The bare facts: A guide to Milwaukee strip clubs
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on March 12, 2009 at 2:34 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
March may be cold, but it's hot and heavy here at OnMilwaukee.com as we celebrate our first-ever Sex Week. We're taking a mature look at local video and sex toy shops, area strip clubs, sexy Milwaukee events -- and even some connections between Brew City and Playboy magazine. It's serious, responsible, adult-themed content -- but don't worry, parents, we'll keep it PG-13 in case junior stumbles upon these stories as OnMilwaukee.com turns a pale shade of blue for seven days.
Milwaukee has developed a national reputation for beer, bratwurst, friendly neighborhood bars, summer festivals and the Fonz -- before and after he was immortalized in bronze -- but it never has been known as a great town for strip clubs.
There are a few, however, and some do very well.
Through first-hand research and interviews with local "experts," we rounded up the "bare facts" on about a dozen clubs in the area. (Save your Talkbacks -- we consciously left off "outstate" places like Beansnappers and Cruisin' Chubbies because we're saving them for a Travel and Visitor's story later in the year).
The toughest thing about trying to write about strip clubs is that the experience varies from customer to customer, night to night, month to month and year to year.
Some people never go to strip clubs under any circumstances. Others may visit during a bachelor party or special occasion, but limit it to a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime event. Some people stop at strip clubs regularly for business meetings or to simply have a drink and relax in the company of semi-nude women.
During the course of our research, a few themes emerged. Here is a sampling of the comments from our panel of experts:
"I generally don't go to strip clubs in Milwaukee because the girls aren't all-nude."
"Once you've been to (insert city here, but Las Vegas, Tampa, Atlanta, Montreal and Toronto were mentioned), it's not worth going to clubs in Milwaukee. In other cities, dancers will initiate a lot of contact with customers. In Milwaukee, the just give "air dances."
"I don't like the 'tip walk' where girls get off stage and walk around asking for dollars."
"I like it when girls walk around and take my dollar bill in their G-string or between their breasts."
"The DJs at most strip clubs are idiots."
"Unless it's a weekend, most clubs just don't have enough dancers working. It's not like bigger cities."
"The strippers in Milwaukee are ugly / have too many tattoos / are unfriendly/ are only out for money."
Since beauty is a subjective thing, it's next to impossible to definitively rate the quality of dancers' looks. One man's perfect "10" may be another man's whatev "3."
The same goes for clubs. You might go to a club and have a great time while surrounded by beautiful women. Your friend could go to the same club the next night, or even later the same day, and find three bored strippers playing games on their cellphones.
You might find the atmosphere at a particular club to be comfortable and inviting. Your friend may think it's a dump.
The strip club experience is a "buyer beware" experience. The phrase "your mileage may vary" applies in just about every circumstance.
Here is a quick look at some local clubs:
5881 S. Howell Ave.
This long-time club located near the airport, offers entertainment for men and women (the guys dance in the lower level "Cockpit") and an array of nightly drink specials. The cover is $5 at night. Private dances are $10, with "VIP" dances available for $25. Our spies say there isn't much difference between the two. This bar draws a steady stream of regular customers, but there is friendly and fun-loving vibe that will make first-time visitors feel welcome. Our spies also say that many of the dancers are attractive in a somewhat wholesome way.
Art's Performing Center
144 E. Juneau Ave.
One of the older strip clubs in town, Art's draws a lot of business travelers and curious Water Street revelers. It's a safe bet that many of them don't understand the pun of the establishment's name, which was derived from the nearby Performing Arts Center (now the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts).
Our research showed that the cover charge is $5, with the charge for "private" dances $20. (They aren't particularly private).
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Anyone been to spot lite recently? Thinking about making an appearance this weekend.
Wrong address for Silk.....closer to 114 and Silver Spring
On the Border is not fully nude, who told you that?!?!
sijan_heights: Ray still stops in when he's in town.
Heartbreaker's is no more. Drove by it the other day and it is changing to Crazy Horse. The Encore is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon with buddies. There's no cover. Pun intended.
Show me the other 2 Talkbacks
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