It has been a few days now since the Eastside lost a few very wonderful establishments. While it is a miracle no one was seriously hurt in the blaze, so many homes and bussinesses were lost. I hope these places can rebuild and bring their business back to the people of the eastside soon.
In 1926 an athletic club/ recreation center was built in downtown Milwaukee sponsored by the Eagles Organization. The Eagles Ballroom and Athletic Club was a pretty hip place to see and be seen in the 20’s thru 50’s and provided patrons not only with a wonderful venue for dancing, but offered them the uses of a pool, boxing ring, bowling alley and much more. The athletic club closed in the 60’s and the space became a men’s shelter until 1980 when it began its reign as one of Milwaukee’s premier music venues.
The Rave (as it is now called) has evolved from the athletic club it once was, to a multi floor, multi venue, music menagerie. The outside of building has remained relatively unchanged with the original intricate stone carvings running along the top of the building and around all the tall recessed windows. A covered rooftop seating area and balcony provide music lovers (usually smokers and sweaty dancers) a place to escape and revel in the crisp night air.
The biggest venue within the rave is the Eagles Ballroom. The 25,000 square foot dance hall is the one venue that remains closest to its original state. The domed ceiling is gorgeous with intricate gold leaf edging and a mural in the center. Headliners sell out the ballroom on a regular basis and everyone from the Jonas Brothers to Bob Dylan have played here. While I have seen a lot of great shows at the Eagles Ballroom, I am no a fan of the acoustic, as they can be a bit echo-ey at times. The room can also be rented for special events and seats around 1,500 people.
The second largest venue (where I have spent many a night) is The Rave Hall. This smaller more modern hall has a more intimate feel and a VIP second floor wrap around balcony complete with its own bar. The Rave has 3 other venues… the Rave Bar, the Eagles Hall and the Rave Vibe Room. Don’t underestimate these smaller venues; the Rave Bar has GREAT acoustics and acts like Nirvana and Dave Matthews Band have played here.
I like the rave a lot and with a packed schedule of acts almost all the time, your sure to find something for your tastes at the rave.
We choose to skip the strip club for a more chic atmosphere and found just what we were looking for in Clear Lounge at The Intercontinental Hotel. The bar is sleek and sophisticated in design, with the focal point being the bar made of tiered glass liquor shelves lined up against massive glass windows overlooking Water Street and the Marcus Center. While the drinks aren’t the cheapest, they are pretty tasty. My friend ordered a glass of champagne. I immediately cringed when I saw the bottle; it was bearing the infamous Ed Hardy label. Christian Audigier has his brand name all over everything from lighters to mouse pads; does he really need his own champagne? BUT, don’t judge a book by its cover, cause this stuff tasted gggoooddd. I ordered the Autumn cocktail, which tasted just like the season. This concoction consisted of tazo chai, ginger beer and vanilla Grey Goose vodka. Delicioso!
The real shinning star of Clear is their unique Chocolate Bar. A long table stands in the middle of the bar, adorned with an amazing array of chocolate delicacies. From chocolate truffles and bon bons, to cookies and rice crispy treats just waiting to take a dip in the chocolate fountain, this original edible display is a chocolate lovers dream and a dieters nightmare. Clear also has a nice small plates menu (Served till 11pm) if your craving a savory treat for your palate.
139 E Kilbourn Ave
Atmosphere: Chic, Trendy
Price: 5-25 bucks
Serving: Drinks, Desert and Small Plates