By Julie Lawrence Special to Published May 26, 2005 at 5:42 AM

Michael Hemeid, an architecture and urban planning student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has figured out a way to turn a school project into a profit.

While earning a certificate in geographic information systems, Hemeid found himself knee-deep in demographic studies of Milwaukee's East Side. What he also found was the inspiration to open an international-style café to cater to such a diverse community.

Friday, May 20 marked day one for 2 Sweet International Delight, Hemeid's new restaurant, juice bar and hookah bar, located at 2128 E. Locust St.

"People on the East Side tend to be pretty open-minded," says Hemeid. "I wanted to do something that would cater to their need for variety."

Almost 75 percent of 2 Sweet's menu is vegetarian, which Hemeid says is needed in the neighborhood. The options range from traditional middle-eastern fare like falafel, hummus and tabouli to items as American as hamburgers and buffalo wings (which come with a curry BBQ sauce option). All the sandwiches range from $5.75 to $6.95 and come with seasoned potato wedges or fresh fruit.

The juice bar features a couple of signature smoothies, including the 2 Sweet Super Smoothie. Almost a meal on its own, the drink blends strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi, bananas, pistachios, pecans and walnuts with rosewater and honey.

{image2}With a doctorate in Project Management and his experience in architecture, Hemeid says he was able to design the whole place himself.

"I've tried to create a comfortable yet fun place for people to hang out," he says. His colorful and cozy décor suggests that 2 Sweet welcomes the type of customer who might relax for a while before or after eating, instead of succumbing to a quick table-turning agenda.

Just two blocks from the UWM campus, Hemeid says that he is excited about his student clientele.

With a bunch of hip living room-style furniture and a plethora of hookahs for the hitting ($10 a bowl, $5 for a refill), Hemeid has created an environment that he hopes will serve as a neighborhood meeting place. He even lets his customers play their own music.

"Anyone can bring in CDs to play at any time," he says. "But they will have to take turns with other customers."

The response so far, he says, has been positive. Soon, Hemeid plans to starts a regular live music night on Fridays, where he hosts bands and musicians from around the world in his café.

"Since we are so close to UWM, I'd like to invite the international exchange students to attend these events or give me suggestions."

2 Sweet International Delight is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday though Thursday and stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”