How old do you have to be to get into the Cardinal?
Generally, you must be 21, except Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays we welcome
18-20 year-olds for dancing. Must show valid ID.
Do you accept credit cards?
What time does Cardinal open?
We open daily at 6 pm, Fridays at 5 pm and close Mondays.
When is closing or “bar time”?
From Sunday thru Thursday it is 2 AM; Friday and Saturday bar time is 2:30 AM. On New Year’s Eve bars in Wisconsin can stay open all night.
When was the Cardinal established and has it always been a dance club?
The Cardinal was the original tavern for the Cardinal Hotel, built in 1908 and has been a dance bar since 1974. Read about our history for more details.
Is Cardinal a gay bar?
No, but it is definitely gay-friendly.
Is there free parking available at Cardinal?
Yes, directly across Wilson Street (enter on South Hancock St.) is a free City parking lot for 50 cars. In addition, there’s street parking available on East Wilson, So. Franklin and So. Hancock Streets. Click here for directions,
Can I rent out Cardinal or have my birthday party there?
Yes, Cardinal is available for special events most early evenings, Sundays and Mondays. Call 608-257-2473 for details and information or send us an email here.
If I have or see a problem with another patron, who do I go to? How is the security at the Cardinal?
We have Security personnel on the busiest nights; if you should have any problem or concern, you should immediately report it to the Bartender or the Security person.
Do you have a dress code?
Cardinal is a dance club and we encourage our customers to dress appropriately, especially on the weekends.
What kind of music do you play?
Cardinal has always been known for the variety of music offered. Each night has a different theme based on the music.
Is there a cover charge?
Some nights do have a cover, especially on weekends. The cover on Thursdays and Saturdays is $5/$8-18+; Fridays vary, with Sundays and Wednesdays normally free also, except for 18+.
What is the usual age group?
The crowd at Cardinal is probably the most mixed of any nightclub in Madison, ranging in age from 21 to 35.
Do you have a food menu?
Currently we do not serve food. However, that may change in the Spring 2015.
Can I make a birthday or table reservation?
Yes, we will honor a table reservation for a birthday party until 10 PM.
If there’s a picture of me on the site or Facebook that I do not want online, can I get it removed?
Yes, of course you can! Just use our contact form and your request will be taken care of.
Do you ever have guest DJs, live performances or contests?
Cardinal is essentially a DJ dance club, but we do feature live music on Tuesdays, happy hour on Fridays and some Saturdays. The DJs can vary on certain nights and we like to have salsa dance contests once in a while.
What kind of drinks do you have?
We take pride in the quality of our cocktails, our wine selection and Wisconsin craft beers on tap. There are drink specials each night at reduced prices and our knowledgeable bartenders can also make your drink of choice.
What are the nearest hotels?
The Monona Terrace Hilton, Ruby Marie Bed & Breakfast, Concourse Hotel, Inn on the Park and Edgewater Hotel are nearby.
I’ve lost something at the Cardinal; do you have lost and found?
When is your next Foam or Fetish party?
We don’t do Foam parties anymore; a Fetish theme night is every third Wednesday of the month.