Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Cafe, Clinic Opening In Redeveloped King Drive Building

Bader Philanthropies backs creation of Sam's Place, new home for Shalem Healing.

By - Feb 5th, 2021 11:34 am
3338-3356 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

3338-3356 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Bader Philanthropies completed its second transformation of a historic building on Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood.

The former Merchant & Farmer’s State Bank, 3338-3356 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., now serves as a medical clinic with a cafe soon to open on the first floor. In 2018 the foundation opened its new headquarters in a redeveloped theater immediately south of the former bank.

The cafe, Sam’s Place, will open later this month. It will be a jazz-infused coffeehouse intended to complement owner and jazz drummer Sam Belton‘s downtown coffeehouse CITY.NET Cafe (308 E. Wisconsin Ave). Both locations will serve food and coffee drinks from Belton’s Abyssinia Coffee Roasters.

It will be open 7 am. until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brunch Sunday. Jazz lovers will want to note the Sunday hours, as Belton plans to host live musicians those evenings.

“We are continuing a culture in our jazz cafe where neighbors of all backgrounds feel welcome, can relax and forget about everything else while they’re enjoying freshly ground coffee or food inspired by jazz legends,” said Belton in a press release touting the opening. The musically-inclined entrepreneur hopes to open on February 22nd.

Holistic wellness provider Shalem Healing is already operating out of the second floor of the building. Shalem is a charitable organization and provides medical care priced at a reduced rate or sliding scale based on the patients income. Founder Raphael Moshe Fox, a doctor of oriental medicine, also operates the for-profit Refua Medicinals from the building’s second floor. The latter practice offers a blend of traditional Chinese medicine and modern nutritional science.

“We want to treat our patients through the most natural, holistic, and integrative approach we can. We lean more toward herbal, dietary-based treatments, and use non-traditional alternative therapies. Ultimately, we hope to see a beneficial change in the local communities’ overall health and would like to see this model replicated in other communities,” said Moshe Fox. The practice formerly operated out of Riverwest.

The foundation attributes the uses for the property to a series of “Chat with Bader” events held with neighborhood residents and foundation leadership.

“Time and time again, I have heard residents talk about how much they miss having a place to go to meet a friend for coffee, listen to music or how challenging it can be to care for their physical wellbeing,” said area Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs when the project was announced in September 2019.

“Harambee is a close-knit community of families and neighbors who know and care for one another,” said Bader vice president Frank Cumberbatch. “And, Sam’s Place, Shalem Healing and Refua Medicinals bring that spirit and way of being with them.”

The project, designed by American Design, was expected to cost $4.6 million when first announced according to a 2019 press release. Building permits indicate a final cost closer to half that amount.

JCP Construction, also headquartered on the street, led the general contracting, which included building a 3,000-square-foot addition on the north side of the approximately 7,000-square-foot building.

The foundation originally announced it would open the building in early 2020, but the project, like many underway in the pandemic-altered year, was delayed.

The property was acquired by a limited liability company controlled by the foundation in 2017 for $100,000. Bader also paid $200,000 for an adjoining property at 3356 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. that contained a small building constructed in 1939. That building was demolished to facilitate the larger redevelopment.

The original bank building was designed by John Roth, Jr. on what was then N. Green Bay Ave. The building later became York Rite Masonic Temple.

The two King Drive buildings are far from the only thing Bader has underway in Harambee. The foundation announced a $1 million gift to Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity in late 2019 that will fund the construction of 40 homes and critical repairs on 20 others.




Pre-Construction Photos

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