For the last year or so, many folks in Milwaukee (including us) have been bemoaning the death of the East Side. The pocket of E. North Avenue, in particular, has been hit hard by high-profile closing after high-profile closing, with luxury apartments and ramen joints springing up like luxury apartments and ramen joints tend to do. Yeah, the area is changing, maturing, “growing up,” and all that jazz, but it’s also becoming a sad, mirthless shell of its former self, right? R.I.P. East Side.

Or not. Way back in 2001, an eight-sided kiosk designed by Milwaukee artist Tom Wilson was installed in front of East Side mainstay Hooligan’s. The kiosk was meant to promote the East Side, extolling its many restaurants, bars, and shops. In 2013, the East Side Business Improvement District #21 updated the art in the kiosk to its “It All Starts Here” campaign, which listed the names and locations of all the businesses in the surrounding North and Farwell area. That campaign remains today.

So, with all the recent closings, and despite the fact that the kiosk appears to have been updated sometime in early 2015, most of the listed businesses must be closed, yes? Not really. Of the 109 (!) businesses, only 19 are no longer with us. Not bad? Yeah, the list pushes it a little bit, including everything from McDonald’s to nearby gas stations, but it’s still surprising to see so many still-healthy businesses in such a small area. Factor in all the new places that have sprung up in recent months (Donut Squad, Kawa, Yokohama, Izzy Hops, and galerie Kenilworth, to name a few), and you have a perfectly healthy, perfectly vibrant or whatever neighborhood. (Thank god Von Trier decided to stick around.)

Here’s the full list, with the R.I.Ps in bold:

1. 7-Eleven
2. American Apparel – CLOSED APRIL 2017
3. ABC Kortsch
4. Alpha Cleaners – CLOSED
5. Anytime Fitness
6. American Family
7. Artist’s Friends
8. ATI Physical Therapy
9. Atomic Tattoo
10. Atty. Matt Linn
11. Beans And Barley
12. Bisou Nails
13. Bilk Art Supplies
14. Blooming Lotus
15. Buddha Lounge
16. Burger King
17. China Wok
18. Chiropractic Company
19. Chubby’s Cheesteaks
20. Citgo
21. Clark Oil
22. Clock Tower Building
23. Cobalt Glassworks
24. Columbia St. Mary’s Prospect Medical Commons
25. Colectivo
26. Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital
27. Cutting Group
28. Dewan Dental Wellness
29. Divino
30. Dr. Warren Biel, DDS
31. East Bank Storage
32. East Library
33. East Side Framing Gallery
34. East Side Green Market – CLOSED
35. East Side Maytag Coin Laundry
36. East Side Pilates
37. Eastsider
38. Educator’s Credit Union
39. Erberts And Gerberts
40. Erik’s Bike Shop
41. G-Daddy’s BBC – CLOSED APRIL 2017

42. Gold Coast Subs – CLOSED
43. Great Clips
44. Hooligan’s Super Bar
45. Hotch Spot – CLOSED MAY 2017
46. Huan Xi
47. Ian’s Pizza
48. Inova – CLOSED
49. Izumi’s
50. Jalisco’s
51. Jazz Estate
52. Kashou Carpets
53. Kenilworth Square East
54. Landmark Lanes
55. Little Monsters
56. Live Gallery Hair Studio
57. Ma Fischer’s
58. Matthew Bushey Photography
59. McDonald’s
60. Melthouse Bistro – CLOSED JULY 2015
61. Mr. Senors Mexican Restaurant
62. Murray Hill Pottery Works
63. Neroli Salon & Spa
64. Nick’s House – CLOSED MAY 2016, DEMOLISHED JULY 2016
65. North Point Cleaners
66. Oriental Theatre
67. Osaka Little Japan – CLOSED
68. Paddy’s Pub
69. Pita Pit
70. Pizza Hut
71. PNC Bank
72. Potbelly
73. Prospect Medical Commons
74. Qdoba Prospect – CLOSED
75. Rascals On Murray – CLOSED APRIL 2017
76. RC’s Bar
77. Refuge Smoothie Cafe – CLOSED APRIL 2017
78. Rockstar Design/Info* Magazine
79. Rosati’s – CLOSED MARCH 2017
80. School Yard Bar & Grill – CLOSED JUNE 2016
81. Seoul Korean Restaurant
82. Small Animal Hospital
83. Smoque Vapours – CLOSED
84. Stone Fox Salon
85. Studio D’Angeli
86. Sun Seekers By Rosie
87. The Bike Fixer
88. The ‘Do Hair Design
89. The Drive Thru
90. The Hotel Foster – CLOSED AUGUST 2016
91. Thermo Fisher
92. The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique
93. Toppers
94. Two Bucks – CLOSED MAY 2015
95. Ubreakifix
96. Urban Om
97. Urban Outfitters
98. US Bank
99. Valvoline Instant Oil Change
100. Verizon
101. Vintage
102. Vitucci’s Cocktail Lounge
103. Von Trier
104. Whole Foods Market
105. Wisconsin Paperboard
106. Wiskullsin
107. Yield – CLOSED MAY 2016
108. Yo Factory
109. Yoga 6

About The Author

Matt Wild
Co-Founder and Editor

In his spare time, Matt Wild enjoys collecting 8-bit Nintendo games (emulation is for creeps) and fondly remembering the time Milwaukee weatherman Vince Condella caused a stir at his Catholic grade school by showing up with an earring. He lives on Milwaukee's East Side.