By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jan 18, 2021 at 8:56 AM

The East Side Colectivo Coffee, 2211 N. Prospect Ave., has closed until further notice.

The cafe closed as of Sunday, Jan. 17 and on Monday morning, co-owner Paul Miller confirmed the closing to OnMilwaukee.

“Yes it’s closed for now,” Miller says. “We are hopeful we can reopen when things improve on the COVID front.”

Co-owner Lincoln Fowler says the cafe may reopen in spring.

"The pandemic has been tough to navigate and some cafes have suffered more than others," says Fowler. "We’re keeping every cafe open that we can."

The Prospect Avenue location was the first stand-alone Colectivo cafe. It opened in 1997 in a former garage in the heart of the East Side, helping to spur a renaissance in the area, thanks in part to Miller’s active role in the area.

By the time it was remodeled in 2010, it had already become a neighorhood landmark.

You can read an Urban Spelunking story about its opening and the building here.

“It’s a special store,” says Miller, “and it means a lot to us and the folks who have been visiting it forever.”

The Pabst Theater Group began hosting intimate concerts in what’s called the Back Room at the cafe in 2015.

While, according to the cafe’s Facebook page, there are shows scheduled there for April – which were rescheduled from last year – Miller says, “I think it’s gonna be a bit longer,” before any Back Room performance take place due to the ongoing pandemic.

"As our valued partner, we wish Colectivo strength and agility in their fight to survive the pandemic.  Like other local restaurants and establishments in Milwaukee, they are working hard to keep their business alive with no additional funding from the federal government," said Gary Witt, CEO of Pabst Theater Group.

"If any shows currently scheduled at the Back Room @ Colectivo need to reschedule, all ticket holders will be notified of the change when it happens."

In early November, Colectivo closed its Third Ward cafe, as well as the one on Capitol Square in Madison.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.