Livening up Walker's Point with a polished new theme, Texture reinvents the prior Flybar space with a warm new flavor. Two levels of lounge space, an elevated VIP area, a dancefloor that is sized well for the space, and a private, well thought out patio area for the warmer months ensure that Texture can deliever hard beats for the dance superlovers and cozy lounge retreats for the plush super Lovers.
When we first began maintaining the club guide, the section about the drinks available at the various clubs around Milwaukee tended to center on the availability of higher shelf mixers, the particular strengths of the staff, and our perceptions regarding overall value compared to the general market in Milwaukee. It is, then, a mark of progress that composing this section has become the most difficult task of each of these writeups. This speaks to the fact that while "supreme" quality of available spirits was once worthy of notation in this guide, it has become such an expected and standard course that we no longer feel compelled to even mention it.
Except, of course, to note the availability of Zygo (which Texture definately carries)
That being said, Texture's two bars seem to have particular strengths. The larger serving area of the upstairs bar offers quick and relatively anonymous service. If you're looking to refill your vodka tonic, or scooping up a round of brews for the group, it will see you served and on your way before you have a chance to miss much more than a verse of the track currently pounding through the pervasive sound system. While the availability of texture's entire range of offerings does not vary between the upper and lower bars, the lower bar seems to offer a more personal touch, and typically a greater attention to detail when shaking up one of the many martini varieties that are available.
Long known in it's former life for its startlingly green appletinis, this martini carries on with new life at Texture. In fact, any variation of the classic cosmo is certain to start your taste buds hopping in time with your feet. We've had the opportunity to sample several variations of the classic that are based on lemon and citrus undertones, and each was outstanding. Cold, tart, and with just the right hint of a vodka bite - a welcome diversion from the overly sweet, koolaid tasting creations that might have been great in, oh, tenth grade (minus the alcohol, of course) but quickly lose their luster when compared to more mature offerings.
Perhaps the best thing about the drinks at Texture are the often wild drink specials they're commonly known to offer, many focusing around their signature martinis (a nod to upstreat rival CO2, perhaps). Specials such as $3 frozen martinis on an almost unheard of FRIDAY night, along with $.99 domestic bottles and deep discounts on the entire martini menu for ladies nights round out the varied, quirkly, and always changing lineup of pratically unbeatable drink specials available at Texture. If you happen to have, say, 20 or 30 friends all in the mood for exactly the same drink, you're in luck with the $10 48oz martinis available on "Fatt Tuesdays." Yes, 48oz. Or, hey, you could always spend that $10 on the "all you can drink" specials running the same night from 6-10pm.
For special occassions, or larger groups, Texture does offer a full range bottle service lineup. Served in one of their quiet, plush nooks, it's a great touch both for an intimate, private encounter, or for quenching the thirst of larger groups of people at a fairly reasonable price (just split the cost between everyone). Prices vary, but full service can be had at Texture for as little as $99. Of course, you could always get yourself added to their mailing list and wait patiently for the occassional email only offers of free (or vastly discounted) bottle service on specially chosen nights. These specials aren't advertised any other way as far as we're aware, so it could be worth turning over a small corner of your inbox to the crew at Texture.
The DJ crew is composed of a core group of known talent - resident DJ - DJ Devast8 among them - along with varied special guests and recurring features. DJ Kenny Perez, and DJ Eric Romero (of recent Euro Bar fame), along with the assorted other guests and features, each bring their own particular quirks, textures, themes, and flavors to the musical landscape. Most nights at Texture are billed at "Top 40 and Dance," but the reality is that "Top 40 and Dance" has somewhere in the neighborhood of, oh, 100,000 interpretations. So, depending on who happens to be spinning the vinyl that night (or CDs, accordingly) the vibe on the dance floor can range anywhere from true, radio-centric top 40 dance (though with only a smattering of hiphop) all the way to decidedly much darker, house influenced tones. Nights with Romero at the decks always have the potential for some "new release" euro sound based (but minus the cheese) grooves mixed into the offerings. Special, themed, nights, of course, offer varied grooves depending on the theme of the evening - with Tuesdays, for example, stirring in a dose of 80s and 90s guilty pleasure tracks to round out the palate. We're keenly aware of the fact that the tracks tend to gradually aquire an edgier, higher intensity leaning as the night matures, gradually easing back prior to closing. Overall, it's a high energy mix that aims to offer a mix of themes and sounds to appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes. To be sure, it is a mix that is well suited to dancing, and we've been completely unable to resist the pull of the dance floor and pulsing lights on more than one occassion. While the music spinning at Texture may not be as uniformly self-aware as the evolved house head or dedicated Beatdown (one of the Milwaukee's shining examples of musical thematics at it's absolute best) attendees may prefer, neither is it self conscious or restrained to a 30 track melody. Perhaps, then, the best word to describe the vibey soundstage at Texture is...well, Textured. Please direct all of your hatemail for non-clever (but also unintentional) punning to firstname.lastname@example.org :-)
A colorful mix of varied styles, persuasions, and polish. Texture is a terrific place to experience the wealth of ethnic and cultural backgrounds that Milwaukee has to offer. We've found the patrons to be a friendly, drink buying type of crowd. Universal? No. But far and away the majority. Based likely on its centralized location to a number of restaurants, neighborhoods, and other Milwaukee dance clubs, the crowd at Texture clearly undergoes flux as the night evolves. Uniformly, though, is a sense of "weekend" at it's Armani spritzed height. To state more clearly, the crowd at Texture is there not for an after dinner drink, but to vibe up and dance down. While we have heard talk around town about a rougher element that began frequenting Texture's former digs, tight control at the door, and a revamped image and focus have avoided any sense of potential drama - though we suspect that that's equally the result of the prior perceived drama being minimal to begin with.
During each of our visits, we had little trouble meeting a range of people, and were without exception welcomed warmly by the girls, guys, and groups that we happend to meet up with. So, if you're planning on taking on the town with perhaps only yourself or a buddy for company, Texture can be a great place to strenghten your numbers before heading out to less conversation/social connection centric venues. A sure sign of good natured interaction, we've had girls and guys in equal numbers buy us rounds for the sole purpose of sharing their thread of the weekend fabric with us for at least a few quiet minutes in the hectic and non-stop energy of a Saturday night. Go alone, go with friends, go to meet friends - it's all pretty much the same thing at Texture. Which, ultimately, is a very good thing indeed.
While we have to be honest and comment that we miss the deep, almost surreal glowing green of the old bar top, the warmth and polish of the new Texture is a welcome addition to Milwaukee's lineup. Texture features a main level, a smaller and more intimate underground lair decorated in sumptuous couches and a deep scarlett glow, and a seasonal patio area with the potential for additional DJs and perhaps it's own bar. On the main level, the space is dominated by the long main bar along the left side, which stretches perhaps 40% of the length of the main space. Lit from within and overhead by well placed ambient spots, the bar is backed with an enormous, wall covering Atkin-esque weaving of brightly colored twisted metals, lit almost delicately from behind, and spilling a lush glow over the greater part of the main public space. Venturing further into the main area brings you to the central dance floor, highlighted with focused neon pulse lasers and the standard retinue of bright sweeping club lights. The dance floor is unadorned and not officially separated from the remained of the open space by anything other than the wall of dancing revelers dynamically defining it's outermost edge. Immediately adjacent to the dance floor is the stairway leading to the darker, more mellow underbar. Filled with comfortable couches, and graced with it's own DJ and bar, the entire lower level is cast in a deep crimson glow that adds a palpable feel of warmth, intimacy, and sensuality. Upstairs once more, a recessed and elevated VIP area is also decked with comfortable long couches and occupied with central table space to accomidate the bottle service offered in this space. Lit by soft candle glow, and with tasteful design accents such as tassled pillows and tall windows facing the front of the club proper, the positioning is perfect for relaxing while keeping an eye on the crowd and dancefloor action in the main club space.
What to Wear
The dress code at Texture is not as strict as some of Milwaukee's other hotspots - they'll probably let you in even if your shirt isn't woven from gold thread with solid diamond buttons that spell Dolce and Gabbana - but make no mistake that there IS a dress code, and it WILL be enforced. To be on the safe side, avoid boots and open toed shoes (guys). We have no official evidence to back us, but we'd avoid sneakers as well. Guys, stick to buttoned shirts and a minimum of neck/hand jewelry. Girls, pants and skirts are present in equal number, so your mood and your choice. Generally, the crowd is well primped and styled. We're always comfortable in some hip jeans, polished shoes, and Tshirt/Jacket combo. But still, dress for comfort, because it can get hot and crowded, and the dance floor is GOING to pull you out there eventually.
When to Go
Texture does a great job creating events, parties, and special events - so if you happen to hear of one, you won't go wrong by checking it out. Standard weekly theme nights include the pervasive ladies night, though on Wednesdays instead of the apparently Milwaukee standard Thursday, which features $1 shots and discounted bottle service, with even better deals for the ladies. Obviously. The drink specials are also great on Fridays, and the crowd is fairly lively later in the evening. Saturdays are likely the most eclectic night at Texture, with widely varied musical styles and a crowd that seems to change character by the hour. Saturdays are a great day to visit Texture - stop by around 10:30 and stick around until midnight or so (or longer, as the crowd will only get bigger) and you'll be able to watch entire distinctly different types of crowds cycle through the place. Oh, by the way, it's tough to beat the "Bachlorettes Always Drink Free" on Fridays and Saturdays. If, you know, you're a bachlorette and all.