City moves forward with no-late-entry policy for 7 more Madison bars

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Madison's Alcohol License Review Committee ruled in favor of posing a no-late-entry policy on 14 Madison bars downtown.

In 2018, the City of Madison created a no-late-entry policy for seven bars around State Street. The policy bans customers from entering the bars after 1:30 a.m. The new policy would add seven more bars to the list.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said it's mainly non-college students causing problems with fights and disorderly conduct after bar close.

"We have done what we can as terms of presence, enforcement, being proactive, and looking at engineering strategies," Koval said. "You can't achieve what we are hoping to achieve solely through the lens of threatening licenses or enforcement through tickets."

Some bar owners feel it sets a bad precedent that could open up for more restrictions, and that it violates state laws.

NBC15 reached out to local bar owners, but those who responded said they didn't want to speak on camera about this issue in fear of retaliation from Madison Police. They hope the city will make a city ordinance, and not just pick out the bars they want this to apply to.

Two bars objected to the full terms at the meeting Thursday night.

Chief Koval said he believes all parties care about the public's safety and hopes to see everyone work together to accomplish that goal.

Below is a list of all of the bars subject to the no-late-entry policy. The policy goes to a vote on July 1.


  • The Double U

  • Wando's

  • Red Shed

  • Blue Velvet Lounge

  • State Street Brats

  • Church Key

  • Liquid/Ruby

  • Vintage Spirits and Grill

  • City Bar

  • Karaoke Kid

  • Whiskey Jack's Saloon

  • Danny's Pub

  • Chasers Bar and Grille

  • Red Rock Saloon

Almost ten years ago, the city tried to ban weekend drink specials. The bars were sued for colluding together, but the suit was dropped once it reached the Supreme Court.