Chicago coffee shop to open Milwaukee location this summer

In former Park East Hotel building re-opening soon as luxury apartments

Courtesy of Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea, Facebook

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

Courtesy of Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea, Facebook

Chicago-based Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea plans to open its first Wisconsin location this summer on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side.

The cafe will move into the former Park East Hotel, which is being converted into 96 luxury apartments, called Vantage on the Park. It will occupy a portion of the 8,500-square-foot retail space in the building’s ground floor that previously housed Durbar Restaurant & Lounge.

The 91,989-square-foot structure, located at 916 E. State St., was purchased in September 2017 by real estate investment group heading the project, Park East Propco LLC. The hotel and its restaurant closed around the same time.

Fairgrounds operates two locations, with two more planned, in Chicago and one in Minneapolis and in downtown Los Angeles, according to its website.

It serves a rotating selection of craft espressos, cold brew coffees and teas from roasters and vendors across the U.S., including Milwaukee’s own Colectivo Coffee and Rishi Tea. Its drink menu includes a selection of “elixirs,” including a Voges Hot Chocolate, a Spiced Matcha Americano and Golden Milk Latte.

Rendering of the Park East Hotel renovation by Kahler Slater

Drinks can be ordered by the cup or by flights of three.

Fairground also serves food– all-day breakfast, lunch and “bites.” The menu includes an array of breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salad and acai bowls, avocado toast and bar-style snacks.

Renovations to the apartment complex should be wrapping up soon. Additional retail tenants for the remaining ground floor space have not been secured, according to its leasing office.

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.