Long story short: Over Memorial Day weekend, the giant westward-facing wall of Broken Bat Brewing Company (135 E. Pittsburgh Ave.) was covered in graffiti. Broken Bat owners were “pretty bummed” (they had only recently moved in to the new location), but after doing some research and learning the graffiti was a memorial to another graffiti artist who had recently passed away, they decided to pay tribute to that artist on the freshly repainted wall. Nice!

Here’s the whole story, from Broken Bat’s Instagram page:

Story time.. buckle in for the transformation of our West facing facade, and how the heck we got here…

Back in 2019 we signed our agreement to move into our new home. The building was proudly displaying a legendary #Milwaukee logo in @royalenfieldmke. We put up a small banner to let folks know that we would be moving in but waited until the last possible window of time to cover up the logo with a fresh paint job to be able to tell folks that we we’re moving into “the #RoyalEnfield building”. It worked every time!

In March of 2020, we put a fresh coat of paint on the building to give #BrokenBat a fresh start and enjoyed about 8 weeks of our beautiful new facility both inside and out.

During Memorial Day weekend, our team arrived on site to find a substantial amount of graffiti on the West facade, and we were pretty bummed to be perfectly honest. It felt like a violation of what we were trying to build, but after some research.. we were blown away by what we found out..

In Milwaukee, like most cities, there is a sub-culture of graffiti artists, and these folks are wildly talented artists who use art as a way to express themselves. Our building, with an enormous – freshly painted wall – served as a “white whale” of walls in Milwaukee, and what we originally thought was gibberish turned out to be a memorial for a local artist who had recently passed away – @habetforever.

With the help of @bigshotrobot – we found a way to immortalize #habetforever on our building while still giving it a fresh look that gives ode to our brand. In the South corner of our mural, you’ll find #habetforever – this is our way of recognizing that we’re a community.. all part of the same team.. and we understand that there was undoubtedly pain in the loss of a loved one.

Life is weird, man.. there’s no getting around it. The highs and lows have been more visible now than ever before. In some crazy way, we were able to learn more about our city, our community, and understand the circle of life a little bit more intimately though an act that we originally thought was done out of spite or anger.

Not sure that the right people will ever see this post.. but it matters to us 🍻🙏🏻

Exclusive articles, podcasts, and more. Support Milwaukee Record on Patreon.


RELATED ARTICLES

First Impression: Broken Bat Brewing Company

Mandatory Milwaukee: Black Cat Alley strikes a balance between art gallery and, well, alley

Rush-Mor Records gives graffiti bandit taste of own medicine

X