Hours: Noon-2 AM Sunday-Friday, noon-3 AM Saturday
CLOSED. Never a cover charge, and live music that's often quite good. Cash only.
With a couple TVs behind the bar and a platoon of grizzled regulars posted in front of it, Duke’s at first glance looks a lot like a rural Wisconsin watering hole—not the first thing you’d expect to find just down the street from a hippie haven like the Heartland Cafe. But the place has an extremely mellow vibe, unpretentious staff, and a rotating cast of friendly dogs to hang out with. On one of my visits a regular got up to play his favorite songs on the jukebox for what I guess was the zillionth time, provoking a chorus of good-natured grousing, and the bartender seemed sincerely bummed that I could only stay for one beer. Music’s not the main attraction here—there’s a tiny stage off to one side, which on weekends hosts mostly tiny local bands—but there’s never a cover charge, making it a pretty low-risk proposition to check out the scene.