By Doug Hissom Special to Published Mar 28, 2007 at 5:28 AM Photography: Andy Tarnoff

Milwaukee is not known for a hospitable club scene for young adults and teens seeking a place to dance and hang the night away like their slightly older contemporaries.

Enter a trio of DJ spin masters that see the need for a space in Walker’s Point where young folks need to dance, too. They’ve conceived Sugar, 126 E. Mineral St., the city’s only full-time, non-alcoholic, young adult nightclub, which opens Friday.

The space isn’t for 40-year-olds. Co-owner Sean Pliss -- a former DJ at Eve -- says the crowd make-up will range from 16 years old (until curfew) through mid-20s.

“It’s for people who don’t want to drink alcohol but want to have a good time and not hang around drunks all night,” he says. A strict dress code aims to keep out other possible problems, as well.

The good times will be fueled by Red Bull drinks and a $100,000 sound system, synchronized with a seizure-inducing light show, Pliss promises.

Notable DJs from the city and the region will spin regularly. Van “The Man” McNeill, formerly of KISS-FM radio and now with WMYX will be a featured regular spinner. But Pliss expects the occasional national act -- along the lines of the pre-eminent model/DJ Sky Nellor -- might also be spotted in the DJ booth.

Pliss describes the music offerings as “Top 40 dance and rock mosh-ups.”

In a clear move to cater to where younger adults hang out in cyber space, Sugar put its Web site up on My Space.

The 5,000-sq. ft. of danceable space sits just east of 1st Street in the shadow of the Rockwell Building and Mill Valley Recycling. The glittery concrete floor and large ventilation ducts lend an industrial motif, which is offset by white bar stools and dividers along with pink and fuschia accents and full-length white curtains along one wall.

“With the lights going at night it will morph into a whole different animal,” Pliss says of the space.

White sofas are in a cordoned off VIP area along with 10-person booths that can be rented for the evening. A coat check will be available so ladies don’t have to freeze while waiting outside in the winter.

Initially, the club will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., but Pliss says that as summer nears the club will open on  weeknights and on special occasions.

The space will be available for rent during the day as a meeting room.

Cover charges start at $5 depending on the DJ, but ladies are free for the grand opening on Friday.

Doug Hissom Special to
Doug Hissom has covered local and state politics for 20 years. Over the course of that time he was publisher, editor, news editor, managing editor and senior writer at the Shepherd Express weekly paper in Milwaukee. He also covered education and environmental issues extensively. He ran the UWM Post in the mid-1980s, winning a Society of Professional Journalists award as best non-daily college newspaper.

An avid outdoors person he regularly takes extended paddling trips in the wilderness, preferring the hinterlands of northern Canada and Alaska. After a bet with a bunch of sailors, he paddled across Lake Michigan in a canoe.

He lives in Bay View.