With its proximity to my apartment and windowless charm, Monica’s on Astor (1228 N. Astor St.) feels like my basement – with a bar, of course. The entrance is unassuming and easily missed – a small neon sign is the only indication of the good time below. After descending a few stairs, you’re in good […]

With its proximity to my apartment and windowless charm, Monica’s on Astor (1228 N. Astor St.) feels like my basement – with a bar, of course. The entrance is unassuming and easily missed – a small neon sign is the only indication of the good time below. After descending a few stairs, you’re in good company with a modest atmosphere.


The bar was smartly built to incorporate the otherwise obtrusive and scattered brick pillars. We made our way toward the fireplace and bellied up to a beautiful dark wood bar table (I’ve never been so impressed with a table). I settled on a Lakefront bottle and my man friends each drank a refreshing Haacker-Pschorr. We chatted about Australia, snow-dragons and glow-in-the-dark Frisbee – in that order. I was really digging this bar in all its subtlety. And then I noticed the shelf next to the fireplace, filled with board games: Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Operation and so many more. Even better. In addition to the childlike gaming, there’s a pool table and dartboard in the back room.


I asked my peers about Monica’s – the consensus was that they often cater to service industry folk and, subsequently, serve some stiff drinks. Check it out if you haven’t yet. Warm up by the fire on these final winter nights. Relax.


Or…get your dance on! I wish I’d made it to Mad Planet sooner. I was never terribly comfortable shaking my hips in public until I moved here. And though I’m still no good, I can’t get enough. Chalice in the Palace, who often play at The Gig, leave you no choice but to move. Same goes for The Get Down at Mad Planet. After a long Valentine’s night at work, we convinced our feet a little dancing couldn’t hurt. Skeptical at first, but then two PBRs and a Jameson later, you best believe I got down. They played some serious soul and funk with an undeniable groove.

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Their dance floor is spacious and welcoming. The more adventurous can hop up on the platform stage to boogie while the less-inclined can take a seat on the couch and just watch. The walls are tagged with black-light, lava-lamp graffiti, and aliens are hiding in the corners. Drinks were coming out smoothly with four staffers behind the bar.


And if you don’t want to dance, there’s a sexy, purple felt pool table and second bar in another room. I can’t wait to go back for The Get Down. They play every second Saturday of the month.


The Wicked Hop and Jackalope Lounj
345 N. Broadway
Wednesdays: All Hip Hop. Check out the Jackalope Lounj and listen to Kid Cut Up of 91.7 WMSE’s “The MadKids Show.”
Friday, Feb. 20: One Night Stand. The Rufio Birthday Edition: Hosted by Rufio and E.Rich. Featuring DJ Pickel from Chicago. Celebrating Rufio’s birthday in style! Get there early because this event will be crowded.


Three
722 N. Milwaukee St.
Thursday, Feb. 19: And I quote, “FagHagGiftbag Party from Babylon. Boys Bring your ‘Girlfriends’ and they will receive a bag of goodies. And for every Girlfriend you bring you get entered in a drawing for awesome prizes.” Hosted by John Murges, includes $6 Pump Martinis.


Mad Planet
533 E. Center St.
Friday, Feb. 20: Mad Planet hosts a retro dance party with DJs Alterboy and T$. Cover is $4.


Champion’s Pub
2417 N. Bartlett Ave.
Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.: Wild Game Feast
Sponsored by The Ford Family. Bring along your best recipe for all to sample, and get a taste of others favorite dishes. And don’t forget to bring your shuffleboard game!

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The Gig
1132 E. Wright St.
Saturday, Feb. 21: Yay! Chalice in the Palace will throw yet another punky reggae party. Good times.


Sugar Maple
441 E. Lincoln Ave.
Sunday, Feb. 22: The time has come. Sugar Maple will host “Tasting Women” from 4 – 6 p.m. with special guest Karen Hamilton from Lagunitas Brewery in California. This ladies-only beer tasting is $15/lady – call to register, I’m told there are still several spots open. 414-481-2393


Milwaukee Ale House
233 N. Water St.
Sunday, Feb. 22: 12th Annual Mid-Winter Brewfest
This annual event hosts over 30 breweries presenting their most “extreme” selections. Tickets are $35 and benefit the MACC fund. Call 414-226-2337 for more information.


Balzac
1716 N. Arlington Pl.
Monday, Feb. 23 (every Monday): Flight Night, 3 p.m. – close, half off wine flight samplers.

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