|Karma Bar & Grill|
|Bars & Clubs - East Side|
By Stephanie Schettler-Cumming
With baseball keeping us busy in the summer and football in the winter, Milwaukeeans are always looking for a sports bar to grab a brew and catch the game. Karma Bar & Grill on Ogden Avenue in Milwaukee has an ample selection of TVs, beers, spirits and house-made food, perfect for your game-viewing pleasure. What was once the location of the historic John Ernst Cafe has transformed into a modern bar with a few historic touches still intact. Now helmed by 34-year-old owner Ari Domnitz, the venue has gone through a decor spruce-up and menu flip (adding house-smoked barbeque and customized mac and cheese, among other tantalizing options). Sports fans and night owls alike make their home away from home at Karma, enticed by the laid-back vibe and daily specials.
Your first impression of Karma does not scream sports bar. Yet, there’s not a seat in the house where you’re out of view of a TV. What sets Karma apart from a typical sports bar is the decor, which has a swanky, upscale lounge feel (even with the scoreboard nestled high on the wall over the main seating area). The modern parachute-like valance over the bar softens the lighting and accents the venue’s massive, turn-of-the-century fireplace. The large bar spanning the left wall is perfect for grabbing a pint and a bite to eat. For a bit more privacy, snuggle up to your date or enjoy lively conversation with your friends in one of several booths.
Another of Karma’s attributes is the Sutra Lounge, a private room used by DJs and the Caste of Killers Comedy Group (on the first and third Fridays of every month), and for open mic on most Wednesday evenings. The space can also be rented out for private parties and corporate functions. For the happy hour crowd or group of friends looking to kick off their evening a bit early, take advantage of Karma’s happy hour party. Everyone from book clubs to beer societies are invited to bring five or more people for a $10 per head charge that gets you two drinks of choice and an appetizer; a group of 20 to 50 people secures the Sutra Lounge.
During the warm weather months, soak up some sun on the back patio. With plenty of seating and a TV to boot, you won’t miss out on any of the action. Karma also offers free shuttle service for weekend and premier series Brewers games (with any in-house purchase) along with game day specials. So for the sports fan who wants to catch a game on date night, Karma offers the convenience of both—just make sure that your companion doesn’t feel ignored, or they may catch on to your date-night scheme!
Karma Bar & Grill