Sharing space with other commercial enterprises, Colectivo‘s Fifth Ward location upcycles a discarded building into a cool coffeehouse that pays homage to the past. The Foundry café, in Milwaukee’s emerging Fifth Ward neighborhood, is housed in the former Kramer International foundry.
When Milwaukee was first settled, the Fifth Ward encompassed the area south of the Fourth Ward, between the Milwaukee River and First Avenue. Over time, that area was absorbed into Walker’s Point. Unfortunately, as the years went by, Walker’s Point became associated with crime and pollution. Interest in historic preservation and a desire to make the Fifth Ward more appealing prompted the re-adoption of the name. Interestingly, Colectivo (which was then Alterra) began roasting on the fifth floor of a warehouse in Walker’s Point.
The Kramer International foundry produced non-ferrous and ferrous products for pump manufacturers. The café honors that manufacturing tradition and history with its post-industrial design.
As with all the Colectivo shops, everything is baked fresh every day at the Bay View location. They source from local farms as much as possible, and they also partner with other Wisconsin food producers. Wi-Fi is free, although it does ask you to re-accept the usage agreement after a couple of hours.
The Fifth Ward location – with its friendly baristas, funky ambiance, reliable Wi-Fi, and range of great beverages and food – is an eccentric yet cozy place to be productive.