Bar Review: The Nitty Gritty

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By Corinne Burgermeister, Social Editor

Nitty Gritty
Power Hour drinks: Vodka Sunrise & Rum and Coke

When someone mentions the Nitty Gritty, it is almost impossible to not hum their happy birthday song or Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”  Why? Because the bar is known for two things, being Madison’s number one birthday place, and power hour.

On your birthday the Gritty gives complementary beer (or soda if you’re not 21) and select mixers all night, as well as a commemorative mug. But, since nobody wants to celebrate their birthday alone, the bar offers the most wonderful pregame ever: power hour.

The first time I went, I expected a traditional power hour– one minute songs chased with shots of beer. While this would be a stellar idea for a bar, this is not how power hour goes down. Instead power hour means cheap drinks nightly from 10-11pm, which is nothing to complain about. Madisonians flock to the bar for this special, and for this reason the first floor is often packed shoulder-to-shoulder.

What many don’t realize is that specials continue throughout the night. Most of the crowd lets up almost immediately after 11pm when “The Final Countdown” plays, officially ending power hour. There are tons of great nightly specials and late-night appetizers, making the Nitty Gritty an affordable place to start your night out on the town, or a destination if you decide to stay longer.


Nightly: Power Hour

  • $1.25 rails
  • $1 Michelob Golden Light taps
  • $2.25 drop shots


  • $3 Bloody Marys
  • $6 Domestic pitchers
  • $10 Premium pitchers
  • Trivia: 8 pm
  • Karaoke: 10 pm

Monday: 9-close

  • $3 Margaritas
  • $2 Tecate cans
  • $1 Tacos

Tuesday: 9-close

  • 6 for $6 Miller Lite shorties
  • $2.50 Captain mixers or Rumplemintz shots

Wednesday: 9-close

  • $1.75 Schiltz, PBR & Labatt Blue tallboys
  • $2.50 Dr. Shots

Thursday: 9-close

  • $2.50 3 Olives mixers
  • $1.75 Miller/ Coors bottles
  • $3 Jameson shots

Friday: 9-close

  • 2 for 1 Bud Light bottles and pints
  • $4 Long Islands and Long Beaches

Saturday: 9-close

  • $2.50 3 Olives mixers
  • $3 Capital Brewery pints

Drinks: 6/10

Specials: 9/10

Location: 6/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

The Nitty Gritty is located at 223 N. Frances Street. Its grill hours are 11 am- 1am and its bar is open until 2 am daily. For additional information call (608) 251-2521 or visit 

MODA Magazine and the WUD Publications Committee do not endorse underage or irresponsible drinking. This article is intended for informative culinary purposes, and these beverages should be consumed in moderation by those of the legal drinking age. 

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