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Pabst Theater Group Opening New Milwaukee Venue With Back Room at Colectivo Coffee Closing

Pabst Theater Group Opening New Milwaukee Venue With Back Room at Colectivo Coffee Closing

2018 Mitski Show at Back Room at Colectivo Coffee (Photo: Pabst Theater Group/Adam Miszewski)
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MILWAUKEE (CelebrityAccess) – Pabst Theater Group (PTG), which has owned and operated the Back Room at Colectivo Coffee (Back Room) since 2015, has announced a new live music and wedding venue coming to the area.

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, PTG plans to purchase a commercial building at 1818 North Farwell Avenue, per information from the concert and event promotion business.  The new venue is scheduled to open in 2024, with the 300-capacity Back Room closing its doors at the end of 2023.

“We’re extremely appreciative of the long and productive relationship we’ve had with Colectivo Coffee, partnering with them in various capacities for over 20 years,” Gary Witt, president and CEO of the Pabst Theater Group, said in a statement.

“In the nearly eight years since we’ve opened The Back Room, we’ve discovered how much it’s helped grow the Milwaukee club scene and support similar venues like it. We’re excited to keep this momentum and vitality going with a space that we can curate to better meet the needs of our audience and community and be part of the tremendous growth that Farwell Avenue is experiencing, including a new hotel.”

The space for the new venue has been vacant for four years. Three restaurants operating in the building —Domino’s, Ethiopian Cottage and Chinese restaurant Chopstix — will remain, with plans for showgoers to be able to digitally purchase food from the three restaurants to have delivered to the venue, according to a press release.

Kubala Washatko Architects will design the space and improve the building’s facade. The new venue has more space for backstage accommodations than the Back Room, according to PTG, with a back alley and garage to accommodate load-ins.

One of the biggest concert players in town, PTG was established two decades ago to operate the 1,300-person-capacity Pabst Theater. It grew from there to operate the 2,500-seat Riverside Theater, the 987-person-capacity Turner Hall Ballroom and, starting last year, the 4,087-seat Miller High Life Theatre.

Last year, PTG also purchased the former Villa Filomena mansion, which it transformed into a new wedding and event space, the Fitzgerald.

Last year, PTG also announced plans to operate a brand new, 3,500-person-capacity ballroom-style music venue, in partnership with AEG, as part of the Iron District, centered around an 8,000-seat soccer stadium that would host a new USL Championship team as well as Marquette University soccer and lacrosse games.

However, those plans appear to now be dead. S.R. Mills, CEO of the district’s co-developer Bear Development, told the Milwaukee Business Journal this month that the event space will now be smaller and more flexible “to be able to serve hotel guests if there is a conference, or have shows, whether it is comedy, music or other types of events.” Mills told the Business Journal that the smaller Iron District venue still would have the potential to host national events, and that the developer would work with PTG and AEG for bookings.

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