Talk about the end of an era: After more than 30 years in business, Brady Street institution Brady Street Futons is closing. Questions about the local futon, mattress, and upholstery shop located at 1200 E. Brady St. will soon be moot.

In a message posted to social media Monday morning, owner Kurt Bauer says goodbye to his long-running business.

“After much thought and consideration, we have made the decision to close the shop,” Bauer writes. “It’s been an honor and a privilege serving the community for 31 years!”

Bauer tells Milwaukee Record he hasn’t set an exact closing date, but he plans “to be done with the shop by March 31.”

Bauer’s goodbye message continues:

This news is bittersweet for me. Although it took hard work and determination, every year, I’ve always considered this corner on Brady Street, a gift. I loved working the shop and meeting everyone. I’ve made lifelong friendships here! I will miss it, and the Brady Street neighborhood very much!

I am, however, excited for the future. I’m ready to do this. It just felt like the time was right. I want to take time to spend with my wife, Amy. She’s been very patient with me during the long hours it took to run this place, and I’m more than grateful for her love and support.

During my time here I developed a love of upholstery, and started making art pieces from up-cycled chairs I found. For the next year I will be working on upholstery art, and I’m excited to see what I can accomplish!

To all our employees through the years, I humbly thank you! You all helped keep this ship afloat. A very special shout out to my soul brother, Dedrik Bornslaeger, who helped me run this place for the last decade. You’ve been more than a friend to me through the years!!

A HUGE thank you to all our customers we’ve had throughout our existence. Without you, we wouldn’t have been here at all! We’re more than thankful.

Brady Street Futons is located in the oldest surviving commercial building on the street, the “Charles Sikorski” building. It was constructed in 1875.

Milwaukee Record fish fry columnist Caleb Westphal notes that during its decades-long run, Brady Street Futons was also something of a local music hub.

“Also of note is the amount of musicians who have worked there over the years,” Westphal says. “I met Kurt up in the Fox Valley while playing Rockin’ Bones reunion shows. He was the original Rockin’ Bones bass player. A few years later, I worked at the shop when I first moved to Milwaukee, and essentially learned the layout of the city from doing so. I helped get Dan Wolff a job there a year or so after that, after he moved to town. Erik Radloff of the Pacers was running the shop at the time. Pretty much everyone else I worked with there was a musician.”

Godspeed, Brady Street Futons. Thank you for your service.

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.