Lame news for Milwaukee’s music and art scenes: Riverwest’s Cocoon Room, located at 820 E. Locust St., has announced it will be closing up shop at the end of the month. The building’s landlord is electing not to renew the lease for the popular all-ages venue/art gallery. According to a notice from the landlord, excessive fines, noise, and people drinking outside are to blame.
“I think the general feeling is that neighbors complaining about people on the street is a bogus point,” Eric Apnea of the Cocoon Room tells Milwaukee Record. “People are allowed to be on the sidewalk all over the city whenever they want. People stand around outside of the Public House all the time, but I don’t think they are getting complaints. We asked/told people time and time again to not drink outside, and frankly I thought we were doing a decent job at it. However, you can’t control everyone and people are gonna do what people are gonna do. We are curious what the ticket(s) is (are) for, because we were never notified until these papers that any citations had been charged against us.”
Despite the initial blow, Apnea sees the impending end of the two-year-old space as perhaps inevitable. “It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. We were not a legal business and there are no protections in that lease to be doing what we were doing. If [the landlord] wanted to be litigious about it we could be facing much worse consequences.
“Thanks for everyone’s interest,” Apena continues. “We’ll try again in Riverwest. People should also remember there is an all-ages venue that has been operating for nearly a decade in this city called the Borg Ward.”