Radio Milwaukee’s new cafe to open next year as ‘Deadwax’

Rotating menu to highlight seasonal, locally sourced ingredients

Credit: 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, The Kubala Washatko Architects

Last updated on December 7th, 2021 at 02:45 pm

88Nine Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-88.9FM) on Wednesday unveiled additional details about its new “sound cafe” opening next year at its Walker’s Point facility.

The concept is dubbed “Deadwax,” which is a nod to the empty space on a vinyl record between the last track and the label.

“It’s the space in between, which is exactly what we want this space to be for our community,” said Kevin Sucher, executive director at Radio Milwaukee. “We’re calling Deadwax a ‘sound café’ because the vibrations of music and community connection will be the soundtrack for the experience.”

The cafe was announced in October as part of a $770,000 renovation and expansion of the station’s studio and office building, located at 220 E. Pittsburgh Ave. Deadwax will take over the ground-floor retail space formerly home to a Stone Creek Coffee shop.

Under the leadership of Milwaukee chef and restaurateur Chad Meier, the menu will change frequently, featuring food and beverages made with seasonal ingredients from local vendors, including coffee from Interval on the East Side. The cafe will also host pop-ups with other Milwaukee chefs.

Food staples will include scotch eggs, breakfast wraps and toast; ‘lunch boxes,’ soups and sandwiches; and samosas, ‘things on sticks,’ empanadas, and pub style pizzas from local producers. A retail Marketplace will feature to-go salads, musubi, beverages and dry goods sourced locally and from around the world.

“Radio Milwaukee amplifies the good things happening in Milwaukee, from music to nonprofits to entrepreneurs,” Meier said. “I want Deadwax to do the same thing for Milwaukee’s food and beverage communities.”

Funded by private donors, the renovation project includes a 333-square-foot cafe expansion and complete remodel of the cafe area and addition of a back kitchen area. A covered outdoor seating area will be added to the front of the building, and three garage doors with windows will be installed along the sidewalk, allowing partial open-air use of the community room and connections to the outdoor seating area.

Construction is slated to begin soon, with the cafe’s opening tentatively set for late February.

Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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