Sophie Bolich

City Closes Mitchell Street Restaurant

Milwaukee Unified Soul shuttered after only a year in business.

By - Dec 15th, 2022 05:06 pm
Milwaukee Unified Soul at 837 W. Historic Mitchell St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Unified Soul at 837 W. Historic Mitchell St. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Unified Soul, a soul food restaurant in the Historic Mitchell Street neighborhood, is closed.

The Milwaukee Common Council voted unanimously on Dec. 13 against license renewal for the establishment based on a second non-appearance for owner Andrell Howard.

The restaurant opened at 837 W. Historic Mitchell St. during the first half of 2021. Howard legally operated the restaurant until the following summer, when the food dealer license expired. Three months later, on Sept. 22, Howard filed an application for renewal.

The proposal for renewal was met with opposition from neighbors, as well as a report from the Milwaukee Police Department that could form the basis for nonrenewal, according to Common Council documents.

A redacted letter suggests Howard was renting the business out to private parties who were potentially illegally serving alcohol. Howard did not possess a liquor license for the space.

Howard’s absence at both the Nov. 29 hearing and the rescheduled Dec. 13 hearing prompted the committee to recommend nonrenewal.

During its tenure, Milwaukee Unified Soul served a variety of American and soul food dishes including hamburgers, chicken tenders, salmon nuggets, shrimp and buffalo chicken sandwiches. Sides included french fries, onion rings, coleslaw and vegetable egg rolls.

The restaurant was still hosting events as recently as October, when it was the site of a Halloween-themed bar crawl. As of Dec. 15, the business’s phone number was disconnected.

Howard did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. A co-owner, Fudgicile Howard, was listed as 50% owner on the initial license application, but did not appear on the application for renewal.

The former soul food restaurant was located adjacent to a Subway restaurant. The building, initially constructed in 1895, was substantially remodeled in 1981, according to state records.

Prior to Milwaukee Unified Soul, the building housed a variety of bars and restaurants including Megalokos Burgers, Red & White, Athens Restaurant and Deschaine’s Dixie Restaurant.

The property is owned by VP Holdings I, LLC according to city records.

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