New Walker’s Point Music Hall Opening

Former Gibraltar space on National Ave will showcase local musicians, open this fall.

By - Aug 27th, 2018 10:02 am
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538 W. National Ave. Photo by Michael Horne.

538 W. National Ave. Photo by Michael Horne.

Walker’s Point will soon have a new venue which will showcase local artists and musicians.

The new Walker’s Point Music Hall will occupy the former Gibraltar space at 538 W. National Ave. According to a press release, Walker’s Point Music Hall is slated to open in fall. The license application for the new business names an opening date in late September.

Jim Rice is behind the concept. According to Rice, the music hall will focus on all forms of local and original art, with an emphasis on live music.

“I really want to do all that I can to help local music of all genres,” says Rice.

The city has its share of large venues, such as the Rave/Eagles Ballroom, the Pabst Theater, Turner Hall and Marcus Amphitheater, and smaller venues like Shank Hall and Cactus Club. Rice also praises the area’s “fantastic bars with live music,” but believes Milwaukee has “a vacuum to be filled.”

The building he is taking over is perfect, he says: “The size, location and older building all fit what I wanted to accomplish. When the opportunity finally arose it just kind of all came together.”

Rice hopes the hall will significantly aid local charities, and plans to use a number of techniques to generate donations.

“If you come into this establishment, a percentage of every dollar you spend will be going towards a cause,” says Rice.

First, the venue will partner with a different local charity each month. A percentage of every dollar spent at the venue will be donated to that month’s charity. Rice says the exact percentages are still being hashed out. Milwaukee Courage House will be the first charity to partner with Walker’s Point Music Hall.

Rice also plans to host individual shows for charity, where a percentage of the day’s proceeds will be donated. Additionally, the music hall will have a different “spirit sponsor” each month, and will donate a higher percentage per dollar on the spirit they have partnered with.

Rice first entered the local music scene through his work with Rebel Stage, “the original independent stage” at Summerfest which features local and independent artists and bands, according to their website. Along with an almost 12-year run as their operational manager, Rice has also managed bands and is still the acting booking agent for a band.

“This space is a culmination of all that,” he says.

There will not be any renovations done on the building, but Rice says there will be new paint and a different design scheme.

While Rice will handle daily operations, Jay Stamates is also an investor in the business. Stamates owns a number of bars in Milwaukee and has offered expertise in that area.

Gibraltar closed in late July. Owner Evan Christian opened the bar and lounge in late 2016.

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