Bar Review: Maduro

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by Sam Garigliano

Maduro’s Shark Tooth (left) and Italian 75

Tucked away among busier, brighter-lit bars of considerably lesser character, Maduro is an acquired taste and a welcome variation to Madison’s night life. A cigar bar off the capitol on East Main, Maduro is a comfortable, small and refined destination, also serving as a public indoor oasis for aficionados. It should go without saying that the thick smoke sticks to your clothes for the rest of the night, but after overhearing numerous conversations from departing patrons, you might be surprised how few people expect that. What is genuinely surprising, however, is the homogeneously gendered clientele. I can count the number of females I have seen there on one hand, including bartenders. This is neither good nor bad, depending on the type of night you’re looking for.

Marudo excels in its music department, hosting local DJs who maintain the relaxed atmosphere by sticking to non-aggressive tunes. The liquor selection is similarly impressive, rivaling other whiskey-centric bars like Brocach. Their cocktails are hit-or-miss, with the Shark Tooth ($10 Willet rye, allspice dram, root, and Carpano Antica) falling into the former category and the Italian 75 ($8 Campari, orangecello, lemon, and sparkling wine), falling into the latter. I won’t pretend to know anything about cigars, but they seem to be reasonably priced and of varying quality, ranging from about $8-$18. The service can feel impersonal and I sometimes wonder if they are purposefully avoidant, but judging from a collection of online customer reviews, this only happens if your appearance is that of a college student’s. Getting around this means dressing relatively nice and being well-behaved, I guess.


Sunday: all night

  • Service industry happy hour

Drinks: 7/10

Specials: 3/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Location: 7/10

Overall: 6.50

Maduro is located at 117 East Main Street, a block off the Capitol Square. Its hours are 4 pm to 2 am Mondays through Thursdays, 4 pm to 2:30 am Fridays, 6 pm to 2:30 am Saturdays, and 8 pm to 2 am Sundays. For additional information call 608-294-9371 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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