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A Night on the Town: Dining, Entertainment and More in Downtown Oshkosh

Wine and pastaDowntown Oshkosh is one cool neighborhood, with many great places to eat, fun entertainment options and lots of charm. Set on the banks of the Fox River and full of historic buildings, it’s a unique neighborhood that attracts an eclectic mix of businesses. If you’re looking for a memorable night on the town, downtown is the place to be.

There’s a restaurant for every taste in downtown Oshkosh. Choose from dozens of eateries, from beer & burger joints to fine dining.

If you would like to dine on the water, two great choices are Becket’s and the Ground Round at River’s Edge.

Becket’s Restaurant is located in Oshkosh’s City Center and offers contemporary dining in a casual setting. Every week, Becket’s features “Jazz Orgy Wine Wednesday,” with live jazz and $13 bottles of wine.

The Ground Round is one of the city’s newest restaurants and perhaps the most scenic. Set inside Oshkosh’s new Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel, the restaurant features a riverfront patio, a dining room and a casual lounge. There’s a daily happy hour from 3pm to 6pm and 9pm to midnight.

Both of these waterfront restaurants are located along the new Oshkosh River Walk. The scenic stroll between these two waterfront restaurants is referred to as “Between the Bridges.” It’s the perfect place for an after-dinner walk along the water. Look for special events along this promenade throughout the year.

Not all of downtown Oshkosh’s restaurants are on the water. Head to the Roxy Supper Club for a perfectly prepared brandy old-fashioned followed by a “Roxy Platter” (BBQ ribs, onion rings, cheese curds, breaded tenderloin cubes and bacon-wrapped shrimp) and one of the restaurant’s many excellent entrees. Their weekly German night, every Tuesday, is not to be missed. And, the Roxy’s Sunday brunch is outstanding.

Gardina’s Wine Bar & Café is the place to go if you’re a wine or beer connoisseur. This place shines when it comes to both variety and quality. Choose from a long list of world-class wines. Beer lovers are presented with 12 tap lines devoted to truly unique and hard-to-find craft beers. On weekends, Gardina’s offers live music. This is definitely the place to go if you’re looking to dazzle a date or impress the fussiest oenophile, but it’s also a great place to just sit back and relax.

On the casual side, there are a number of options, including the Brooklyn Grill. The building dates to the 1800s and has a big-city ambience that fits its name. Have one of their great burgers and wash it down with one of their expertly mixed martinis.

Another casual option is South of the Border. In addition to tasty Mexican food, South of the Border is home to a full bar. Have dinner at their colorful “Oasis Bar” and have a few cold margaritas with your enchilada, fajita or burrito.

Now that you’ve fueled up, it’s time to be entertained. Downtown Oshkosh features several interesting entertainment options.

The Time Community Theater hosts film screenings and other events throughout the year. Upcoming Friday Fright Night showings include Night of the Living Dead on October 4, Attack of the Monsters on October 18 and Night of the Blood Beast on November 1. All Friday Fright Night showings are free! Other screenings include the Oshkosh Horror Film Festival, October 5-6 ($7 for a two-day pass), and a Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein double feature on October 19 (just $5). The Time Community Theater is one of the most affordable entertainment options you’ll find anywhere.

If you’re looking for a laugh, try the Backlot Comedy House, offering shows every Friday and Saturday at 7pm and 9pm. The Backlot features improv and sketch comedy. It’s also quite affordable – tickets are only $10.

A great time to be downtown is during Oshkosh Gallery Walk, held the first Saturday evening of every month. From 6pm to 9pm, businesses throughout downtown become galleries showcasing the works of local artists. Hundreds of art lovers wander the streets, stopping into dozens of impromptu galleries. It’s a visual delight in Oshkosh’s most interesting neighborhood, and it’s just one of many reasons you need to spend a night in downtown Oshkosh this fall.

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