Terrace Bar
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Address: 1131 N Water Street
Phone: 223.0073
Official Website: Visit
Photo Gallery: View
Map & Directions: View



The Scene:
The neo-art deco concept honed to the pinnacle of urban chic. Modern decor, sweeping upward lines, and well thought out material choices create a space that's intimate, yet feels anything but small. A series of cleverly planned design elements make Terrace suitable for everything from partying with friends on the roof, to sipping a martini in one of the quiet nooks.

The Drinks:
I'll have an OP, please. Oh, wait, no I won't. But what I will have is everything else I could ever want. Upscale spirits share shelf space with a generous selection of beers and malternatives. The variety is definately suited to repeated visits. Of course, if you're not a "variety" kind of person, rest assured that any member of the well staffed bar crew can whip up a shining version of your favorite cocktail practically before you're even done ordering, and it will be expertly mixed, generously stocked, and perfectly chilled. They also seem curiously well aquainted with some drinks we thought were rather obscure. There was no problem or delay when we ordered a specialty martini by name, and it was even better than the venue where we had first sampled it. Prices are inline with what you would find at other trendy haunts in the city, plan on about $15-17 for a round of cocktails for three.

The Music:
Music? Sorry, we were busy staring at the brushed steel tables and pointing out the cool lighting to anyone who would listen (which made us very popular, as you can imagine). Music is not the order of the evening at Terrace, and you won't find it pumping out of audiophile class speakers deftly hidden behind the walls. In general, it's a decent mix of top 40, lighter dance selections, and trendy tunes from a wide variety of styles. If you're looking to be hammered by the beat, go to Three. But if you're content to let the music be the supporting player for the night, you'll find a lot to like at Terrace.

The people:
Lots of them. As a helpful summary, picture the typical water street crowd filling a big room. Now pick about 60% of them, and put them in trendy clothes. Of the remaining 40%, replace half with upper twenty and early thirty-something professionals. Add a sprinkle of the tragically hip, a dash of the alterna-crowd, and stir well. That's a pretty good snapshot of the weekend crowd at Terrace. A mix that is interesting and entertaining, but which we wouldn't describe as eclectic. Why? Because the interesting thing about the crowd at Terrace is not just that it's made up of people from varied styles and walks of life, but that these people actually, gasp, interact socially with one another. Guys: Keep that in mind if you've secretly got a crush on the "flower power" girl you work with and need someplace for your first date. Ladies, the girls actually seem to talk to each other here, so if you're looking to make some new friends and just chat, Terrace will serve you well. All in all, a great place to meet people you might not have the chance to interact with elsewhere.

The atmosphere:
Take retro art deco, mix with urban contemporary, pop it all in the blender, and press the button marked "Manhattan." Terrace would be just as comfortable perched on 57th and 7th in midtown as it is in Milwaukee. That's a layered statement, and it implies two things: First, that there is an unmistakable air of all things hip and big city suffusing Terrace. But more importantly, it means that Terrace strikes a lofty and difficult balance: 100% Metropolitan feel, 0% Metropolitan attitude. Well, maybe 5%, but the good 5%. The "here I am, aren't I beautiful, look at me go" 5%. The fact that the place has several floors, together with the intelligent use of the space, means that you can choose to mingle with the big crowds in one of the several large and open spaces, or can cozy up on one of the Sinatra-esque chairs and couches that populate the various "pods" placed throughout the entire building. If you're looking for a place that simultaneously says "I've arrived" and "Boy, aren't I friendly," Terrace is the place to be.

What to wear:
Anything that makes you feel great. Jeans, Armani, a big bird suit, it's up to you. Expect to see a wide range of styles from the varied patrons. College aged partiers out for the night, the occasional biker, and more upscale young professionals all converge at Terrace, and the general threads picture is accordingly mixed.

When to go:
Whenever you can. Come watch the game on one of the uber sleek plasmas on the lower level, drop by after work (yes, they have drink specials--check our guide), or make it a stop on your night out. The flexibility of Terrace means that you don't have to visit separate places for different feels. If you want to join the party crowd, that's a weekend. If you just want to relax, that's a weeknight. If you're into making contacts and networking, bring all your friends (or your boss) for a beer after the office. We guarantee they'll be impressed. But you'll probably still end up paying the check.


Reader Comments

Posted by: clubmilwaukee
On Fri Aug:05:2005:
We\'ve added the ability to post comments about the various clubs and lounges that we review. Please feel free to add your input using this feature. Yes, we do review these entries, and anything offensive or inappropriate *will* be promptly deleted.

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