Annie Mattea

Splash Studio Stays Virtual After Closing During Pandemic

Owner said the company was forced to innovate to survive the pandemic.

By - Sep 23rd, 2021 01:25 pm
Splash Studio. Photo taken September 6, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene.

Splash Studio. Photo taken September 6, 2021 by Jeramey Jannene.

Splash Studio the wine-and-paint bar on the East Side has closed, but a virtual option remains.

The establishment was closed by Bars & Recreation, a local tavern group specializing in “activity bars,” and the site is now listed for lease.

Bars & Recreation, which also owns NorthSouth Club, AXE MKE and Nine Below, said they saw a new opportunity when the pandemic forced in-person buildings to shut down.

The bar now offers take and make kits on its website, which allow customers to purchase materials to create works of art and follow along with a video instructor. The company also has virtual sessions where customers can paint along over Zoom.

Though, co-owner Marla Poytinger said there are plans in the works for Splash Studio that will be revealed soon. Closing Splash Studio and her other businesses during the pandemic was scary, she said. But it forced the company to innovate, becoming “a gift that keeps on giving.”

The business first opened in March 2012 in the Historic Third Ward. It relocated to the East Side in 2019 to be closer to the rest of Bars & Recreation businesses.

Bars & Recreation facilities has already reopened NorthSouth Club and AXE MKE to the public, while Nine Below is open only for private events.

Poytinger said all team members are vaccinated against COVID-19, which gives her comfort in opening.

The company also opened a fully virtual business known as Head Space Trivia in 2020. The business allows customers to play trivia games with their friends without leaving their homes.

Poytinger said that the pandemic has been a rollercoaster thus far, but she anticipates that upcoming months will continue to see a return to normalcy.

The building Splash occupied is a one-story, 93-year-old commercial building addressed as 1819 E. Kenilworth Pl. The 4,669-square-foot stall is listed for lease through Jones Lang LaSalle broker Joe Carollo. Other tenants in the building include Erik’s bicycle shop and Fusion Poke restaurant.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us