Off-the-beaten-path venues filled with quirky charm
→ Enjoy an old-school, ice cream dessert cocktail while listening to the sounds of blues, jazz and R&B at Alley Cat Lounge (2416 W. State St.), on the second floor of the Five O’Clock Steakhouse. The live music starts at between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
→ Downtown, Chic Underground (770 N. Jefferson St.) takes navigation skills to find, but it’s a gem worth discovering high in substance, if not style.
→ On Friday nights, head over to County Clare (1234 N. Astor St.), where a live band plays traditional Irish music. While it’s not advertised, they welcome other musicians to join in, so bring the mandolin and start strumming.
Milwaukee Nightlife Guide: 56 Things to Do After Dark
→ The basement floor of the Shops of Grand Avenue has experienced a renaissance in culture with Underground Collaborative (161 W. Wisconsin Ave.), an eclectic venue to see theater, comedy, dance and art. Schedule at ucmke.com.