Elmnt Lounge opens tonight on Water Street

Former Ladybug Club space revamped as lounge with food, TVs

The Ladybug Club is located in the Milwaukee Building at 622 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:21 pm

An interior look at Elmnt Lounge in downtown Milwaukee

The former Ladybug Club in downtown Milwaukee is heading in a different direction with a fresh look and new branding.

After a $500,000 renovation project, the bar, located at 618 N. Water St., will reopen to the public on Dec. 27 as Elmnt Lounge.

The establishment differs from the previous nightclub concept, known as 618 Live on Water, with new lounge-style seating, HDTVs and a selection of bar bites, which will be available when the kitchen opens within the next few days, said Nick Murado, Elmnt’s director of operations.

Food service will allow the lounge to serve happy hour, late night bites and lunch, and to function as a venue for corporate events, he said.

Elmnt will serve “elevated small plates” such as wings, pizza and sliders, and its full bar will offer specialty cocktails and wine.

The changes come as Milwaukee’s downtown area evolves, Murado said.

“We built this for the growth of the neighborhood, with new hotels, condominiums, and more millennials and young professionals,” he said. “We think we can serve this greater community as a lounge rather than a nightclub.”

Signage is fastened to a waterfall wall fixture.

The name “Elmnt” was selected intentionally, Murado said. The new decor throughout the space echoes the elements of nature with a waterfall wall, a fireplace, a hookah lounge and “earthy tones” in the upper level. He said the concept will also offer various elements of entertainment– TVs for sporting events, a DJ booth for music, and food and beverage offerings.

Elmnt will be open to the public Thursday through Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to close, and it will launch its Friday and Saturday happy hour service, starting at 4 p.m., on Jan. 17. On Jan. 20, Elmnt will roll out the first of its “Sunday funday” events. It will also host a New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31.

During summer months, Murado said, the lounge will offer patio seating and will likely operate daily.

The venue, which has long been owned and managed by Habib Manjee, once was a source of problems for the city. Its license was suspended in 2013 because of violent incidents there.

In 2017, Manjee applied for a license to add adult entertainment to the venue, for the purpose of hosting entertainment for bachelor and bachelorette parties, according to a spokesperson for Elmnt.

The club currently holds a public entertainment premises license for DJs, live musicians, bands, karaoke, dancing, comedy acts and amusement machines, among other types, but not for adult entertainment, according to a license application filed with the city.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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