at Hotel Metro.
Looking for the
best men’s room in town? Writer Martin Hintz shares the inside scoop
on the city’s most unique "watering holes."
calls it a water closet, latrine, the jakes, the biff, pissoir, a
donnicker, lavatory, can, john, privy or simply "bathroom,"
when ya gotta go, ya gotta go.
lav situation ranges from the sublime to "don’t dare go in
There are plenty
of standouts, however, when the need arises.
down the alphabet with "Z" for Zen, Allium (2101 N. Prospect
Ave.) is the place to be after downing a double draught. With the
soothing paint scheme, lighted candles and coziness, all this room
needs is a sofa. Speaking of colorful, gloriously azure walls and the
fanciest waterfall washbasin are tucked away at Fajitas Grill (1673 N.
a glacial touch, the dump of ice in the urinal drain at Elsa’s on
the Park (833 N. Jefferson St.) provides just the right cooling-down
after a Daisy Mae burger. Facing up to one’s visage during happy
hour can also be an interesting experience. At Hotel Metro (411 E.
Mason St.), the men’s room mirrors above the porcelain bring oneself
up-close-and-personal. Trendy wash basins here, as well.
there is snazzy artwork in men’s hideaways. But the art is generally
guy-oriented, as displayed in Butch’s Casino Steak House (555 N.
James Lovell St.). The faded, old-timey poster collection of buxom
babes draped over racing cycles and pro-stock dragsters is eye
popping. Just say "abbondanza!" for glam black and white
photos of Italian starlets and toddlers’ bottoms at Buca di Beppo
(1233 N. Van Buren St.). Simply follow Sinatra’s crooning through
the "goomba" portal. However, Three Lions Pub’s (4515 N.
Oakland Ave., Shorewood) futball pix outside the wash-up are generally
more beef-cake than the aforementioned cupcake. And speaking of halls,
one of the longest runs in town eventually leads to the Oriental
Theatre’s (2230 N. Farwell Ave.) men’s room. Great vintage floor
largest unisex bathroom without artwork has to be that in Cafe Perrin
(5901 W. Vliet St.). Yet a vase with tiny red blossoms on the sink
splash back mellows the expanse.
When one has a
real babe(y) out for the eve, the diaper-changing table at Shorewood’s
North Star American Bistro (4518 N. Oakland Ave.) is a godsend. On
that spiritual note, the holiest multiholers are located in the St.
John Cathedral (812 N. Jackson St.) vestibule.
strength men’s rooms, try out the head at the Habitat for Humanity
ReStore facility (3015 N. 114th St., Wauwatosa). Be aware there’s
nothing plush here, but the functionally rehabbed fixtures in the
bathroom off the front entrance provide a grand complement to what
must be the tallest and shiniest fake tree north of the Amazon.
INdustri (524 S. 2nd St.), as the name implies, also has a banjoja to
make a plumber’s helper proud. Milwaukee’s most muscular
what-look-to-be-hand-hewn beams are exposed in the The Iron Horse
Hotel (500 W. Florida St.) lobby/Branded bathroom.
standouts, the old shoe bathrooms upstairs in the venerable Wisconsin
Club (900 W. Wisconsin Ave.), former mansion home of Alexander
Mitchell — Milwaukee’s own laird — are reminiscent of PBS’
highest bathroom, one with its own jazz club, is outside The Pfister
Hotel’s top floor lounge, Blu (424 E. Wisconsin Ave.).
Watch out for
the trick men’s room door in the Safe House (779 N. Front St.),
which opens to a brick wall. In the adjacent Newsroom Pub (137 E.
Wells St.), home of the Milwaukee Press Club, guess who gets to use
the room marked "Clark Kent".... or the one for "Lois
A bit further
afield, when whizzing along the highway and there’s the need to
stop, check out the neat Frank Lloyd Wright-style rest stop about 20
miles north of Madison on I-90 or the one-holer on Highway 18 just
west of Fenimore with its fabulous view overlooking the state’s
driftless region. For still more, the "Great Wall of China"
and showrooms at the Kohler Design Center in Kohler make for bathroom
Of course, the
men’s rooms at General Mitchell International Airport’s main
terminal are perfect for a pre-flight rush in and run out.
where, just be sure to wash hands upon departure.