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Nightlife Guide: 8 Places to Go Dancing in Milwaukee

Time to put your dancing shoes on! Here’s your cheat sheet for places to bust a move after dark.

If You Have Two Left Feet

Kochanski’s Concertina Bar

This family-owned live music venue has been a hidden gem for over 40 years. No need to be Polish to enjoy the open polka jams every Wednesday night. In between tunes, enjoy a refreshing Polish beer.
1920 S. 37th St.

The Place to Be Seen

Lucid Light Lounge
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Milwaukee Nightlife Guide: 56 Things to Do After Dark

If going out means going all out, check out Lucid on a Saturday night. Dress to impress, reserve a suite, order bottle service, and get down to one of the many touring DJs that passes through. Bonus – everyone looks good under the colored LED lights. 
729 N. Milwaukee St.

Hipster Haven

Mad Planet

A Riverwest institution since 1990, Mad Planet might look like your grandma’s basement, but the Retro Dance Party is a must-do Milwaukee experience. It starts Friday nights at 9 p.m., but the dance floor doesn’t really heat up until 11 p.m.
533 E. Center St.

Throwback Dance Party


The people watching is almost as fun as the dancing at Victor’s on Friday nights, plus the space itself looks like a set from Pulp Fiction. Throwback tunes permeate the dimly lit bar and beckon patrons, young and old, to shake their groove thang. The wildly cheap drink specials also help keep the place packed. 
1230 N. Van Buren St.


Apartment 720

On any given Saturday night, throngs of people looking like they stepped out of a music video line up outside this club, trying to convince the doorman with a clipboard that they should be on the VIP list. This sliver of real estate crammed between posh hot spots Distil and Carnevor attracts celebrities like Paris Hilton, the Kardashian sisters, Nick Cannon and a diverse mix of hip-hop and electronic DJs.
720 N. Milwaukee St.

Hip Basement

Jo-Cat’s Pub

More a like an old basement than a dance club. A mixed bag of people from Brady Street’s posh and dive bars take to a tiny back corner of the bar, lined by mirrors and hindered by low ceilings, to dance. Family-owned for 33 years, Jo-Cat’s plays the best and the worst rock and pop music of the ’70s and ’80s, along with a country tune or two. No matter the music or lack of space, it’s almost always packed by 12:30 a.m. on the weekends with inebriated dancing fools.
1311 E. Brady St.

Polka Kings

Lakefront Brewery

What could be better than a cold microbrew to wash down a crispy fish fry? The Brewhaus
Polka Kings provide the soundtrack every Friday from 6-9 p.m. as the crowd bounces to and fro. The general rule of thumb – the more the crowd drinks, the better they polka.
1872 N. Commerce St.

Swanky Underground

Whiskey Bar

Cultivating an “underground” reputation, the bar resists being listed as a dance club, but it has a DJ Thursdays through Saturdays (and sometimes live music) as well as a large back room with a dance floor (for years, the old Park Bar space). There’s a dress code, the crowd is typically swanked up, and the music swings popular with an occasional ’80s throwback.
788 N. Jackson St.

‘MKE After Dark’ appeared in the February 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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