By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Feb 22, 2008 at 5:28 AM

"Bar Month" at is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, bartender profiles, drink recipes and even a little Brew City bar history. Cheers!

New and innovative bars open in Milwaukee all the time, yet so many clubs and watering holes stay the same for ages. In some cases, it's good. Nobody wants to see their favorite corner tap morph into a pricey martini lounge. But some establishments really need a little TLC.

The Cactus Club, 2496 S. Wentworth Ave., is a good example of a bar that needed work and got it. Owner Eric Uecke updated the popular lounge and music venue without changing it into something unrecognizable. The Comet Café, 1947 N. Farwell Ave., is another place that was drastically improved, in this case, from a crusty coffee shop to a modern café and bar that didn’t loose an ounce of edge.

However, a lot of great places in Brew City could improve by a notch or two. We love these places, but still think they could be even better with a little attention.

Here is a list of Milwaukee bars in need of a makeover, and add your own suggestions via the Talkback feature.

Champion’s Pub
2417 N. Bartlett Ave., (414) 332-2440

Established in 1956, Champion’s Pub is a classic Milwaukee watering hole with a great deck and an assortment of games, including shuffleboard. It’s a coveted tavern that shouldn’t change too much, but it could use a gentle remodel so it stays competitive for another 50 years.

7170 W. Burleigh St., (414) 442-4280

Under the nicotine scent embedded here, Gard's has a cool triangular bar with elements that reflect the lannon stone and brick homes of the neighborhood. Gard's also serves a really good fish fry, so a slightly revamped interior (we don't want to erase the character, of course), might make Gard's an even better West Side stop for a beer or Friday fish.

The Polaris
333 W. Kilbourn Ave., (414) 276-1234

This rotating restaurant perched atop the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee is known as one of Milwaukee’s most romantic restaurants, yet the decor stayed the same forever and could use a little love.

The Mad Planet
533 E. Center St., (414) 263-4555

The Mad Planet was updated slightly a few years ago -- and the addition of the outdoor patio was a good call -- but the Riverwest dance club could use another overhaul. The place is hailed as a smoky, underground, alternative nightclub, but a scrub down and some new paint would make Retro Fridays even better.

Safe House
779 N. Front St., (414) 271-2007

This James Bond / spy bar opened 40 years ago, and not much has changed inside since. The concept is unique, but some new attractions would make Safe House more appealing to people who got over the sliding bookcase and “trap door” phone booth a long time ago. How about a new menu, too?

1032 N. Center St., (414) 264-3481

The outside of the building was painted stark white a few years ago, but now the interior needs a little attention, too. The Mike Frederickson paintings on the walls are awesome, but the walls beneath them -- and the bathrooms – need maintenance. Or, at the very least, soap and water.

Y-Not II
706 E. Lyon St., (414) 247-9972

There is definitely charm to this classic Milwaukee tavern in a “Barfly” sort of way, but it’s been many years since the side bar opened and the place could use another update -- as well as a wash down.