First Course West Madison Craft Beer & Wine wants to be your friendly neighborhood bar.



The West Madison Craft Beer & Wine Bar may seem like déjà vu all over again, but owner Lisa Markiewicz has made a few creative changes. For one, the fussy dining room—with its linen-draped tables and gurgling fountain—has been replaced by a convivial bar and a package store. The menu has shifted to an eclectic sampler of street food, including Chinese-style dumplings, duck sliders and shrimp tacos—and even thin-crust cheese pizza, a miniature replica of the kind you blot with napkins at Famous Ray’s in New York. There’s a selection of cocktails, including the Madison mojito, made with rum, mint and cilantro, and the espresso martini, embellished with coffee beans. Taps are devoted to craft brews available by the glass or growler, including New Belgium, Union, Evolution and Brewer’s Art. The restaurant offers specials like Taco Tuesdays, Friday beer flights, $10 pizza-and-pints on Sundays. Check the website for live entertainment on weekend nights.

311 West Madison St., 443-938-9109,

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of STYLE.

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