The Scene: Urban Industrial. Downplayed power in an intimate but well used space. The music is loud, the nights are themed, and the decor is minimalist at it's peak.
The Drinks: They're great. Strong, well mixed, and served up quickly. The liquor selection is big, but we're sad they don't have OP. Of course, since probably 1 or 2 other people in the city of Milwaukee ever order OP, that's probably ok. The bartending staff is talented and we haven't been able to ask for a cocktail they haven't heard of. Balancing the weighty and elegant selection of drinks is a solid offering of more than 50 beers.
The Music: One of the things we love about Three is that, in true big city club style, its nights are all themed. And we mean it! This isn't a half hearted effort, it's the Three way of life. Come down on Thursday for Naked, with hard sets spun by local DJ Rik Fade with Special Guests, or show up Saturdays for some of the best guest performers and visiting DJs Milwaukee has to offer. Wednesdays are jungle/tribal, and Friday offers by far the best hard house sets in the city. On Sunday, Three hosts PUMP, a large and popular gay party. The music? Trance. Lots and lots of fresh, hard hitting trance. Forget about "best in the city," the trance sets at Three on Sunday nights are some of the best we've ever heard anywhere in the country.
The people: Along with the changing music comes a changing crowd. In fact, the crowd is so diverse and interesting that we don't really know how to typify it for this review. Basically, whatever your speed, there's a night at three tailor made for you--that is, of course, assuming you love to dance. The age ranges from just-able-to-drink all the way through late middle age. The people have seemed friendly during our visits, and while some have said this is a great club to go to after Eve, we've had much more fun meeting people here and hanging out with them elsewhere later on.
The atmosphere: Industrial. Hard. Like a steel and concrete pearl. Three reminds us very much of the House scene in Chicago, where the best clubs seem to be tucked away in unassuming, working parts of the city. Places where it's hard to find a cab when you want to leave. While Three doesn't share the same type of location, being nestled instead on Milwaukee street, right in the heart of what seems to be quickly becoming "club row" (like Landsdowne street in Boston), the feeling inside carries this attitude. Three doesn't care about sheen. It cares about getting the job done; spinning the grooves, serving the drinks, and pounding the beat. Totally unassuming and raw, we dig the inspired (and no doubt carefully crafted) feeling of the deep city that permeates the space. Three is more about activity than watching. If you want to people watch, go to Eve, if you want to dance or meet new and interesting friends, come to Three.
What to wear: Dress however you feel. We'd be much more comfortable describing the look as "urban hip" than "trendy." Guys, that means those great, well worn jeans from...well, from wherever, coupled with a stylishly modern, well fitting button up shirt or black T. Girls, you're all great at looking your best, so if you're venturing to Three, you make the call--and by the way, hats are sexy.
When to go: As we've mentioned already, the theme nights give Three an "every night" appeal for us (except for Monday and Tuesday, because they're closed, and we'd be lonely). We've sampled and enjoyed every open night at Three. On Saturdays after a few drinks, this can definately be a place to spend the rest of the night. Fridays are our favorite night, with the down deep house stylings of resident DJs David Dominguez and DJ eRok. The dirty house is a great prelude to the rest of the weekend. And don't forget about Sundays, the music is top notch.