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Come Back In

Not Rated.
Come Back InCome Back In

19 Ratings
Ratings: 19
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 7.8%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

508 E Wilson St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703
United States
phone: (608) 258-8619

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Monday - Thursday:
3:00 P.M. - 2:00 A.M.
3:00 P.M. - 2:30 A.M.
8:00 A.M. - 2:30 A.M.
8:00 A.M. - 2:00 A.M.

(Place added by: cokes)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.09/5  rDev -0.2%

The Come Back Inn is just a hop skip and a jump from downtown and the Capitol. With the new MadTown laws about smoking the atmosphere continues to improve. The quality was very, very high with proper glassware when needed, but unfortunately the service lost a tick. The server was a bit slow and although apologetic it really did not get me a beer any faster. The beer on this visit only really started to flow after the good folks from Founders started a tab and from that point forward no complaints. The selection was good and everyone was having a great time.

From 11-28-03
overall: 4.06 atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 |
That goodness this is tied into the Essen Haus. After a bad beer experience there, this was a welcomed excursion.

The selection was good and the service was quick. The atmosphere was much less smoky than the bar at the Essen Haus next door. They had quite a few beers on the menu and we even happened to see Larry Bell of Kalamazoo in there and have a quick conversation with him. I liked the Come Back Inn due to it's beer list of mainly ales when I visited.

I would definitely "Come Back"...

08-17-2005 18:52:59 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of DaPeculierDane


4.16/5  rDev +1.5%

Dirty, dank, skuzzy, and just wonderful. The comeback is a place rich with character, the kind of bar that we don’t have enough of these days. On top of that they have one of the best beer selections in town…and it’s cheap! Twenty taps include top offerings from Great Lakes, Lake Louie, New Glarus, Capital, Sprecher, Three Floyds, and Founders along with several German imports. Prices are generally low but the specials make them a downright steal. I was recently there on a Wednesday night when Founders’ Red Rye was going for $2.50 a half liter. They also have a special cooler for singles that don’t sell well. These beers are 2 for 3 bucks and I’ve found some real gems in there. Recently, a friend and I shared two bottles of Founders’ Black Rye from this cooler. Service is hit and miss. The crowd is very counterculture kid, mostly emo these days but with lots of dirty hippies too. Oddly, however, a fair number of businessmen also make their way down form the Capital Square too. I dig the eclecticism of it all. Perhaps the best thing about the Come Back is that it’s connected to the Essenhaus, which features an insane amount of German beers on tap and even more craft beers in the cooler.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not rating the food because I don’t want to bring down this bar’s score. For me this is a beer bar and I just ignore the whole restaurant part. Now this is very important…don’t eat here. Don’t ask why. You do not want to know. Just, what ever you do, don’t eat here. Don’t even think about it. Avoid the Essenhaus’s food too. Seriously!

04-03-2006 17:15:38 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.14/5  rDev +1%

This bar is attached to the Essen Haus so when that closes you can stumble next door. I was on a quest for "the boot” so I was happy to see you can get your beers served in a 2L boot here aswell. They had a good list of taps but at the end of the bar, beside the free popcorn maker they had a large cooler of singles with many good selections.

The bartender was really friendly and pretty laid back but the manager was very adamant about the rules of how to drink a boot. It has been quite a few days since I chugged beer so I was content to sip my Black Bavarian and eat popcorn while watching my friends karaoke.

The bar is an oval in the middle of the room and on the other side is more tables with someone’s grandma's salt and pepper shaker collection displayed on the wall. In the back they have some dartboard and TVs around the bar.

It did have a nice old school feel and plenty of good beers on tap and in the bottle.

07-02-2006 02:20:46 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of mynie


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

So many great beer places are packed into downtown Madison. On top of that, Come Back In is literally connected to the Essen Haus, so no matter what kind of beer you're in the mood for you can find it in one building.

The crowd was mixed but friendly overall. Hipsters and businessmen mingled with jaded 20-somethings and laid back academic types. Music was pleasant and at a tolerable volume. Waitstaff was quite friendly.

The place was laid out beautifully and the atmosphere was the tops. I am a sucker for old beer signs at this place had a collection of Hamm's clocks that was just magnificient.

The tap selection was large and varied. It wasn't supermassive, but it was very nice. The only complaint I can think of was a general lack of big beers; no beligans, no 9% Triple IPAs. Still, it was great. The bottle selection was wonderful, too.

04-06-2008 15:50:01 | More by mynie
Photo of Sixpoint

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

What a great place. When you go to school at UW-Madison, this bar is known as a "grad student" bar. I can see why. Since graduate students are often even more broke than undergraduates, it seems like a proper fit. With bargain drink specials ($2 half-liters!) it's hard to pass up.

The atmosphere is classic. On one end of the bar, you have pretty nice views of Lake Monona. Also, all around the bar is memorabilia from 1950s campus scenes at the UW. It's pretty priceless.

The quality is pretty good. I've never had a bad or skunky beer, but the place does not conjure up images of cleanliness and sanitation. Maybe because it gets trashed Thursday though Saturday, year-round.

The service is impeccable, mostly because it's all young hotties who make sure your glass never goes dry.

The selection is nothing to write home about, although they do have some impressive German beers on tap, such as Kostritzer Schwarzbier and Aventinus Weizenbock.

I definitely recommend going there for brunch the following day, and look for the Florentine omelet with a bloody mary.

11-16-2004 13:24:33 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

I didn't know this wasn't the Essenhaus, because it was like walking through the door to another bar in the same building. They have a great great bottle selection in a cooler. They also have a good selection on tap. While I was there I got a Bell's Two Hearted. The service was good, I didn't notice anything bad or exeptional, so must have been pretty good. They have yards too if you like to have that much beer. They have a lot of cool breweriana one the wall, it's like a little museum at which you can drink beer! Nice little bar, I will be back.

04-26-2007 22:19:56 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of beerinator


3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

The Come Back Inn is a beer joint. Warning: Do not wear your Sunday Go To Meeting Jeans to this place. There is a good chance that you will smell of smoke when you leave here.

If you can get past the smoke and slightly grungy looking atmosphere (It's Character!) and start to focus on the very nice tap selection, you will realize that this is a very nice beer destination.

It's an easy walk or roll from the Great Dane or downtown.

On both of my visits here the service has been struggling. If you like beer joints with character, then you may find that the service is one of the only weak spots here.

The food, while simple, is good and very well paired with the "character" of the place. I had a reuben and some fries, which was good, but it took a long time to arrive after an even longer time of getting a server to take the order.

So, if you can catch this place on a non busy night, if you're not afraid of averting your eyes from the dim corners, and if you can get a non smoky spot to hang out, I think the Come Back Inn is a worthy beer drinking establishment.

08-26-2005 14:56:50 | More by beerinator
Photo of 4thoseabout2bock


3.93/5  rDev -4.1%

First, I am a sucker for dive bars, so take my 4.5 atmosphere rating in that context.

Free peanuts and popcorn and a bar full of locals and I am happy.
To find a bar with a dive feel AND a great beer selection made me feel at home immediately.

The ambiance is New World German (not super kitschy but blue collar Wisconsin, and also very reminiscent of Lancaster/Berks County PA where I grew up and started drinking). There is beer paraphenila on the walls and knick knacks in glass cases, and big old barrels that sport the taps in the center of the square bar that sits in the middle of two bar rooms.

The tap selection is respectable and goes beyond "just" German imports to encompass a nice selection of microbrews as well.

On tap they had Captial Autumnal Fire, Spaten Lager and Oktoberfest, Franzikaner Weiss and Dunkel Weiss, Okacim Pilsner, DAB, Sprecher Amber and Black Bavarian, Summit Porter, Ale Asylum Hopalicious, Dogfishead 60 minute, Bells Oberon, Spotted Cow, Sierra Nevada Pale, Founders Dirty Bastard, Anderson Valley IPA, Moose Drool, (Stella, Newcastle, Guinness, Beamish) and something by Berghoff (sorry, didn't write it down, I just know it wasn' t the bock)

Plus, there are additional beers on tap next door at the Essen Haus.
They had both Spaten Optimator and Paulaner Salvator on draft. Between the doppelbocks and the Oktoberfestive atmosphere in the Essen Haus, I got a major yearning for a good German meal. Alas, this was not to be. DO NOT eat here. Just drink and enjoy the atmosphere, watch the game, and cnack on free popcorn and peanuts.

shoulda listened to dapeculierdane or whomever warned against this below, but unfortunately I hadn't read the reviews that closely before going. Now I will have to go to Laschet's here in Chicago, and soon, to get my fix!

Service was nice enough, but also a little lost and not very knowledgable about their beer. Nevertheless, (perhaps because I had really low expectations) I really liked this place. Come Back Inn, I am sure I will.

10-08-2006 21:39:07 | More by 4thoseabout2bock
Photo of cokes


3.6/5  rDev -12.2%

Located adjacent to the Essen Haus, and will be generally overshadowed for that very reason. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to step through the door and leave the Germanic surroundings for a beer or two.
Simplistic, standard barroom feel. Somewhat blue-collar and grimy.
Roughly 20 taps with plenty of top regional brews and local favorites. Well stocked self-serve coolers full of beer. Actual numbers vary considerably, but typically about 50-75 more brews in bottled form, covering a wide spectrum of origins and styles.

There is an interesting "discount cooler" which sometimes features attractive brews that haven't sold well to the masses. Some are old or just uninteresting, but there is usually a gem or two in there.

A worthy and welcome companion to the Essen Haus. Never quite as busy either.

03-10-2003 21:32:55 | More by cokes
Photo of BarrelAgedG


3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

07-30-2014 02:24:35 | More by BarrelAgedG
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Come Back In in Madison, WI
91 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.