By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 11, 2023 at 2:01 PM

After a period of transition, the MARN Art + Culture Hub Cafe is slated to reopen at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 14.

The cafe, located at 191 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward, was envisioned to complement the offerings of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network, an arts organization whose mission is to support local artists through development programing and paid opportunities through the Art + Culture Hub. It provides a space for both artists and appreciators of art to mingle amongst contemporary art from local artists.

MARN exteriorX

Beginning on Friday, the cafe will debut a rotating seasonal menu of  small plate style modern Mexican-inspired offerings (including snacks and empanadas) curated by Chefs Arnie Gonzales and Martin Magaña of Trouble Makers Cocina, along with coffee by the Esperanza Coffee Collective and a curated selection of wine, cocktails and beer from the New Barons Brewing Cooperative.

The debut menu, which focuses on street food style small plates – including empanadas –

“With the reopening of our café, we’ve literally doubled the size of our staff, most of which are local artists,” notes Mal Montoya, the President and CEO of MARN. “And I couldn’t be happier with the transformation of the HUB. We’ve leveled up every aspect of the facility to the benefit of our community.”

The 414 Day reopening will coincide with the debut of MARN’s newest exhibition, entitled “Practice in Progress.” The exhibition will showcase works from members of the current cohort of the MARNmentorship program, including Katie Avila Loughmiller, Bryon Cherry and John Kowalczyk. The program assists local artists in breaking out of their silos through mentorship, critique and community building with peers.

The thought-provoking exhibition explores the messy side of potential, the transitional space between an idea being hatched and it becoming part of lifelong practice. It will be on display through June 4, 2023.

Beginning Friday, the MARN Cafe will be open Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Closed Tuesday and Wednesday; MARN is open by appointment).

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.