In Bars & Clubs

Chic Lounge co-owners Rita Anderson and Denita Sublett (right).

In Bars & Clubs

"We like to think of Chic Lounge as both a bar and a restaurant," says Anderson.

In Bars & Clubs

Anderson uses words like "upscale" and "posh" to describe the lounge, which she says caters to the professionals and residents in the Third Ward.

Chic Lounge arrives fashionably late to Ward

The big signs covering the windows of the forthcoming Chic Lounge promised patrons a new bar and restaurant on the corner of Jackson Street and Corcoran Avenue in June, but co-owners Rita Anderson and Denita Sublett knew not to rush a good thing.

It's taken a few weeks longer than anticipated, but the grand opening for the Third Ward's latest lounge is set in stone for Tuesday, July 21. A ribbon-cutting ceremony commences at 11 a.m. at 133 N. Jackson St.

Anderson uses words like "upscale" and "posh" to describe the lounge, which she says caters to the professionals and residents in the Third Ward.

If you were ever at its former inhabitant, the short-lived Viridarium, it'll look familiar in style and function. The vibrant greens and warm earth-tones are still present, as are the small clusters of high-top tables seating two to four guests between a long, stone bar and large picture windows facing the expanse of the Henry W. Maier Festival Grounds and beyond that, Lake Michigan's harbor.

Anderson and Sublett have certainly added their own touch to the place, though. A gathering of leather couches, love seat and chairs circle coffee tables near the entrance, making for a comfortable conversation area for patrons less interested in the plasma screens surrounding the bar area.

Although the lounge has a lengthy wine and cocktail menu -- from the classic choices to site-specific specialties such as the Le Chic 'tini, a combination of sparkling liqueur, Malibu rum, and fruit juices, and the Third Ward Jade, a Midori mixture made with Champagne and lime juice -- Anderson, who doesn't drink alcohol, has made sure Chic is equally as enjoyable as a restaurant.

The kitchen is open at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday (and Monday during football season) and at noon Saturday and Sunday for lunch and serves dinner until an astonishing 1 a.m.

Offering late-night food was something that Denita and I felt strongly about, "especially after going out ourselves and not having anywhere to eat Downtown at 11 p.m. or midnight."

While the menu isn't focused on one particular ethnicity or cuisine, it finds inspiration in Cajun cooking and puts a special focus on seafood.

The salmon nachos are an immediate standout.

"They are a concoction from a family member of mine," she says of the fish and chips combination. "At first, I didn't know...but they are actually really good; they are awesome."

Expect your standard nacho toppings with an additional "secret sauce" over a plate of fresh tortilla chips. And the menu expands from there: pastry wraps with various meats, sandwiches filled with Cajun chicken, grilled tilapia or roast beef; jumbo shrimp on skewers with choice of flavors: Cajun, barbeque, jerk or teriyaki; pizzas made to order, salads and grilled veggies.

"We like to think of Chic Lounge as both a bar and a restaurant," says Anderson. "People can come here and enjoy sports, or watch the news, listen to music, or have a nice meal after work."

Chic Lounge is a non-smoking establishment and offers WiFi.


Talkbacks

Ms. Uly | July 17, 2009 at 1:40 p.m. (report)

First of all, Congratulations ladies and you can count on seeing me sooner than later. Im all about being supportive. I find it truly unfortunate that we as human beings cannot find it within ourselves to be kind to your fellow man. When individuals are being negative they are trying to do one of two things: either dissuade you from doing something they are fearful to do themselves; or protect themselves, because if you succeed, theyll have to look harder at why theyre stuck at their jobs they dont like. Ive learned that it is much easier for people to tear you down than to feel envy or shame. In my eyes ladies, you are already winners because you have the guts to do something a lot of people want to do but cant. Ive learned not to become angry at negative people, actually I feel sorry for them. It is important to recognize they arent speaking the truth, only their perception of truth, and be grateful that you arent stuck with their limited vision of the world. Create you a support system, surround yourself with positive people. Remember, Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it. Joe Clark

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Really? | July 16, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. (report)

Nanc...if you cannot wish a new business good luck in a positive way, don't bother. We have way too many people like you in this city...have nothing but bad things to say. Get out if you cannot support your community! Ladies...I wish you all the success in the world! It is always great to see new start ups in Milwaukee and given the economic situation and continuous downsizing, small businesses like yours will only add to the economic base!

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Skitters | July 15, 2009 at 1:51 p.m. (report)

Best wishes and good luck ladies!!!!

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Crabkilla1 | July 14, 2009 at 3:38 p.m. (report)

Starting a new biz in the Mil is tough enough. I wish you ladies nothing but absolute success and prosperity in your new venture. I've traveled everywhere twice, Milwaukee is definetly alone with its polarized mentality. Let the previolusly posted negativity be the fuel for your success. IMO, this is a definetly a exceptional addition to the young professional social scene here in the MIL. Keep on pushin Sisters, I will definetly be there in full support. Shake them haters off. Much Love and Respect, Crabkilla1

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Nanc | July 14, 2009 at 1:23 p.m. (report)

If your calling yourself CHIC...good luck. Perhaps the inexperienced young ladies should have tried a different area

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