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Photo by Charlie Healy


by Jenna Severson

It’s no secret that the people of Madison like to drink. The number of bars on State Street alone can attest to that. But the singular act of drinking every weekend may get old after a while. This is where Segredo distinguishes itself from the rest of the bar scene. Drinking is just a part of the fun, not the main focus.

“We just wanted to be ahead of the game on social networking. The focus wasn’t drinking, it was socializing,” says Shayne Miller, General Manager of Segredo. The venue is a popular site for many charity events, private parties, live music and for those just going out to have some fun on the weekends. “Everything we do is really positive. We just want people to enjoy themselves,” says Miller.

Segredo has undergone drastic changes to bring this positive atmosphere to life. A lot of work needed to be done to transform the venue from the previous Mad Avenue to Segredo. One of the most drastic changes was making the decision to avoid hip hop music on their dance nights.

However, the Friday night record-spinner DJ Amos doesn’t let the absence of hip hop beats stop people from getting out on the dance floor. Projecting homemade video mash-ups around the dance floor helps get bodies moving and it has turned DJ Amos into one of Madison’s most popular video DJs.

A dance floor is now where a bowling alley used to be. The dance floor features neon and flashing lights, a bubble machine and a big movie screen..

Those who aren’t yet of legal drinking age can seek comfort inside Segredo. Thanks to Segredo’s entertainment license, anyone 18 and over can enter, which is a big factor when it comes to hosting events for student organizations.

“Our capacity is 605. There are nights where we easily come close to that,” Miller said. “The line has been down the street for some events.”

Segredo is booked solid through the rest of April and seems in high demand lately. Generally, management tries to keep the number of private parties to a minimum, because Miller believes people should be able to just walk in and enjoy the entertainment. “Most of our events are open,” says Miller, “just a lot of bands and stuff like that.”

Segredo is kept busy during the daytime, as well, by hosting events for charities such as Geswerk, an organization that works with Porchlight to raise money for Madison’s homeless. Geswerk holds art-themed fundraisers and recently held a robot-themed party at Segredo for high school students.

“We don’t sell alcohol until later, so we can bring kids earlier. We were painting kids like robots and watching Wall-E,” says Miller, who believes these events provide a memorable experience for families and kids.

In many ways, Segredo is different from a normal night out at the bars. “We are always changing. There is always something different. You could come here tomorrow and hear metal, but tonight it could be something completely different,” said Miller.

Photo by Charlie Healy