Yesterday’s Milwaukee

Cafe and Pool Hall, 1915

The South Side cafe and restaurant stood where La Perla is now located.

By - Apr 1st, 2014 01:42 pm
Pool Hall – c. 1915. Photo courtesy of Jeff Beutner.

Pool Hall – c. 1915. Photo courtesy of Jeff Beutner.

Pool anyone? This view is a photographic postcard easily dated at 1915 as the proprietor was in business for just a short period. This is the café and restaurant of Stephen Elias, whose establishment also offered a pool table. It was located on the east side of Grove St., just two doors north of National Ave. Grove St. is now S. 5th St. At the time this was a busy area with many shops and a department store or two – a miniature version of the more popular Mitchell St. retail district to the southwest.

At the left is a beer advertising sign offering Schoenhofen. This was unusual in Milwaukee as this beer was produced in Chicago. The brewery had a small sales office at the corner of Scott and Barclay, about six blocks away. The company would become better known for their Edelweiss brand of beer.

Elias did not stay in business very long, only appearing in the 1915 Milwaukee city directory as a “new” listing. This building still stands today and was incorporated as part of the restaurant and bar La Perla (which opened in 1995) after it expanded.

Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.

5 thoughts on “Yesterday’s Milwaukee: Cafe and Pool Hall, 1915”

  1. Casey says:

    Are there still furnished rooms for rent?
    Its hard for me to believe but Milwaukee was the 2nd most densely populated city in the US in 1920 after NYC. I’m sure these small rooms for rent went a long way to help with that and to also give people a chance to get grounded while starting their life.

  2. “2-1/2 Cents per Cue.” Don’t know if that is shorthand for “game” or “rack.” Or maybe it’s 5 cents for two people to rent their cues per game? Or for a period of time. Sure like the prices. Good score, Jeff.

  3. Gary Tuma says:

    The corner of 5th and National was a Gull Pharmacy for years and in 1987 became the first home of Walker’s Point Center for the Arts.

  4. I think the Gull Pharmacy was long gone when I arrived next door in the early 1980’s.


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