On this episode of Urban Spelunking, we’ve got a two-fer. We’re looking at a connected space on the East Side of Milwaukee that’s home to two businesses, one above ground and one below.
Beans & Barley and Nine Below share a building at 1901 E. North Ave., erected in 1994.
The upstairs cafe and grocery store has been occupied by Beans & Barley the whole time, but the underground space where the Nine Below is now has been a string of popular nightlife spots, including Library Club, Decibel and Mantra. Now with a focus on mini golf at Nine Below, you can design your own putt-putt courses using their bizarre collection of props, in a sprawling underground space that recently reopened.
On this episode inspired by Bobby’s story at OnMilwaukee, we talk about the rich neighborhood history of Beans & Barley, the businesses that occupied the basement space, and the massive East Side fire of 1993 that wiped out the original building. Plus we talk about the exotic restaurant that used to be there in the 1950s and ’60s that offered African Lion on menu. (Yikes.)
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