Old School Partying in Madison, Wisconsin


Madison Party Guide is part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report, where TPOL leaves the basement and outflank COVID, at least for now.

A wise person would rest up before a big competition. Seeing as how I was not playing (see Michigan v. Wisconsin: Formerly Camp Randall Stadium Review), I thought that rule did not apply to me. Buzzed from good vino at Lou Malnati’s Chicago, I was happy to be the navigator from Chicago to Madison. The drive is supposed to be 2.5 hours but traffic delayed our arrival. Fortunately, I had brought a bottle of Puerto Rico’s best rum, Don Q, for the journey.

TPOL’s Tip: Open alcohol containers are illegal on Wisconsin roads.

After checking in to the Hyatt Place, it was time to explore. The first stop was State Street. Either the drinking age in Wisconsin is 14 or I am really old.

Angry Bucky

Since the kids were all right, it was time to make our way to the senior living area party area. It’s on the other side of the Capitol Building, a landmark that is surprisingly accessible to the general public.

Tipsy Cow was the name of the first bar. Like everyone in Madison, the patrons and staff were really nice. It was there I learned that I first learned that the game was at 11AM. Conditioned to Eastern Time, it did not occur to me that football was actually played in the morning.

Looking for more excess, we went around the corner to The Rigby.

More drinks, more friends.

Ready to go home, we made our way back across the capitol. We ran into more Badger fans and ended up at another bar.

Artsy Bucky

In search of sustenance, we ended up at Conrad’s Grill. This was a bad choice. While I love tater tots, the tot wrap, their claim to fame, was bland.

Abstract Bucky

TPOL’s Tip: Do not be disappointed when the home of the tater tot does not sell a side of tater tots. Only wraps were available that night.


My body and head were not impressed with the choices I made the night before. Looking in the mirror, I confirmed what I suspected from the night before – I am really getting too old for this shit.


  1. I am a recent graduate from UW-Madison, so I was excited when I saw your post!

    If you really want to experience some Madison favorites you can’t go wrong with Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry, Ian’s Pizza (Smokey and the Bandit pizza is a late night favorite), QQ’s Express (small hole-in-the wall Chinese place with large portions, favorite for Engineering students), and Paul’s Pel’meni. For non-college student bars that are still favorites: Nitty Gritty, Lucille, State Street Brats.

    Nothing against it, but I have not heard of Conrad’s..

  2. State Street Brats! Decent food and great atmosphere.
    Jenna’s is also a capital bar that is a nice middle ground option.
    Also, no Chocolate Shoppe ice cream or fried cheese curds!?!

    • What do you want from me lol. Everything was closed for COVID and I’ve never been. I’ll add to my travel guide. Thank you

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