Sophie Bolich

Retro-Themed ‘90s2K Cafe’ To Replace Howl at the Moon

90s 2K Cafe aims to open Downtown by early summer.

By - Apr 30th, 2024 07:46 pm
Site of former Howl at the Moon, 1103 N. Martin Luther King Jr Dr. Photo taken Jan. 5, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of future 90s2K Cafe, 1103 N. Martin Luther King Jr Dr. Photo taken Jan. 5, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

Milwaukee’s downtown entertainment district could see a new addition in time for summer. 90s2K Cafe, a throwback bar, is slated to open at 1103 N. Martin Luther King Jr Dr. in the coming months.

The corner tavern space was previously occupied by Howl at the Moon, which exited the building in early 2024 after months of purported — yet undetectable — updates and construction.

Unlike the air of mystery that shrouded its predecessor, however, the new bar has familiar faces at its helm.

Jake Dehne and his brother, Seth, will oversee operations at 90s2K Cafe, which, as its name suggests, will showcase music and decor from the 90s and early 2000s.

Jake said he hopes the theme will appeal to a wide range of patrons — even those who didn’t grow up during that particular era. “It’s going to add a new dynamic to the street,” he said, noting that the business will “fill a niche” in the downtown area.

The new venture will be a homecoming of sorts for the brothers, who previously operated several different bars at the address. The first, Have A Nice Day Cafe, was a retro dance club featuring familiar tunes from the 70s.

“We’re going to get back to that — it’s going to be a fun party dance bar where you can hear the songs you heard in high school and college,” Jake said.

In addition to throwback music and dancing, 90s2K Cafe plans to offer a full range of alcoholic beverages including beer and mixed drinks, as well as some themed and specialty cocktails. Guests can also expect a menu of casual eats including pizza.

Following the closure of Have A Nice Day Cafe, the Dehne brothers opened Suite in the 5,000-square-foot tavern space. The nightclub continued for several years until it was replaced by The Pub Club, which opened in 2015 under the brothers’ management. The Dehnes sold their interests in the bar in 2018, ahead of its closure in February 2020.

The three-story building, originally constructed in 1878, is owned by an affiliate of Joseph Property Development. The structure features office space on its upper floors.

In addition to his previous industry experience, Jake is the founder and director for Sydra Group, a managing and marketing business whose clients include Red, White and Blue, State Street Pizza Pub, Lucky Clover Irish Pub and Red Elephant Chocolate, according to the company’s website.

A liquor license for 90s2K Cafe is pending before the Milwaukee Common Council.

If approved, the business’s proposed hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Friday from noon until 2:30 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.

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Categories: Food & Drink

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