Cafe and Event Space Planned for Historic Mitchell Street
Inspired by the internet cafes of South America, La Bodega would combine coffee and community.
A new, community-minded coffee shop and event space is planned for the Historic Mitchell Street neighborhood.
Eleazar Maldonado, a DJ for Hittin Hard Radio, plans to open La Bodega at 731 W. Historic Mitchell St. The business would take the place of a former Bilt-Rite Furniture store, below the second-floor offices of Hittin Hard Radio.
In Milwaukee, free wifi is available in many places throughout the city, so the internet connection is less of a necessity. Rather, Maldonado said he wanted to lean into the community element and work with local businesses, nonprofits and other organizations that help the city, particularly those concerned with youth development, in the La Bodega event space.
One partner, Your Move MKE, combines hip hop and chess to encourage higher-level thinking and self-expression in youth.
The organization is partnering with La Bodega and Hittin Hard Radio next month for “Hip Hoppin Back to School.” The Sept. 3 event will feature free haircuts from Revival the barbershop, a live DJ, yard games, free food from local vendors and free backpacks, school supplies and T-shirts. The event will be held outdoors in the lot behind the future La Bodega space.
On the cafe side, La Bodega will offer drip coffee, espresso and nitro cold brew, plus a series of paleta-infused coffees. A food menu includes appetizers, a variety of lunch sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches and quesadillas.
La Bodega will source its beans from the food service company Canteen, and Maldonado said he plans to bring in coffee brands that can’t be found at other Milwaukee cafes.
“They have so many different varieties that people don’t ever touch,” he said.
In the future, Maldonado said he plans to buy a roasting machine and roast coffee in-house with beans sourced from a connection in Mexico.
The approximately 3,000-square-foot space is undergoing major renovations including a kitchen build-out, plumbing and electrical. New front counters, tables and charging stations are also in the works.
Once complete, the cafe will have a tropical theme and seat up to 49 guests, Maldonado said.
La Bodega was originally planned to open Sept. 1, but Maldonado said he encountered a few minor delays. The cafe is nearly ready to open now, he said, and is just waiting on licensing.
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