Dexter's Pub

Your Rating: None
53 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

301 North St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53704-4920
United States

(608) 244-3535 | map

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Added by DaPeculierDane on 02-26-2008

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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of emerge077
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Arrived here as our final destination the night before the Great Taste. It was a few blocks from the Malt House, and these two bars made for a nice evening. Dexter's was set back into the neighborhood off of Washington, on a corner with a lit plastic sign. Inside there was table and booth seating in an open carpeted room. The walls were wood paneled, with assorted beer signs and mirrors on the walls. It felt sort of like a divey neighborhood restaurant, with a bar in the back.

The bar had chalkboards hanging above with the evenings beer selections. Great Lakes and Dark Horse had an event earlier in the evening, and their beers were divided on the tap lines. GLBC Independence ale was pouring, also Dark Horse Double Crooked and Smells like weed IPA. It was nice to see the multiple taps from these 2 brewers. In the coolers there were many WI micros, Central Waters, Lake Louie, Furthermore, etc.

We sat at a table and had great service despite the busy Friday crowd. Food was pretty good pub grub: guacamole, curds, fried ravioli, sandwiches and pizza. Service at the bar was prompt too. Overall it was an enjoyable stop, and i'd return in the future.

 1,164 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.24/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

must hit spot in Madison if ya want a real, non tourist kinda place...locals come here...local wisconsin kinda, down to earth food, over the top beer options with more then ample local options...really enjoyed our visit..great with the guys, but not a romantic date kinda spot

 277 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Transcribed from extensive noted taken F, 07 Aug 2009.

Yet another corner location, this at North and Johnson with a window that directly overlooked the corner. The entry was along North and by turning right upon entering, I was in the restaurant area with booth seating along the windows and in front of the short wall separating it from the bar area. The center was filled in with standard tables and chairs. To the left, just before the entry to the bar area, were the lavs. The bar area had high tables and swiveling chairs in front of the short wall and next to the dart board and popcorn machine in the corner. The bar was a long, snaking blonde wood construction that ended at the entry to the kitchen which was in full view of the patrons. The back bar consisted of numerous shelves for liquor, three two-door coolers and the thirteen rotating taps.

The owner was an enthusiastic fellow who really gets it, as my FerMentor Lew might say. He has created a welcoming atmosphere in which to drink and eat.

 1,012 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Dexter's formally known as the Sandlot - located at North and East Johnson, about 2 blocks from the malt house

This is not my neighborhood. My girlfriend lives within a few minutes though so I can see myself in here from time to time in the future.

The atmosphere is a little interesting. Much like the malt house, the actual building is somewhat of a dump. These are old crummy spaces that have been taken over by craft beer in the past months. The crowd was much different than what you would see downtown, monroe street, or the willy/atwood neighborhoods. This is a blue collar side of town so that's what you are going to see here. There is a pool table, some darts, some electronic games, a big bar area and also a dining area. There are some random tables on a volleyball court outside - odd.

There were a number of tv's, though none of them were high quality. A brewers game had just started and people were getting into that so i got the hell out of there in a hurry (Go Cubs)

So that's kind of my negative rant on Dexter's. The location isnt ideal to me and its a bit crummy with a clientele that i dont have much in common with. That aside, they have beer!

The tap list was maybe 12 deep and it had some hard hitting winners on this particular night. The two best beers are brews i havent seen anywhere else on tap - Stone 12th annivesary and tyranena devil over a barrel. There was also stone arrogant bastard, central waters mud puppy porter, pyramid apricot ale, lake louie warped speed, and a number of others. The bottle list had maybe 40 additional beers of quality, but not rarity like the malt house.

Service was pretty good and attentive.

We just had some fried appetizers (cheese curds and waffle fries) which hit the spot. The menu didnt look particularly special but i didnt eat a meal so i wont rate the food.

 1,839 characters

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of 22Blue
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere - Until recently, Dexter's was known as the Sandlot, a neighborhood/sports/dive bar popular with the drinking and volleyball crowd. Dexter's remains relatively unchanged.

It's a spacious place, divided into two areas. One half of the joint is comprised of beat up old tables and booths reminiscent of a 50's diner. The other half has a lengthy bar and large open fry kitchen. Glass beer coolers form nearly an entire wall behind the bar. Above and around the bar are perhaps a dozen flat panel TVs. Dexter's is a great place to watch sports and they do carry the Big Ten Network.

Expect a decent crowd during games or on summer nights. When I've been there the crowd has been 50/50 sports fans and neighborhood old men with small glasses of light beer (a constituency I very much enjoy drinking with).

Quality/Selection: Thirteen taps mostly consisting of Tyranena, Lake Louie, Sprecher, Capital, New Glarus and other local and regional craft selections. Bottle selection is similar. Many seasonal and one off releases from these breweries are offered. A large blackboard displays the list of taps as well as an on deck section featuring upcoming releases.

Service is friendly, quick, and likes good beer. Dexter's has only been open a short while and they're already hosting beer festivals (two weeks ago they hosted a chocolate and beer tasting for charity, an event formerly held at Wonder's Pub with salsa).
I don't know yet if Dexter's will fill the beer void left by Wonder's closing on the East/North sides but I'm starting to think that it might. The goals of the owners seem geared toward quality beer in a comfortable, uber casual environment. I'm optimistic that the place will only improve with time.

Food: I haven't eaten much at Dexter's yet so I won't rate the food but I have high hopes. What I have had has been good and some of the simple bar snacks and sandwiches coming out of their kitchen look and smell better than most. I was immediately impressed to see the cook using very fresh, high quality vegetables and meats. I'll try a Philly steak sandwich next time I go. They look authentic and smell amazing. Next I'll probably try one of their homemade pizzas, which look and smell just as good.

Overall, Dexters makes a solid addition to the Madison beer scene in a neighborhood that has until now been completely devoid of good beer.

Update: June 19, 2008 - I'm raising quality and selection scores from 3.5 to 4 and adding a food score of 4.5. Dexter's has been adding one killer tap beer after another to its list. I've tried 4 or 5 items off the menu and they are all great. In fact, I can now say with a certainty that Dexters makes my favorite bar food in Madison. Try the Philly with a side of Au Jus!

 2,749 characters

Photo of blackie
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

second stop on the post-flight mini-tour of a couple establishments that have come into being since my last visit

interesting layout here - something of a combination of old but tidy sports bar and converted fast food restaurant, tv's range from ancient to decent and stream a variety of matches, it's no-frills but comfortable, only a few other fellows seated at the bar on this late Wednesday afternoon

limited but quality selection with a midwest focus - let's say 8/12 taps, bottles slightly expand upon the great lakes region micros with the majority being your typical macro/import garbage (gleaned this from the online menu), mr. lou went with the Great Lakes Blackout, while I had a Tyranena Bitter Woman in the Rye

guy working the bar was friendly, and was quick to provide samples of some Goose Island Belgian (eh)

 827 characters

Photo of italianstallion
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Stevedore
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of atone315
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Stopped in on a Thursday afternoon, around 2pm. I could see how this place could be more lively at night, so take my rating for vibe accordingly. There was a bar area with a few high-tops and a restaurant area that looks like it has seen it's better yourself a favor and sit in the bar area. I had a burger, the wife had a hummus plate.....both tasty and more than enough to fill us both, in fact we both took some home. About 20 taps, all craft, and a ridiculous amount of quality bottles, this place was definitely a nice spot to kick off a 4 day beer weekend in Wisconsin's capitol.

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Photo of Gatordaddy
4.24/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of hoosier222002
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Dactrius
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of egrace84
4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of djhowell
4.03/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of twb0392
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Rilesmiles
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of redleg411
4/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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Dexter's Pub in Madison, WI
Place rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 53 ratings