Panther Sports Bar a needed boost for Black and Gold

The Houndstooth is a mainstay in Tuscaloosa. Where's the Panthers' mainstay?

So where is our Black and Gold Sports Bar?  I’ve always wondered it, and with very little money to my name, I’m not going to open one any time soon.  But the fact remains, the Panthers’ fan base, although not large, has an extreme need for a sports bar to call their own.  A place to watch away games, catch radio shows, and overall get together with their fellow Panther fans to bask in the Black and Gold.

This place doesn’t exist.  In fact, the one place that should be all about the Black and Gold is a piss poor excuse for one and has no interest in catering to the Panther fan. This quote comes from the Panther message board, alluding to the Gasthaus personnel kicking out fans who were watching the Kansas game that had not yet concluded.

“Good thing too, because had I been at the Gasthaus with many of our other OG posters when the Gasthaus tried kicking everyone out while the game was still undecided, I likely would have had to choke a b*tch!” – SRT4Driver

I still think that a Panther sports bar, preferably in the La Piazza space on North Ave., would be a great way to build interest in the program, especially those who live in Cambridge Commons (and to a lesser extent Riverview Hall).

Harry's Bar and Grill is a great place, but it's not the collegiate sports bar we're missing at Milwaukee.

It would be perfect for fans who live in the neighborhood to stop and ride the bus down to the game – the athletics student bus drives right along that space.

One of our biggest problems, from a marketing-to-students point of view, is that the basketball games are not an event on campus. There’s no excitement on gamedays. This should be the main focus of the program going forward, but this sports bar would do wonders, especially for those people who live in the area (ahem, students across the street).

You accept the Panther Gold meal plans – Pizza Shuttle and others do this – as well as give those students who use the card a discount – like in the dorms – and you can really build a solid restaurant/bar that’s all Panthers, all the time in the closest space to any dorm you’re going to get.

The only place that would be closer would be in the retail space inside Cambridge, but I don’t think any of that space is fitted for a restaurant.

Picture this – before we even bring basketball back to campus, fans on the East side can park their cars around Cambridge and North (or walk) and enjoy pre-game festivities inside the sports bar.

When they’re ready for the game, the shuttle buses for students leave the Sandburg dorms beginning at 5:30 and run every 15 minutes or so. A simple request of the athletic department could bring the Cambridge pickup not at the dorms but at the sports bar (only across the street from the dorms), then they can get to the game. Afterwards, the shuttle buses return to the area, dropping off students at Riverview and patrons at our Panther sports bar, where they can partake in drink specials post-game until bar close.

It’s a great place for this kind of sports bar, and the sports bar is something our fan base needs.

With memorabilia on the walls (and perhaps a trivia night on non-game days that mixes Panther trivia with general bar trivia), the UWM community can really be educated on what it means to be a Panther and what the program is all about.

Some other notes on the potential sports bar:

– Drink specials should be done on game day – 2-for-1 on the first round if you can recite the Fight Song. Free shots when the Panthers win.

– The secret to a great sports bar is three things – great food, comfortable seating, and great sight lines to good TV’s. BW3’s has nice wings, but their seating is uncomfortable and patrons need to crane their neck to see the screen.

– Panther Trivia can be a big part of the “College atmosphere” for non-game days. The BBC’s Trivia night always brings in a big crowd. This doesn’t have to be all Panther trivia. Say 1/4 the questions are actually about the Panthers, the rest are about pretty much anything pop culture etc. That way you get people who want to partake in the trivia, but you also educate them on the program and keep throwing the “Panther” out there for them to get used to.

– Special discounts during exam week for UWM Students. Graduates who wear their graduation cap to the bar get a free drink and appetizer with their meal.

– Gameday banner (Gold vertical banner with black “GAMEDAY” letters top-to-bottom) hung out front on men’s basketball game days.

– This needs to be the year-round home of the Milwaukee Cup. Harry’s is a wonderful place, but it’s not a sports bar.

– Speaking of Harry’s, this bar should rob all the coaches shows from Harry’s Pub.


  1. Patrick

    December 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    There used to be a UWM-based bar (Riggleman’s, I think) on Downer years ago but it didn’t last more than a few years from what I recall. Now there is a tanning salon in that location.

    Apparently voluntary doses of ultraviolet light leading to skin cancer is more important than a liver-killing watering hole.

  2. Patrick

    December 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Correction – it wasn’t Rigglemans.. that was the pharmacy there, but there was a bar on the same block for a few years…

    • Jimmy Lemke

      December 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      Growing up around bars, I know that likely the bar failed because its lack of fellows around it. No other bars around and its just a corner bar for the people who live within short walking distance. Other bars around, and you have a destination area. North Avenue certainly is one of these places. R.C.’s is on the block and Judge’s is across the street.

  3. DunrandOne

    December 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    We need a bar – oh and I heard the old Decible stole the name (The Library? Wtf? I a “club” called the “Library”?).

    If someone with a lot of money is looking to invest in a North Ave Panther HQ hangout… . the opportunity is there.

    I cannot even imagine how much $$$ could be made once the on-campus arena gets built. Though maybe North Ave will be too far away if they build it where they propose to (where the Norris health Ctr. is? That’s just a really odd spot for an arena if you are trying to create a surrounding atmosphere of fun/eateries (not to mention parking).

    But anyways, yeah. If the Panthers can continue to be successful in Soccer and Hoops and other sports….. We could have a bona-fide Panther Den kinda bar that would rake lots of cash.

    Heck, Replay SUCKS and they still seem to make money… Put something out there that is legitimately pro-UWM and you can improve school spirit and cash in on an as-of-yet un-targeted demographic: Milwaukee students who might (gasp!) like to meet up at a bar to watch a road game or just hang out in a Panther-friendly atmosphere….

    It will happen.. Just a matter of time .

    PS: Food- you HAVE to have good food. Burgers, Brats, Wings, etc.- no quality should be spared.

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