By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Nov 03, 2007 at 5:10 AM

With its eclectic crowd and offbeat motif, The Mad Planet, 533 E. Center St., is a unique Milwaukee hangout and a people watchers' wonderland -- and has been for close to two decades.

With good quality sound and strong, affordable drinks, it's a great place to catch a live show, but The Planet's real claim to funky fame is the Friday night '80s dance party, known as the infamous Retro Fridays.

DJs RAF and Alterboy never miss a beat week after week as the hordes gather for the best of The Cure, The Smiths, get the idea.

There are plenty of newer "hip" clubs that boast dance DJs, but somehow The Mad Planet remains the ultimate Friday night dance party in Milwaukee.'s editor's choice: The Mad Planet

2. Eve
3. La Cage
4. Have a Nice Day Café
5. Kenadee's
6. Decibel / Deep Bar
7. Rain
8. Three
9. Red Light
10. Club Anything
11. Club Timbuktu
12. Sugar
13. Texture
14. Mecca
15. 618 Live on Water

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”