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For years, the Ambassador Hotel (2308 W. Wisconsin Ave.) was a blemish on the face of not-so-pretty Wisconsin Avenue. But the former Dahmer murder scene and home to ne’er-do-wells and transients has recently undergone a $13 million makeover. The old flop house has emerged the belle of the western Downtown district’s ball, so to speak. […]

For years, the Ambassador Hotel (2308 W. Wisconsin Ave.) was a blemish on the face of not-so-pretty Wisconsin Avenue. But the former Dahmer murder scene and home to ne’er-do-wells and transients has recently undergone a $13 million makeover. The old flop house has emerged the belle of the western Downtown district’s ball, so to speak. One of her most distinguishing beauty marks is Envoy Lounge . The Ambassador is Art Deco to the core, and Envoy keeps up the look with a wrought-iron entryway, muted two-tone color scheme and stylishly dim lighting. The lounge is open daily to accommodate thirsty hotel guests, but Fridays and Saturdays shine with live jazz from 8-11 p.m. Going to an area event? Get lubed up on the partially enclosed patio with a drink special or three and then hop on the free shuttle, which hits just about every happening in the city.

Night Spotlight
Twenty nine-year-old Brian Smalls ’ last name is grossly misleading, which is why this 6-foot-7 force of nature has come to be known as “Biggie.” Smalls gave rise to scorching DJ and promotions collective 12” Players four years ago but got his start voraciously collecting records and honing his turntable chops in the early ’90s. His sounds can be heard at trendy hot spots like Mantra and Three or at more chill venues like River Horse and Art Bar . If you hear a song and can’t recall its name, simply ask this human musical database and he will most likely be able to tell you the artist and song name, as well as who played backup and when it was first pressed. “I spin juicy, loud music for the love of it,” says Smalls. “I’ve got a day job that pays the bills and keeps me grounded. You know, away from that rock star mentality.”

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