Fmr. Stadium Bar regulars must find new Badger game day venue

By: Madeline Anderson Email
By: Madeline Anderson Email

Published: Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 --- 9:30 p.m.

At Monday's last open practice before the start of the season, many in the stands are both Badger fans and Stadium Bar regulars.

"Graduated back in the late 80s and have been going there ever since," said fan Randy.

"Whether it was an 11:00 game, 2:30 game, or a late game, the environment, the atmosphere was always, you felt like it was a Badger Saturday," said UW-Madison student Rex Sheild.

But this is the first season where their go-to pre-game hang out is now closed. So where will they go?

"That's a good question, we're going to have to find somebody at the fire dept. to let us in us!" Randy joked.

"That's going to be a tough decision because I was a returning customer,obviously, and now that it's closed, I don't really know a good option for now," Sheild said. "So I'll probably just tailgate at my house."

The couple bars along Regent St., like Lucky's and Jordan's Big 10 Pub, will most likely absorb much of the Stadium Bar crowd.

"Our capacity can't change, that's already listed with the city," Jordan's general manager Kimmy Murray said. "So we'll just have to manage a line that I'm sure will start early in the morning and will go through the game, when normally we have a little break."

A soon-to-be remodeled and renamed Regent Street Retreat will also function as a sports bar for fans. The venue, called The Red Zone, can hold up to 700 people inside and another 700 outside in the beer garden.

"There's going to be all solid glass doors going in here into the foyer area, with three steps up into the bar, with a wheelchair ramp. And you'll be greeted to a wall that will have a 60 in. screen TV on it that'll be playing the game," said The Red Zone co-owner Ricky Imhoff.

His partners Richard Booy and Ryan Hoekler just started construction a week and a half ago. They say the project will be completed by Aug. 31, the date of the first home game. And despite the rush to get things done, they're confident their bar will be packed.

"There's an 80,000 seat concrete building down at the end of the street," Imhoff said. "And just because the Stadium Bar went out of business, those people didn't go anywhere."

Hoekler comes to The Red Zone from the Stadium Bar, where he was a manager. He says the security staff and the cook staff will be the same as the Stadium Bar. However, the owners plan to use the Red Zone as live music venue as well.

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