Back in July 2016, we asked a simple question: Is the East Side dying? Alarmist and eye-catching to be sure (“Is the East Side slowly changing in order to better accommodate current and ever-shifting trends in dining and nightlife?” didn’t quite pop), but it came out of a real concern. Yield Bar had just closed. The short-lived Nick’s Place had gone under. The Hotel Foster was a month away from closing. The eventual death of the BBC, Hotch, Rosati’s, and Yokohama loomed on the horizon. What was going on here?

Who knows, but let’s ask a different question: What’s going on now? Turns out, plenty. Two years after we may or may not have greatly exaggerated the death of the East Side, the neighborhood is buzzing with new life. Yes, it’s different, but it’s life nonetheless. Here’s a semi-exhaustive list of what’s new, what’s coming soon, and what’s changed in the North Avenue area of Milwaukee’s East Side.


1806 E. North Ave.
FreshFin Poke
(formerly empty)
Opened January 2017

2264 N. Prospect Ave.
Donut Squad
(formerly Goldcoast Subs)
Opened June 2017

2201 N. Farwell Ave.
galerie Kenilworth (formerly Village Bazzar)
Opened August 2017

2321 N. Murray Ave.
Kawa Ramen and Sushi (formerly Two Bucks)
Opened September 2017

2311 N. Murray Ave.
Izzy Hops Swig & Nosh (formerly Rascal’s)
Opened September 2017

2101 N. Prospect Ave.
Strange Town (formerly Allium)
Opened October 2017

1857 E. Kenilworth Pl.
Jet’s Pizza (formerly Melthouse Bistro)
Opened October 2017

2150 N. Prospect Ave.
Kanpai 2 (formerly Izumi’s)
Opened May 2018

2021 E. Ivanhoe Pl.
Sip & Purr Cat Cafe (formerly East Side Framing Gallery)
Opened June 2018

2334 N. Farwell Ave.
Lambeau Tobacco (formerly Milwaukee PC)
Opened June 2018


1924 E. Kenilworth Pl.
(formerly Alpha Cleaners)
Opening June 2018

2238 N. Farwell Ave.
Crossroads Collective (formerly Rosati’s)
Opening October 2018

2165 N. Prospect Ave.
Shred415 (formerly American Apparel)
Opening Fall 2018

1813 E. Kenilworth Pl.
Fusion Poke (formerly Hotch)
Opening TBA

1515 E. North Ave.
D.P. Dough (formerly Open Pantry)
Opening TBA

1732 E. North Ave.
Baccanera (formerly The Eastsider)
Opening TBA


2230 N. Farwell Ave.
Oriental Theatre (Milwaukee Film taking over July 2018)
Closing for renovation in July 2018, reopening in August 2018

2012-2028 E. North Ave.
BBC/The Hotel Foster (sold to J. Jeffers & Co. in March 2018)
Plans TBA. Likely office, restaurant and/or retail space.

1530 E. North Ave.
RC’s Beer Garden (sold to Welcome East Side LLC in May 2018)
Plans TBA

2401 N. Maryland Ave.
ABC Kortsch (sold to Michael Olson in April 2018)
No plans for redevelopment

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

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