While there are many benefits to being self-employed, any freelancer knows that working from home can quickly become dull. Fortunately, if your home office starts to feel a little more like a prison than a creative workspace, Milwaukee has an abundance of places that are suitable for remote work.
1. Stone Creek Coffee
Address: 158 S Barclay St.; various locations
Hours: M-F: 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sa-Su: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Although the location on Barclay is a favorite among local college students, Stone Creek has multiple locations around the city, none of which disappoint. Each space is modern, funky and designed with freelancers (and studying students) in mind: there’s no shortage of tables, outlets and comfy chairs here. Furthermore, the service is fast and thus great for those who are on a tight deadline. Stone Creek also offers a unique list of drinks — because sometimes you just need a Mexican Spice Mocha to get your Monday morning started.
2. The Milwaukee Public Library
Address: 814 W Wisconsin Ave.
Hours: M: 12-8 p.m., Tu-F: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sa: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Su: 1-5 p.m.
While the library may not be most people’s go-to workspace anymore, it’s a great option for those who best function in quiet places. The old study rooms are beautiful and comfortable, and most of them feature long wooden tables and massive windows to gaze out of. This is also the place to come, obviously, if the project you’re working on requires extensive research. The only downfall? Although you can check out any number of books on coffee here, you’ll have to bring your own covered caffeinated beverage.
3. Colectivo Coffee
Address: 1701 N Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Hours: M-Su: 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
No matter where you are in the city of Milwaukee, you’re likely to be close to a Colectivo. That said, the Colectivo “Lakefront Cafe” may be best for the type of freelancer who likes to work in the midst of a lot of action. There’s a never ending flow of people stopping in to order their favorite muffin, breakfast burrito or specialty coffee, and the louder-than-usual music gives the place an energizing vibe. Many locations also have outdoor terraces so you can grab a seat in the sun in the warmer months.
4. Milwaukee Public Market
Address: 400 N Water St.
Hours: M-F: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sa: 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Su: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Although locals often frequent the Milwaukee Public Market to grab, say, a lobster roll or chocolate chip cannoli, they might not stick around to take advantage of the market’s wonderful workspaces. This indoor market boasts awesome views of the Third Ward from its second floor. While it may be a bit too loud on the weekends for projects that require concentration, this is a good place to sit and work (or, perhaps, sit and people watch) on a weekday. Note: The free Wi-Fi is only available on each device for two hours at a time.
5. Café Calatrava
Address: 700 N Art Museum Dr.
Hours: M: Closed, Tu-Su: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
For those who love art, coffee and inspiring architectural feats, Milwaukee Art Museum’s café is an excellent place to stake out for a few hours. Located in a window-filled modern wing of the museum, this spot beats a beige-walled office any day. Although the prices are a bit higher than your average coffee shop, customers are also paying for the view: Lake Michigan is in eyesight from every table here. There’s also no way to end a workday like taking a stroll past the Picassos and Monets.
6. Anodyne Coffee
Address: 224 W Bruce St.; various locations
Hours: M – F: 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Sa: 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Su: 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Anyone walking into the Anodyne in Walker’s Point for the first time will likely be surprised by how large it is: it’s rare not to find an open seat and outlet for your charger here. In fact, part of this coffee shop’s attractiveness to freelancers is its long, Harry Potter cafeteria-style tables, which — unlike two-person tables that usually only sit one — can host dozens of laptop-wielding writers. Their fair trade-sourced coffee is also a big bonus.
7. Sherman Perk Coffee Shop
Address: 4924 W Roosevelt Dr.
Hours: M-F: 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sa-Su: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
If you’re looking for a place off the beaten track, this little family-run spot on Roosevelt Drive is worth the drive. Transformed from an old gas station years ago, the decor is quaint and reminiscent of bygone eras. Stacks of old records are available for patrons to look through and play, and if you’re in need of a quick break from documents and spreadsheets, the staff is super friendly and fun to talk to. Plus, where else in Milwaukee can you buy a $2 Americano?