Shakers is sure to give you a unique glimpse of Milwaukee's seamier side during the 19th and 20th centuries.

New York - It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday. A mixed crowd has shuffled in. There’s an English graphic designer sitting next to you making love to his tonic before he starts to sing.

He belts out Son Can you Play Me a Memory and hits every note just right. It sounds sad, but it’s sweet. His act is complete when he strikes a classic Billy Joel pose.

Now you’re ready to get on stage in The Baby Grand, New York’s smallest and one and only gallery annex karaoke bar. Whether it is named after the 1987 Billy Joel-Ray Charles duet from the album The Bridge, or the 1.55m Steinway piano first introduced in the 1930s, the Baby Grand has made a name for itself.

Before going on stage and hugging the mike, you browse the songbooks at the bar, pay the bartender $1 for copyrights, take one more big sip of your liquid courage and start working the crowd – a crowd that is supportive, and happy to make you feel like a real star, a King of Pop on four square metres of stage.

The tiny place, which describes itself as an intimate bar and little gallery, is carefully designed to optimise the communal singing experience and share the many talents of its patrons.


Shaker’s Cigar Bar boasts delicious food, a sordid history and a ghostly cast of characters who have “haunted” the historic bar and cigar shop’s grounds since the late 1800s. If you’re there for a drink or one of their famous ghost tours, Shakers is sure to give you a unique glimpse of Milwaukee’s seamier side during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Grab a drink in Shaker’s ornate, Victorian-style bar or take one of the two ghost tours that guide the patron around the basement, bar and apartment complexes above the Walker’s Point multilevel building. Shaker’s is widely known as “Milwaukee’s Haunted Bar” for good reason; a cornucopia of illegal dealings (including grave digging, rape, murder, prostitution, drugs and unclaimed human remains) all play their part in the bar’s chronology, and is articulated through lots of “sightings” and anecdotes from simpler (albeit way more violent) times.

Shaker’s well-researched stories of mob dealings (the bar was owned by Al Capone) and unsolved mysteries (they uncovered bones on the property) make this a fun destination.


FOR SALE CLUB: Just across the lane from a posh shopping centre in Budapest is Hungary’s For Sale Pub, and while the space is not available for purchase, patrons may leave their personal advertisements anywhere they want.

Despite the name, the welcoming drinking establishment attracts visitors from all over the world for its shaggy interior, and residents for its cheap and hearty Hungarian fare. Covering every inch and every surface are small pieces of paper stapled and pinned by years’ worth of customers looking to mark their passing. Drawings, notes, business cards, paintings, and pictures are just a few of the mementos that have been stuck to the bar interior, making the space look like it has grown flammable fur.

To add to fire risks in the bar, the floors are covered in straw and patrons are encouraged to drop the shells of the free peanuts on the floor. The only thing not for sale at this pub is pretension. –