Seeing the vibrancy that exists on Brady St. nowadays, it may be hard to visualize a time when that iconic street wasn’t so welcoming.
But 25 or 30 years ago, you might have had second thoughts about heading there after dark.
Drugs and prostitution weren’t that uncommon in the 1990s, says Nomad World Pub Owner Mike Eitel, in an interview with OnMilwaukee.
The police knew it, neighbors knew it, even business owners were aware of the problem.
But Eitel says when he opened the Nomad in 1995, he took extra steps to keep nefarious activity away from his doorstep.
The solution? Tables on the sidewalk.
“We were the first people to get that sidewalk seating and that completely transformed the neighborhood overnight,” he says to OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo. “We put four people out there drinking Guinness, staring at somebody trying to make a drug deal and, surprise, the dealers went somewhere else.”
And nearly 25 years later, the Nomad is stronger than ever.
It’s hard to even get a seat at those sidewalk tables most of the time. Inside, the former apartment on the second level has been converted into loft, offering more space and seating.
Outside, there’s a giant beer garden that’s always busy in the warmer months, colorfully appointed with tons of seating and, of course, an outdoor bar.
But the story of the building the Nomad occupies goes back even farther in history. And it wasn’t always a tavern.
Listen to this week’s podcast for a deep dive into the Brady St. fixture. And be sure to read Bobby’s complete story at OnMilwaukee.com.
Looking for an excuse to check it out for yourself? Catch 88Nine’s Marcus Doucette at the Nomad every Sunday night for Sound Travels Live!
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