By Jason McDowell Creative Director Published Jun 23, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Five years ago Pat Moore and Peg Karpfinger started work on an idea for a new Riverwest cafe. Their hard work finally paid off when centro café (artistically lowercased), 808 E. Center St., opened its doors last Thursday.

centro cafe specializes in Italian fare -- sandwiches, pasta and salads -- as well as a selection of wine and beer, with competitive prices within the neighborhood. Its interior is modeled after a cozy Brooklyn Italian restaurant.

The bar was constructed from old recycled doors and topped with marble. The walls are tastefully decorated with mirrors and recycled glass tiles.

Large windows swing wide open in the summer to provide an open air experience while outdoor street side tables complete the patio.


Jason McDowell Creative Director

Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.

In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.

Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.