Sophie Bolich

New Event Space Has Skyline, River Views

Northern Lights Events, in Walker's Point, has great views of Downtown and confluence of two rivers.

By - Aug 22nd, 2022 05:18 pm
Northern Lights Events. Photo by Mike Miller/Northern Lights Events.

Northern Lights Events. Photo by Mike Miller/Northern Lights Events.

A new event venue, Northern Lights Events, had its grand opening August 12 and is now booking for the coming months.

The 2,300-square-foot venue, 106 W. Seeboth St., operates in one of the five commercial condominiums on the first and second floors of the 12-story The Point on the River condominium complex.

Northern Lights Photo Studio owner Robert Popp bought the space following the 2018 closure of The Love Shack tiki bar. The photo studio is located on the building’s second floor.

The two-story venue has a wraparound bar, floor-to-ceiling windows and several large TVs and speakers for seminars and presentations. An outdoor patio and balcony overlook the downtown skyline and the confluence of the Milwaukee and Menomonee Rivers. The space can hold up to 154 guests, but for smaller gatherings, there is the option to rent just the upstairs lounge.

The venue is marketed as the ideal space for private parties, weddings, seminars and corporate events. The space has several large TVs and a speaker system for presentations, plus customizable color-changing lights that can adapt to any occasion, from a nail painting class to a cloud-themed wedding reception — both of which have occurred at Northern Lights Events since its opening.

While the views are idyllic, Popp identified one major challenge for the location. “Parking in that area is difficult,” he said. Popp is tackling the issue proactively with the help of valet parking and shuttles to the nearby parking garage on the corner of Water Street and Chicago Street.

“That’s one of the things I think that’s helping make the space successful,” he said.

The space was vacant for a few years after The Love Shack left, but the tiki bar left its mark, according to Popp, who found there was still bamboo stapled to all of the walls. Aside from strategic deforesting of the space, Popp made extensive changes including removing columns and a wall on the first floor to open up the room, adding drop ceilings and removing a second-floor fixed bar that was blocking the view. He also updated the existing bar and selected furniture that would be functional for a variety of different events.

Because of his familiarity with the building, Popp said he came into the project with a clear idea of how he wanted to alter the space to “make it more user-friendly.”

The photo studio is located on the second floor, just down the hall from the event space. It has experienced photographers for hire and rentable studio space including equipment for sessions. Similar to the studio, the event space is available to rent for photography sessions Monday through Thursday before 5 p.m. at rates “just slightly higher than the photo studio itself,” Popp said.

Located next to Screaming Tuna, the event venue is within view of The Starling, another new event space, and its seasonal beer garden, The Pier Garden.

Aside from Screaming Tuna and the two Northern Lights businesses, the 12-story building contains a second-story dental office, First Place Dentistry, and a first-floor therapy practice and wellness center, Elle Studio + Wellness.

The complex has been open for 15 years. In that time, what is now the Northern Lights Events space saw numerous tenants come and go, including Cafe Luna + Lounge, 106seeboth, Wine Maniacs on the River and The Love Shack. 106seeboth and Love Shack each lasted one year.

So far, the new venue is doing well, according to Popp. Several parties have been held in the space since its opening, with 15 more already booked for September.

Those interested in booking an event can contact Cynthia Starich, booking and events manager for the venue. She can be reached by email at

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