Bar Review: The Ivory Room

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by Corinne Burgermeister, Social Editor

The Ivory Room, Madison
The Ivory Room Piano Bar

Last week I wanted to go out, but because I worked early the next morning, I needed to go somewhere different than a crowded college bar. After listening to a friend’s recommendations, my boyfriend and I decided to try the Ivory Room. While I was disappointed that we had to pay a cover charge (what is this, New York City?!), by the end of the night I decided it was well worth it.

Upon entering the bar I was extremely impressed by the underground club feel it had. At the front of the room, there are two grand pianos back-to-back on stage. Aside from spotlights on the pianists and tiny star-lights across the ceiling, there is very little light in the Ivory Room. This vibe, along with the relatively low amount of students that hang out here, make you feel like you’re in on a big secret. Which is cool.

We chose a table close to the stage and began filling out our song requests. While he was into choosing rocker songs like “American Band” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” I opted for the Temptations and some TLC. Part of the fun in requesting songs is thinking about which songs will be a challenge — the two pianists go back and forth, playing either a song of their choice, or an audience request, and I’m guessing they’ve seen it all.

We decided that the piano bar is similar to the Karaoke Kid, but better. Yes, you’re still paying to have your songs played, because a tip is recommended, but music is performed by talented professionals instead of screaming drunks. However, the audience is still encouraged to sing along, so everyone can get their off-key singing in, without the embarrassment of being on-stage.


Happy Hour (4-7 pm Tuesday – Friday)

  • $3.50 Capital Brewery tap beers
  • $5 Cosmopolitans
  • $5 Chocolate Martinis


  • $3 all Wisconsin beers


  • $2.50 Miller Lites
  • $5 Cosmoplitans


  • $3 SKYY Vodka mixers

Drinks: 8/10

Specials: 7/10

Atmosphere: 9/10

Location: 6/10

Overall: 7.5

The Ivory Room has recently expanded and is accessible from entrances on both 116 W. Mifflin Street and 111 State Street. Its hours are 8 pm – close Tuesday through Thursday and 9 pm – close Friday and Saturday. The Ivory Room is closed Sunday and Monday, but is available for private parties. For additional information contact  (608) 467-2404 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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