88Nine Radio Milwaukee Reveals Name and Menu for New Café

Deadwax will be the next “sound café” next to the radio station.

In October, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee announced a new food-and-beverage concept to share its studio home in Walker’s Point (220 E. Pittsburgh Ave.) – the space once occupied by Stone Creek Coffee. At a community reception held today, the station revealed more about the concept, including its name and some details about its menu.

“Deadwax” is the name chosen for the “sound café,” as they’re referring to the establishment. Both terms have a connection to music, the station’s executive director Kevin Sucher explained via press release: “Deadwax is a term for the space on a record after the last track and before the label,” he said. “It’s the space in between, which is exactly what we want this space to be for our community.”

Rendering courtesy of The Kubala Washatko Architects

Sucher also explained why they’re using “sound café.” It’s “because the vibrations of music and community connection will be the soundtrack for the experience,” Sucher said. “Fueled by good food and beverages, this space will help solidify Radio Milwaukee’s mission to create a more inclusive and engaged Milwaukee.”

The sound café’s operator, chef Chad Meier (of the former Meraki restaurant on Second Street) created a menu that will change frequently and feature seasonal ingredients from local vendors. The café will also host pop-ups in conjunction with other chefs.

Menu items will include breakfast items like Scotch eggs, breakfast wraps and toast; “lunch boxes,” soups and sandwiches; and samosas, “things on sticks,” empanadas and pub-style pizzas sourced from other MKE businesses. Deadwax will also have a marketplace featuring to-go salads, musubi (a Japanese snack composed of rice and Spam), beverages and dry goods sourced locally and from around the world.

The café, slated to open in 2022, is also working with MKE’s Interval on the selection of coffees. Interval’s owner, Ryan Hoban, will feature coffee from his café, as well as other roasters.

Architect’s rendering of outdoor seating

The $770,000 project includes a 333-square-foot café expansion; complete remodeling of the café and addition of a kitchen area; creation of covered outdoor seating; and installation of three garage doors along the sidewalk.

“We view the name Deadwax as an homage to our history,” said Sucher. “It perfectly encapsulates the environment we want to create – a place where you can stay for as long as you want; a place where you will consistently discover something or someone new; a place fueled by good music, community, food and drink.”  

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.