Dance club guide
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on April 15, 2011 at 10:51 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
You might know all the moves in the latest Usher video, or have two left feet. You could give Shakira a run for her money in a dance-off, or break a sweat doing the hokey pokey. You could move like the Pussycat Dolls or Napoleon Dynamite. No matter what your skill level, a little dance will do you good. So when the music moves you, get out on that dance floor and shake your money maker for the OMC dance club guide, organized by location:
720 N. Milwaukee St.
Calling itself "Milwaukee's best dance club and celebrity hangout," Apartment 720 does a pretty good job of living up to its label. Regularly hosting appearances by everyone from the Kardashians to the members of Panic! At The Disco, this trendy downtown spot is open Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10 p.m. and offers table reservations and waiter service.
1011 N. Astor St.
Open Tuesday through Saturday, Aura offers regular food and drink specials, plus additional happy hour specials Tuesday through Thursday. A full menu is available if you work up an appetite, and bottle service can keep you and your party dancing without multiple trips to the bar. House music bumps over the speakers making Aura the perfect upscale place to forget the nine-to-five grind.
Kai Buddha Lounge
735 N. Milwaukee St.
Upstairs from Sake Tumi restaurant is Kai Buddha Lounge. Here you can hang out on the raised lounge area, or chill at the cream-colored bar. Even the bathrooms are posh.
The Ladybug Club
618 N. Water St.
It's easy to spot this addition to the Downtown club scene, what with the huge ladybugs scaling the building's Water Street façade. Always dress to impress if you want to be 'spotted' at this weekend club.
779 N. Front St. (Shhhh.)
For all you James Bond wannabes out there, visit a Milwaukee classic, the Safe House, Milwaukee's only spy joint. A password is required to get in (or you'll have to work to gain entry). We'd tell you the password, but then we'd have to kill you.
1101 N. Old World 3rd St.
Milwaukee's newest club lounge, Suite regularly plays host to special events and celebrity appearances. Private suites, Service Industry Mondays and other perks make Suite the place to be to see and be seen.
722 N. Milwaukee St.
It's all about dancing and DJs at Milwaukee's Three, featuring an intimate yet well-defined dance floor and various DJ styles depending on the night. The bar offers martinis and a lounge-like experience. Things tend to pick up later on in the evening and it's a good place to go after Eve. Open Wednesday through Sunday.
Victor's On Van Buren
1230 N. Van Buren St.
Adorned with leather love seats and chic-looking prospects, seems to be the place where everyone is on the look out for Cupid's wandering arrows amid an eager, but older crowd.
More than lofts and monkeys in the Third Ward
343 N. Broadway
A shared lounge space with its brother, the Wicked Hop, Jackalope features two-levels, great food and one of the largest projection TVs in the downtown neighborhood. Modern and full of wood and metal and great art, Jackalope also drops live music Sunday through Tuesday.
Palms Bistro and Bar
221 N. Broadway
Aside from the uplifting tropical monkey decor in its first floor upscale restaurant, the Palms Bistro and Bar has dancing in its upstairs cocktail lounge with the sounds of house techno after 9 p.m. A bar and ample seating -- with fireplace -- provides a cozy winter retreat for tired dancers.
Strut your stuff on Walker's Point
807 S. 5th St.
It's deliciously dark at Milwaukee's only goth/industrial club, Club Anything, 807 S. 5th St. You'll find daily drink specials including killer martinis, a dance floor and nightly DJs to make this place seem not so scary after all.
818 S. Water St.
Wind down Water Street to find this multi-themed dance club that lets the people choose the party. The music and dance style change nightly, so be sure to call ahead to ask. Between swing, country, salsa, jazz and disco dance jam, there literally is something for everyone here.
801 S. 2nd St.
Milwaukee's oldest gay dance club is a good time for anyone, regardless of sexual preference. With four bars and seemingly countless dance floors, Cage's lively dance music and massive video screens makes for an invigorating night of body motion.
240 E. Pittsburgh Ave.
The modern architectural style of Moct, pronounced "most" in Serbian, is sure to have you stopping by this unique space is inside an industrial warehouse. The bar has an array of global wines, a special summer drink menu, unique live music and DJs.
906 S. Barclay St.
Travel a little further south of downtown and you'll find the tunes are loud and thumping in true club style, and the multitude of friendly, hiply-dressed patrons take advantage of it all on the center-stage dance floor.
606 S. 5th St.
Looking for the giant fly in Walker's Point? Sorry, that pesky critter has taken on a new feel, literally. Formerly known as The Fly Bar, Texture is quickly turning into the hottest spot in Milwaukee.
Groovin' on the East Side
1339 E. Brady St.
What used to be Harpo's is now Club Brady, a place to dance, see a local band or just have a few beers with friends. You can play pool, shoot darts and drink a good ol' macro brew at this Brady St. anchor.
1905 E. North Ave.
Decibel and the DeepBar Vodka Lounge feature pool tables, plasma TVs, the hottest DJs, a fireplace and more than 100 different types of vodka in a trendy, literally underground spot on North Avenue.
Redlight at Trocadero
1758 N. Water St.
Follow the red light to the upstairs of Trocadero. Experience the eroticism of the European red light districts via the photos hung throughout the bar. This may be the more adventurous end of Water Street. You decide.
Redroom Cocktail Lounge
1875 N. Humboldt Ave.
At the corner of Humbolt and Water is this classy little full-service cocktail lounge, with down-tempo house and acid jazz in a unique contemporary decor.
Jump on over to Riverwest
520 E. Center St.
The owners of Lula's Café, 2921 N. Oakland Ave., opened Club Timbuktu -- the first African club and restaurant in Milwaukee -- in December 2004. The cuisine is a healthy mix of African, American and European foods and the club hosts bands and DJs spinning tunes from a wide array of African genres, including bembeya jazz, soukous, rai, soca, rumba, n'dombolo, mapuka, calypso, merengue and South African sounds.
The Mad Planet
533 E. Center St.
The Cure, The Smiths, Blondie - this club goes back in time to revive the past with retro '80s night on Fridays, and a crowd that often makes the scene feel a bit time-warped.
701 E. Center St.
The Mad Planet might have a solid reign on the Friday night hipster dance party in Riverwest, but the River Horse's Get Down is the dance destination for Saturday night west of the river. Funk, soul, disco, R&B, groove. It's small, it's always packed, prepare to sweat.
It's goin' on on the North Side
Mecca Niteclub & Lounge
3801 W. Hampton Ave.
It's known for its poetry slams and spoken word supremacy, but it's also a great hang out and good place to get your step and drink on. Tuesdays are talent nights and Wednesdays are ladies nights. Fridays and Saturdays are a little more dressy, please no tennis shoes.
Papa's Pub Social Club
7712 W Burleigh St.
If you're from the western 'burbs and don't feel like making the drive all the way Downtown, stop by Papa's. There's live music on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Fridays are ladies' nights with a house DJ, dancing and tons of drink specials.
Of course, we didn't name 'em all, so please feel free to add your favorites using the "talkback" feature below this article.
Every Tuesday for over 12 years the Milwaukee Ale House clears out all of the tables and chairs in the bar and host swing dancing from 8:00 till close! It's only $7 and you don't even have to have a partner. You can come alone or with a group of friends. It's really fun and even affordable. Check out the website for the swing dancing there: www.jumpinjiveclub.com
Thursday nights at Bay View Brew Haus on Kinnickinnic Av has great swing dancing for all ages.
I am in my early 50's and still LOVE to dance. Unfortunately, most clubs I've been to cater more to the very young crowd. Is there a good dance club in Milwaukee that caters to an older crowd, and still plays great dance/house music?
New Club in Town, Located few blocks west of HWY 94. "PumpHouse" it was actually opend a year ago but a new management took over it. Thursday and Saturdays - are Spanish Nights with Dance Lesson on Thursday starting at 9pm. Spanish music from Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia. Fridays are Club nights with Deep House club music. They also have one big Screen TV behind the Bar and a lot of Flat screen TVs. GREAT TO WATCH THE GAME. Tuesday they are hosting American Idol Nights during the season. with 2-4-1 happy hours from 4pm - 8pm.
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