ONCE KNOWN AS the city’s economic and social hub for Milwaukee’s African American community, this near north neighborhood has rich roots in art and entertainment. Today, the community’s primary thoroughfare, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, is home to a growing number of Black-owned businesses and creative initiatives that serve the community and pay homage to its rich history.
2215 N. MLK DR.
Owner and head chef Dwight Jackson recently opened a second location of his popular Jamaican spot in the heart of Bronzeville. The original 41st-and-Capitol Pepperpot is takeout only; the new location is a full-service restaurant with a dining room and full bar.
401 W. NORTH AVE.
After years as an online experience, ABHM – a historical and memorial museum and center for education and scholarship on the dehumanizing effects of racism on Black Americans – officially opened its bricks and mortar in Bronzeville this year. The exhibits cover more than 500 years of history, including Milwaukee’s own troubled past.
1726 N. FIFTH ST.
Founded in 2015, Dead Bird serves up house-made craft beers and vegan nosh, along with cider and NA sparkling sodas. The taproom is known for shufflepuck, pinball and video games, a sweet patio and Sunday’s plant-based brunch menu.
3338 N. MLK DR.
Go back to Bronzeville’s cultural roots with a cup of coffee and live jazz by Midwestern artists. Owner Sam Belton, himself a jazz musician, roasts his own beans; the cafe also serves a full breakfast and lunch menu.
For the best of Bronzeville, we asked Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, artist, co-director of HomeWorks Bronzeville and founder of the lifestyle brand I Am Milwaukee.
339 W. NORTH AVE.
This collective highlights Black, brown and queer makers. “They carry all kinds of artisan-made items, from clothing and jewelry to soaps and paintings,” Floyd-Pruitt says. “But what’s notable is their dedication to cultivating Black entrepreneurship.”
1739 N. MLK DR.
Milwaukee’s first and only Black- and brown-owned plant shop, Maranta also sells its own plant care products. “The space feels very youthful and Black, even though maybe traditionally we don’t think of plant stores that way,” says Floyd-Pruitt. And check out Tostada, the owners’ food truck.
2201 N. MLK DR.
Floyd-Pruitt says the barbers here are skilled, but like many barbershops, it also feels like a community hub. “It’s the first barbershop I felt really comfortable in, and now it feels like my barbershop,” says Floyd-Pruitt. Upstairs is Glow Studios, a one-stop shop for beauty services.