukebox can be hit or miss at times, but that might be your only complaint. Drinks are made quickly, and your empties cleared off in no time — the City’s staff works well as a team.

One day, we’ll hear the final call on our last night in Madison. But in the meantime, we have to push the envelope of our magic kingdom. Anything can happen, but the relationships and memories make it worth the journey.

Bartime plans on belting out a few on occasion of my birthday. Yes, we’ll drink Bacardi like it’s my birfday. Since throwing the vocals into a frenzy will get your ass kicked at most places, we’re going to head Karaoke Kid, located at 614 University Avenue, tonight, Friday, February 6. Please, no presents. Shots, however, will be accepted with a smile. Cheers!

Meet Your Bartender

Bartime’s weekly Q & A at the featured bar

Name: Aaron Werner

How long bartending: Only a few months, but been practicing and drinking a long time.

Year in school: Senior, graduating this spring, poli sci and pre-law major.

Favorite drink: Tanqueray and tonic.

Bar joke: “A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender asks, ‘Why the long face?'” OK, that one is pretty bad.

Overheard conversation: “I saw this girl running up the stairs, but she didn’t quite make it to the bathroom.”

Worst pick-up line: To an attractive girl ordering a martini, “That will be 3 and 3 — $3 for the drink, and $3 for your phone number.” Watch out ladies!

Ambition in life: Like the TV show — to be an Air Force JAG. Seriously.

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