Paul's Club

Your Rating: None
Paul's ClubPaul's Club
Very Good
14 Ratings
Paul's ClubPaul's Club

Type: Bar

212 State Street
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703
United States

(608) 257-5250 | map

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Added by Skidz

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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of spoony
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

V-This review is of the new Paul's Club location, which is apparently located pretty close to the old establishment. The tree is still there in the middle of the bar in case anyone is wondering. Paul's felt comfortable and a little lounge-y with dim lighting and a plethora of leather couches and overstuffed chairs. There is a small patio that allows patrons to take in all of the State-street action. The place was pretty quiet on an early Saturday afternoon during July when I visited.

Q-The beers on offer were mostly large craft and well-known locals. I would not hunt any of these beers down, but they were not awful swill, either. Just slightly above my average.

Ser-Despite the non-existent crowd, the bartenders were surly and stressed out. At least one of them did apologize after being kind of a dick, so he redeemed himself. The pours were OK, but I did get short-filled once. Glassware was appropriate for the beer style.

Sel-Paul's has about 20 beers on tap and a few can/bottle selections. As noted above, the variety is OK, but not great compared to some of the other places in town.

O-I like the feel of this place and location is great, but the service was a little underwhelming.

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Photo of TooGood
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of BarrelAgedG
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Rilesmiles
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of KenMadtown
5/5  rDev +33.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of Gotti311
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of beerwolf77
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Stopped here on a request from one of the members of our group.

First thing you notice is the huge real tree in the middle of the place. Strung with white Christmas lights. Very unique and cool.

Nice leather couches for lounging like your some kind of celebrity. The tap list was decent. Nothing I would go out of my way for. I didn't bother to look at the bottles but I'm told that's decent as well.

The bartender was quick and rather friendly.

Overall just another bar in my book. Really no reason to everf stop back unless I'm looking to wow someone with a fucking tree in a bar.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

It's hard to rate paul's as a beer bar. The beer selection is not going to dazzle you but the atmosphere is definately the highlight of state street.

as mentioned in ever review, there is a real, but dead, tree with huge branches covered with white christmas lights. the jukebox, as mentioned, is incredible. I should say it is incredible if you like indie rock, hip hop, and various other genre's that belong to the underground. All of which are right up my alley. The leather couches are a nice touch, if you can get a seat. Really crowded on weekend nights, more chill on others. It's small, its cramped, but its not as college bar-esque as the rest of the street. Also, its right next door to the orpheum (interesting entertainment, indie films, nice restaurant)

the beer is only so-so. I've had 2 hearted here, but not this last time...a couple new glarus, some capital, delirium. Decent bottle list, pretty great mixed drinks too. If you are looking for breathtaking selection, this may not cut it. If you are looking for a great atmosphere with a solid selection of good beer, check it out

definately my favorite bar on state street, hands down

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Paul's club is my favorite bar on State Street. The crowd that hangs out there is very eclectic just like their beer selection and juke box.

The atmosphere (with the exception of Th-Sat nights, which are really crowed) is phenomenal. After work, Paul's is quite, dark, and comfortable. Green leather couches line one wall. One long, old-school bar lines the other. A large REAL tree is in the center.

This is a REAL tree, which grew on Sherman Ave. on the North side years ago. Even the leaves on the branches are real. They are spray painted and fire coated every two years. The fire coating is definitely necessary since I have witnessed people trying to set the tree on fire several times on those infamously crowed Friday and Saturday nights.

Paul’s beer selection is above average but this bar is also great for mixed drinks. The bar staff are some of the most knowledgeable on State Street and they know it. This creates some pretension but it's nothing compared to what you'll find down the street at lesser bars from lesser bar tenders.

Paul's keeps their lines clean. This may seem like a no-brainer but most bars in Madison don't. I've worked in some who almost never service their lines and the result is garbage tap beer.

Beer at Paul's almost always tastes fresh and popular varieties like Spotted Cow, Smithwick’s or Bell's Two-hearted taste like they arrived from the brewery that day.

There are about 60 bottles available and 15 beers on tap. If you like drinking from metal steins you can purchase one on your birthday and it will be there waiting for you for years to come.

Specials and happy hours are either non-existent or not very good here and a tap beer, usually served in the proper glass, will cost you around $4. Still, that doesn’t really bother me. I’m happy to pay a fare price for the good service, selection, and atmosphere. Down the street some of the same beers could cost a buck or two more.

Overall, every personality type should be able to find something to like about Paul's.

Edit: 5-23-06 - I've downgraded quality from 4 to 3.5 because my tastes have grown more picky and because their lines aren't always as clean as they should be. Still a kick ass bar though...

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Photo of circuitmonkey
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4

A pretty neat bar, it has a fake tree trunk in the middle with branches sprouting out all over the bar. Once wall has the bar, and the other is lined with couches. I was impressed with the very high selection of bottled beer, and they had some good ones on tap too. I was a little annoyed with the atmosphere as the place was extrememly crowded and loud at the time I went (midnight) although I dont know if any of the other bars in madison would be much different at that time. I would still reccomend this place, but I would go earlier as I would hope it would be less crowded and more relaxed.

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Photo of cokes
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Located on State St, a few blocks from the Capital, near the Orpheum Theater, and, now, the Overture Center.

A smaller place, with limited but comfy seating in the form of leather sofas arranged around wooden tables. The bar area runs along one wall, broken in part by the iconic tree. Depending on the night, the place can be crowded to the point that conversing, or even getting a drink is more challenging than it's worth. Other nights, it feels like someone else's living room.

There's a decent tap menu of regional, national, and worldwide stallwarts. Stuff like Bell's Twohearted, Capital Seasonal, New Glarus Fat Squirrel and Spotted Cow, Pils Urquell, DT, etc. Nothing hugely unique or jawdropping, but it's fair enough. The bottled selection is similar, with a focus on Midwestern brews (Bells, Cap, 2 Bros, Sprecher). A rough tally counts somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 bottled offerings. Again, nothing too standoutish, just the usual suspects, but there's usually something to suit your mood.

Service tends to be mediocre.

It's probably one of the better beer spots immediately on State St, but there are better options within a close radius.

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Photo of Skidz
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

A nice place to head to early in the evening. The tree is a definate eye-catcher and brings the place together.

Large selection of taps to choose from, but you may have to wait for a while while other drinks are being made. The usual WI suspects can be found as well as plenty of German/Euro brews that aren't frequently found elsewhere.

Small place compared to most, but it definately is relaxing on a slow night. The couches might be a bit too relaxing after a couple of beers, and you can easily find yourself heading home early.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

There's a tree inside Paul's Club. That is the most impressive thing about this place. The tree is enormous, and the branches cover the ceiling and hold the bar in a giant embrace.

Ironically, this feature caught fire and burned a good part of Paul's Club...

Anyway, the atmosphere is nice and cozy. However, due to the poor design of the layout, there is not very much seating at all. If you want to sit down, be prepared to get there early on a weekend night (which includes Thursdays in Madison) and reserve yourself a booth.

The jukebox is pretty stacked, and you'll find Radiohead, Massive Attack, and the Pixies.

The beer selection is pretty good. You can get Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, Lake Louie, Capital Brewing Co., Bell's, and some other micros.

The service is kind of snobby. There's a lot of 'pretension" sometimes at Paul's Club. It's almost laughable.... but take it with a grain of salt. It's Madison, after all.

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Paul's Club in Madison, WI
Place rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 14 ratings