Birthday Celebration Rules
Your birthday is defined as 11AM-12 Midnight on the day of your birthday. Bring an I.D. (driver's license). If you are a child bring a trustworthy parent or grandparent.
Drink free soda, specialty birthday cocktails or beer on your birthday and keep the "memento" mug. For those last minute gifts, buy yourself or a friend a Gritty t-shirt, a birthday cake, a Gritty sparkler or a Gritty glo-lite birthday button!
Have a great time!
Birthday Fun Facts
- The Nitty Gritty featured live bands 7 nights a week from October 3rd, 1968 to December 12th, 1974.
- The first band to play at the Nitty Gritty was the Tayles, who recorded a live album here in 1970. The last band to play here was The Watermelon Band, made up of former members of The Steve Miller Band.
- The Nitty Gritty became Madison's Official Birthday Bar on August 22nd, 1985. Dave Tilsen was the first person to celebrate a birthday here. He has been back every year since to celebrate his birthday.
- The youngest person to ever celebrate a birthday at the Nitty Gritty is Megan Spude. Her parents, Michael and Denise, brought her to the Nitty Gritty one day after her birth in 1993. She was presented with her first Gritty birthday mug. Megan has been back to the Nitty Gritty every year since to celebrate her birthday.
- The 100,000th birthday celebrant was Shankar Iyer, who celebrated his 23rd birthday here on March 18th, 1993. The Nitty Gritty presented him with a 5 day all expense paid trip for two to Hawaii.
- The 200,000th birthday celebrant was Lynn Laufenberg, who celebrated her 21st birthday here on November 12th, 1998. The Nitty Gritty presented her with a 5 day all expense paid Caribbean cruise for two.
- The 300,000th birthday person was Megan Cork, a 21 year old University of Wisconsin student, who was here on September 23rd, 2003 to celebrate her 21st birthday. For being our 300,000th birthday person, she was presented $1,000 in cash.
- The 400,000th birthday was Deb Archer who was here June 5th, 2009 to celebrate her 56th birthday. She was presented $1,000 in cash.
- The 500,000th birthday celebrant was Adam Hessling from Cottage Grove. He celebrated his birthday at the downtown Nitty Gritty on June 28, 2011.
- The 700,000th birthday celebrant was McKayla Sullivan. She celebrated her 21st birthday at the downtown Nitty Gritty on June 28, 2017.
- Mollie Blied celebrated 10 birthdays at the Nitty Gritty, starting on her 97th birthday, November 11th, 1992. She celebrated her 106th birthday at the Nitty Gritty on November 11th, 2001. Mollie passed away one month later. The oldest birthday celebrant at the Nitty Gritty was Hortense Sperling. Hortense celebrated her 105th birthday here on November 18th, 2003 and returned every year for the next three years. On November 18th, 2006 Hortense celebrated her 108th birthday with us, making her our oldest celebrant to date. She passed away in October 2007, one month before her 109th birthday.
- On November 20th, 1992 the Widder quadruplets celebrated their 3rd birthday at the Nitty Gritty. They are the children of Bill and Kathleen Widder of Madison. They were the first and only quads to ever celebrate a birthday at the Nitty Gritty. The quartet, Benjamin, Mackenzie, Christian, and Kristen, have celebrated every birthday here since that first appearance. In November 2010, the Widder quadruplets visited the Nitty Gritty for their 21st birthday!
- The most birthdays celebrated in one day at the Nitty Gritty…124…on April 11, 2015 at the Downtown Nitty Gritty. The previous best was 106 on March 17, 1993.
- Come in on your birthday and we will give you a balloon, put your name in lights, and present you with your memento mug so you can drink FREE beer or soda. Hear your name read off on the hour all night and everyone will be cheering for you!
- On your birthday receive a Gritty birthday card and use it once a month for a FREE mini sundae.
- The Madison Nitty Gritty is owned and operated by Eric Suemnicht and Lee Pier. It was opened in October of 1968. The Middleton Nitty Gritty is owned and operated by Birthday Bars, Inc. and has been open since September of 2002. The Sun Prairie Nitty Gritty is owned and opereated by Sun Prairie Gritty, LLC and opened in November of 2013.
- The 800,000th birthday celebrant was Virginia Krause. She celebrated her birthday at the Sun Prairie Nitty Gritty on November 4, 2020.