Radio Milwaukee (WYMS-FM 88.9) revealed the name and menu for its new “sound café” at a community reception on Wednesday. The new space for creativity, collaboration and community will be called Deadwax and will feature an eclectic, ever-changing food and beverage program.
“Deadwax is a term for the space on a record after the last track and before the label,” Radio Milwaukee Executive Director Kevin Sucher said. “It’s the space in between, which is exactly what we want this space to be for our community.”
“We’re calling Deadwax a ‘sound café’ 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.”
Deadwax is expected to open in 2022 after a $770,000 renovation and expansion of the station’s studio and office building, 220 E. Pittsburgh Ave. The project includes a 333-square-foot cafe expansion; complete remodeling of the cafe and addition of a kitchen area; creation of covered outdoor seating; and installation of three garage doors along the sidewalk. Deadwax will be located in space previously occupied by a coffee shop.
Noted Milwaukee chef and restaurateur Chad Meier crafted the food and beverage program of Deadwax with this same spirit of discovery.
Deadwax’s menu will change frequently with staple categories of food and beverage, including coffee, beer, wine and spirits, that will be updated and riffed on with seasonal ingredients from local vendors. Deadwax will also host pop-ups with other Milwaukee chefs.
“Radio Milwaukee amplifies the good things happening in Milwaukee, from music to nonprofits to entrepreneurs,” Meier said. “I want Deadwax to do the same thing for Milwaukee’s food and beverage communities.”
“Ingredients we source from local vendors are going to be called out prominently on the menu,” he said. “Items in our grab-and-go Marketplace that we source externally are going to have their business names featured in signage.”
Staples on the ever-changing menu include scotch eggs, breakfast wraps and toast for breakfast; “lunch boxes,” soups and sandwiches for lunch; and samosas, “things on sticks,” and empanadas and pub style pizzas from other Milwaukee businesses for dinner. The Marketplace will feature to-go salads, musubi, beverages and dry goods sourced locally and from around the world.
Deadwax will partner with Interval on the coffee selection for the sound café. Interval owner and local coffee roaster Ryan Hoban plans to feature not only the coffee from his East Side location but also collaborate with roasters throughout his network.
Sucher noted that the Radio Milwaukee’s broadcast frequency, WYMS-FM 88.9, began its history playing vinyl. “We view the name Deadwax as an homage to our history,” he said. “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.”