Sophie Bolich

Listening Lounge and Cafe Coming to Brady Street

Vinyl listening lounge The Deep Groove plans to open in former Brady Street Futons space.

By - Jul 9th, 2024 04:31 pm
Site of future The Deep Groove, 1200 E. Brady St. Photo taken July 6, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of future The Deep Groove, 1200 E. Brady St. Photo taken July 6, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

Opening a new business on Brady Street — much less one that’s completely unique — is no small task.

But Todd Dunsirn and Kim Forbeck may have found the perfect niche. Or rather, groove.

The married couple are working to renovate a nearly 150-year-old building at 1200 E. Brady St., with plans to open a vinyl listening lounge and cafe in the space that formerly housed Brady Street Futons.

The Deep Groove is slated to open this fall, contributing its own flair to Milwaukee’s growing list of vinyl-focused establishments.

“Music has always been part of our lives,” said Dunsirn, who immersed himself in the local scene upon moving to Milwaukee in the 90s. “We have music on all the time at home, go to a lot of shows and have a bunch of people in the family who play music, so it’s just one of those things that ties us all together.”

Dunsirn’s son, Henry, is particularly passionate, having played with a variety of Milwaukee-based bands and accumulated a “massive collection of vinyl.”

In addition to spinning records — especially jazz, according to Dunsirn — The Deep Groove will also sell them. But the business has no interest in competing with its independently-owned neighbor, Lilliput Records. Instead, The Deep Groove plans to stock a “niche, eclectic” selection of jazz and foreign genres.

“You know, like Japanese music from the 70s and things like that,” Dunsirn said.

Future patrons at The Deep Groove will be able to pair their listening experience with food and beverages. The business plans to offer a dynamic menu that shifts throughout the day, starting with coffee and breakfast items in the morning and transitioning to alcoholic beverages and shareable small plates in the afternoon and evening.

The menu is not yet finalized, but Dunsirn said he hopes to serve a small selection of tap beers, wine and possibly a few signature cocktails. He’s also partnering with a local chef to fine tune the cafe’s food offerings, which could include pastries, sandwiches and appetizers.

Renovations are steadily progressing in the space, which was home to Brady Street Futons for the past three decades. The previous business closed in March.

Dunsirn said he hopes to pay homage to the 1880 building, originally the site of Sikorski Saloon. In the coming months, he plans to refinish the hardwood floors and spruce up the tin walls while maintaining the structure’s historic look and feel.

“It’ll be a very warm, inviting environment filled with vintage furniture,” he said. “There’s so much new stuff, and there’s always new things. Sometimes it’s fun to pull from the old and kind of preserve it.”

As the project progresses, Dunsirn said his principal focus is to create an establishment that’s welcoming to all. “We’re just hoping that we can cater to everyone, like all demographics,” he said. “It’s not just a young sports bar, it’s not an older bar, it’s just a place where anybody can come in and feel comfortable hanging out.

The Deep Groove will join existing listening lounges in Milwaukee, including The Wiggle Room and Discourse, which features a retail vinyl section at its Radio Milwaukee cafe in partnership with Lilliput Records.

A liquor license application for The Deep Groove is pending before the Milwaukee Common Council. The business’s proposed hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.


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Categories: Food & Drink

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