The coronavirus pandemic has changed our everyday life, but it doesn't need to change who we are. So, in addition to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus, OnMilwaukee will continue to report on cool, fun, inspiring and strange stories from our city and beyond. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed and stay joyful. We're all in this together. #InThisTogetherMKE
The country is in the midst of fighting the coronavirus, and while it's no time to panic, it is a time to take precautions, to help protect one another, to be safe and careful, and to make sure the outbreak does as little damage as possible. As a result, many local businesses and events have canceled, postponed or closed to avoid large groups – and therefore hopefully avoid further, and exacerbated, spread of the virus.
Here is a list of those events and companies closing for the time being – likely in effect at least through April 30, as of President Trump's recent extension of the government's social distancing guidelines. OnMilwaukee will continue to update this article as more announcements – of closings and cancellations, as well as hopefully re-openings and reschedulings – come in. Stay smart and stay healthy, Milwaukee; we're all in this together.
Gatherings of 10 or more people
Following the recent recommendations from the CDC, Gov. Tony Evers officially banned mass gatherings of 10 or more people – beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17 – to help contain the spread of coronavirus and encourage social distancing. The rest of Wisconsin has also joined Milwaukee County in prohibiting seating and dine-in service at all restaurants and bars. They are allowed to stay open, but exclusively for carryout and delivery orders.
The ban on gatherings of 10 or more people does not include transportation, educational institutions, childcare centers, hotels, military, law enforcement and critical infrastructure or health services – including grocery stores, food pantries, pharmacies, childcare centers and hospitals.
A few moments ago, I announced that at 5pm tonight bars will be closed and restaurants will be take-out or delivery only statewide. Our top priority at this time is to keep Wisconsinites safe and healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who are high-risk. — Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) March 17, 2020
Gov. Evers and the City of Milwaukee also enacted a "Safer at Home"/"Stay at Home" orders, further emphasizing that people should self-quarantine at home as much as possible and non-essential businesses should close for the time being. Read here for more details on these orders, which will stay in effect Wednesday, March 25 through Friday, April 24.
Grocery store hours
- Roundy's Pick 'n Save and Metro Market: 6 a.m.-9 p.m., beginning Thursday, March 19, 6-8 a.m. daily reserved for seniors and other high-risk shoppers.
- Sendik's, 7-8 a.m. daily reserved for seniors and other high-risk shoppers. Please do not shop during that time if you are not high-risk for infection, or if you are showing symptoms.
- Woodman's, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., guests not permitted to enter after 9:30 p.m.
- Metcalfe's Market, Wauwatosa, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Milwaukee County Transit System
Starting Monday, March 23, and lasting until further notice, buses that operate Mondays through Fridays will begin using a schedule that is similar to the one used by MCTS on Saturdays. This adjustment means that Freeway Flyers – including Route 143: Ozaukee County Express – will not be operating. Weekend schedules remain unchanged with one exception; Route 137 will not operate to the House of Correction. Riders can check the Ride MCTS app, RideMCTS.com and Google Maps for Real-Time bus arrival information that will reflect this updated schedule.
The streetcar will begin running a temporarily reduced schedule starting Thursday, March 26. It has also boosted its cleaning regimen and urged riders to travel only when necessary and to be vigilant about social distancing.
Gov. Tony Evers announced on Tuesday that all schools – public, private and institutions of higher learning – will be closed indefinitely. Check your particular district or school's website to stay updated.
Bars, tasting rooms and restaurants
In addition to the dine-in ban, essentially closing restaurants and bars save for carryout and delivery orders, several venues closed fully on their own accord until further notice. They include:
- AJ Bombers (all locations)
- Asian Fusion
- AXE MKE
- ALL Bartolotta restaurants (Bacchus, Harbor House, Joey Gerard's, Lake Park Bistro, Mr. B's - A Bartolotta Steakhouse, Ristorante Bartolotta)
- Blue Bat Kitchen and Tequilaria
- Boone and Crockett
- Bowls (Walker's Point and Mequon)
- Cafe Benelux
- Cafe Centraal
- Cafe Hollander (all locations)
- Cafe La Scala at the Italian Community Center
- Captain Pabst Pilot House
- Centro Cafe / Bar Centro
- City Lights Brewing Co. taproom
- Club Garibaldi
- Cubanitas - Drexel Town Square, Oak Creek
- The Fitz at Ambassador Hotel
- Holey Moley Coffee & Doughnuts
- House of Guinness Irish Pub - Waukesha
- Izzy Hops
- Little Cancun - Bay View
- The MECCA Sports Bar and Grill
- Milwaukee Brewing Co.
- NorthSouth Club
- Nine Below
- The Original
- Restaurant To Be Named Later
- Smoke Shack (all locations)
- Snack Boys
- Splash Studio
- St. Paul Fish Company in Mequon
- Trouble & Sons Pizzeria
- Twisted Path Distillery
- The Vanguard
- Uncle Buck’s
- Voyager Wine Bar
- Zarletti Downtown
For a list of Milwaukee restaurants that are now offering carryout or delivery in order to serve customers and stay in business during these turbulent times, click here.
In what will be the only cancellation on this list people will be pleased to see, the Department of Public Works announced it will suspend all timed, metered and nightly parking restrictions during this coronavirus pandemic. No Parking signs are still to be obeyed, as well as restrictions involving parking too close to fire hydrants, alleys, driveways and crosswalks; obstructing bike lanes and crosswalks; and handicapped parking spaces.
- Kenny Chesney, Miller Park, April 25
- Elton John, Fiserv Forum, April 28
- Justin Bieber, Summerfest, June 24
- Dan + Shay, Fiserv Forum, Aug 28
Pabst Theater Group
The Pabst Theater Group – including the Riverside Theater, The Pabst Theater, Turner Hall Ballroom and The Back Room at Colectivo – has cancelled or postponed several shows, events and concerts over the next several weeks. The cancellations and postponements include "Dancing with the Stars" Live, "The Bachelor Live on Stage," Gaelic Storm, the MSO's "Aretha: Queen of Soul" shows, Brit Floyd, Letterkenny, Alice Cooper at the Miller High Life Theater and more. For a complete list of the cancellations and postponements, along with updates on rescheduled dates, please visit this link.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, several shows at The Rave have been either canceled, postponed or rescheduled. Canceled shows include Prince Royce (April 10), Young Nudy (April 11) and Kayzo (May 2); those who have purchased tickets have been emailed with refund instructions. Meanwhile, LANCO has been rescheduled for May 28 and G Herbo has been rescheduled to Aug. 13, with original tickets honored for the new dates. For the full updating list of show alterations, visit the Rave's calendar – and for more information on refunds, email email@example.com.
Habitat for Humanity & ReStore locations
Beginning Wednesday, March 18, Habitat will close its headquarters, its construction sites and its ReStore retail locations.
Boswell Book Company
As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, Boswell Book Company will close its doors to public browsing. However, the bookstore will still take orders over the phone and online, with free delivery to those in the Milwaukee metro area and curbside pickup between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Hey folks, here's today's update.
As of 2 pm, Boswell is closed to the public for browsing until 3/31/20. You can still call us with an order or place orders online. We'll deliver it to you in the MKE metro area for free. We're also offering curbside pickup between 10am - 5pm. — Boswell Book Company (@boswellbooks) March 17, 2020
Macy’s will temporarily close all stores – including those in Mayfair and Southridge Malls – by end of business on Tuesday, March 17. Macy’s, Inc. will provide benefits and compensation to its impacted workforce.
The Italian Film Festival
Italian Film Festival slated for April 24-26 at the UWM Union Cinema has been cancelled.
Milwaukee Public Market
Due to the pandemic, the Milwaukee Public Market fully closed to the public – including customers for carryout and to-go orders. Some vendors are looking into shifting into curbside pickup and delivery, so stay tuned to Milwaukee Public Market's website and various vendors' social media accounts for updates on how to support those affected by the closing.
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
In accordance with the most recent guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino will suspend operations indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak. The closure will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. Employees will be paid during the closure.
The Pabst Mansion
Temporarily closed to the public and tentatively planning to reopen on Monday, April 6 – though the increasing CDC guidelines and "Safer at Home" orders make that unlikely.
Closed to the public starting Saturday, March 14, and all events and public programs are canceled, and the facility will continue to follow the guidance of local public health officials to assess the situation as time goes on.
Milwaukee Public Museum
The Milwaukee Public Museum will close to the public beginning on March 14 at 5 p.m. until further notice. This includes both public and private events as well as the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium and Dome Theater.
Milwaukee Public Library
Central Library and all branch locations are closed effective Monday, March 16. The Central Library Drive-up service is also being temporarily suspended while we assess contamination risk from the virus. Programs, events and meeting room reservations have been cancelled through May 1. Any materials already checked out will automatically be updated with due dates of May 1, and all fines incurred during this period will be waived. Telephone and email service will continue, and early voting at the Milwaukee Public Library Zablocki branch will go on as planned in partnership with the Milwaukee Election Commission.
Wauwatosa Public Library
Closed through April 5 – though the extended CDC guidelines and statewide "Safer at Home" orders mean that date will likely be pushed back.
Milwaukee Art Museum
Closed to the public, with a tentative open date of April 7 – though the extended CDC guidelines and statewide "Safer at Home" orders mean that date will likely be pushed back. Museum events through Tuesday, April 14, are canceled.
Haggerty Museum of Art
Closed, effective immediately, through and including Friday, April 10 at minimum.
Milwaukee County Zoo
The Milwaukee County Zoo is closed indefinitely beginning.
Milwaukee County Parks
Milwaukee County Parks announced that facilities and venues will close until further notice, with all public events, rentals and programs scheduled cancelled. The closed County Parks facilities include:
- Mitchell Park Domes
- Noyes Indoor Pool
- Pulaski Indoor Pool
- King Community Center
- Kosciusko Community Center
- Milwaukee County Sports Complex
- Wehr Nature Center visitor center
- Boerner Botanical Gardens visitor center
- Wilson Recreation Center and Ice Arena
- Wil-O-Way facilities at Grant and Underwood
While parks and trails are still open, outdoor amenities like dog parks, disc golf courses, self-pay golf courses and playgrounds are closed to the public as well. For more information on the parks' coronavirus measures, click here.
To help stem the spread of COVID-19 all @countyparks playgrounds have been closed. While we recognize these closures are disappointing and inconvenient, they are essential to support the health of our community at this time. Thankyou for your understanding. pic.twitter.com/oMsclQHPZt — MKE County Parks (@CountyParks) March 20, 2020
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts
The Marcus Center – including box office walk-up windows, administrative offices and the Morning Glory gallery – will close to the public until March 29 at minimum. The venue says to hold onto your tickets as they work to reschedule the cancelled and postponed performances. Box office phone lines will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at (414) 273-7206. Updates about the closure and upcoming performances will continue to be posted at the Marcus Center's website as information becomes available.
The Jazz Estate
The East Side jazz club announced on social media that it will close until further notice.
Beginning Monday, March 16, Colectivo is moving to take-out service only for all food and beverages (all items will be packaged up). All in-cafe seating areas are closed. Customers will not be allowed to sit/stay inside any of our locations. All transactions are cashless and touchless – no swiping of loyalty cards (gain points via the App or request a receipt and contact Colectibo later). Payment will be accepted by Colectivo App, credit card and Apple Pay only. You may experience limited product offerings at select cafes.
Stone Creek Coffee locations
"Effective this Monday at 5 p.m., we will be shutting down our company offices and all 13 of our retail cafes in Metro Milwaukee and Chicago. We will be operating smaller crews to support our wholesale customers and our ecommerce sales. We will be providing updated information on the status of our closure on Monday, March 30." More info here: facebook.com/stonecreekcoffee/photos/a.176537036885/10157184180191886/?type=3&theater
Charles Allis & Villa Terrace museums
Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums are closed through the end of March at minimum.
Betty Brinn Children's Museum
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is temporarily closed to the public and all announced programming and events are canceled until further notice.
Bucks home games
The NBA announced that it is suspending the current basketball season due to the coronavirus, meaning the Bucks' home games scheduled through Friday, March 27, have been postponed at minimum. Stay tuned to the Bucks' website and social media channels for updates.
Like everyone, we were just made aware that the league is suspending its season. This is a fluid situation so we will have more information as soon as possible for our fans who have tickets to upcoming games. We will continue to provide updates as they become available. — Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) March 12, 2020
The American Hockey League announced that it will suspend games "until further notice."
Milwaukee's indoor soccer team will no longer play the rest of the 2019-20 after the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) announced that it has ended the season early due to the coronavirus.
The MASL has decided to end the 2019-2020 regular season play.
This is an ongoing situation and we will share more information as soon as possible. https://t.co/g4io2z9IOf — Milwaukee Wave (@MilwaukeeWave) March 12, 2020
Milwaukee Repertory Theater
In accordance with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) guidelines of the cancellation of all public gatherings of 250 or more, all performances, acting classes and programs scheduled at Milwaukee Rep through April 5 are canceled, and the Stackner Cabaret restaurant and bar will also be closed during this time. Patrons with tickets during the affected date range contact the ticket office by phone at (414) 224-9490 or email Tickets@milwaukeerep.com.
Skylight Music Theatre
The Skylight Music Theatre has rescheduled two upcoming shows – "Evita" and "Candide" – due to the coronavirus pandemic and recent CDC recommendations. "Evita" is currently scheduled for May 10-17 while "Candide" is planned for May 29 through June 21. Those already with tickets for these productions are asked to hold onto them as Skylight will contact ticket holders over email to exchange tickets to the correct dates and same seats. (The lobby window will be closed until further notice, and box office communication will be limited to phone and email.)
Good City Brewing – Downtown
As a result of the suspension of the NBA season and the numerous large-scale event cancellations in Milwaukee, Good City Brewing will close its Deer District taproom until further notice. It will continue to book and host private events, and the East Side taproom and brewery will remain open.
The mall has cancelled or postponed all planned events, which includes its seasonal Easter Bunny photo program.
The Corners of Brookfield
The mall has closed all non-essential retail outlets through March 29, with that date still under further review. However, since it is an open-air town center, access to certain services – such as the Sendik's Food Market, Wisconsin Vision and restaurants for delivery and carryout meals – will remain open. For a full list of the stores remaining open during this time, click here.
Lakefront Brewery is closed to the public until further notice. All tours will be canceled, and the beer hall and restaurant will be closed to the public. Brewing operations, however, will continue.
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
The MSO has canceled all concerts, events and educational activities through the end of the season.. The Milwaukee Symphony will offer refunds for tickets, though, "due to the financial impact of concert cancellations on the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, we ask patrons, whenever possible, to consider ticket exchanges (by way of gift certificates or future performances) or a donation in the amount of the ticket purchased (and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value)." For more information, contact the MSO at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (414) 291-7605.
First Stage theater productions
Since the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center only has a capacity of 125 people, evening and weekend performances of "Gretel!" are continuing as scheduled – however, the rest of its school matinee shows have been canceled while all weekend, evenings and school matinee performances of "The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors" have been suspended through March 29. Opportunities to exchange tickets to a different performance will be announced at a later date.
All Marcus Theatres and Movie Tavern locations will temporarily go dark until further notice after 8:30 p.m. showings on Tuesday, March 17. For information on ticket refunds and Magic Movie Rewards details, stay tuned to Marcus Theatres' website.
The Oriental Theatre
In addition to the special rowdy "Cats" screenings have been moved from March 20-21 to Aug. 21-22, as well as the March members-only screening to Wednesday, Aug. 5, the Oriental Theatre will close from March 14 through April 9 at minimum.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM @mkefilm:
Following confirmation that the novel coronavirus is in our community, we have made the extremely difficult decision to close the Oriental Theatre to public events starting Saturday, 3/14, through Thursday, 4/9. — Oriental Theatre MKE (@TheOrientalMKE) March 13, 2020
Landmark Downer Theatre
The Downer Theatre has closed temporarily.
AMC Mayfair Mall 18
All AMC movie theaters nationwide have closed in accordance with local and federal guidelines, with current plans to stay closed for six to 12 weeks.
Silverspot Cinema at The Corners
The dinner theater at The Corners of Brookfield announced on its website that it is temporarily closing.
Neighborhood Theater Group
All three Neighborhood Theater Group cinemas – the Avalon Atmospheric Theater, the Rosebud Cinema and the Times Cinema – as well as the Mistral Restaurant inside the Avalon will all closed until further notice.
Make A Promise Gala
Vivent Health is postponing its 34th Annual Make A Promise Gala and Auction on April 4, at the Wisconsin Center.
Twisted Dreams Film Festival
Due to movie theaters going dark across the city and the county in the hopes of encouraging social distancing, the fifth annual Milwaukee horror movie film festival has postponed this year's edition from its original dates of April 16-19 at the Times Cinema. As of right now, the festival is looking at rescheduling for June – complete with the original lineup of movies, guests and panels.
Record Store Day
The national celebration of vinyl, which is also celebrated in Brew City record shops, has been postponed from April 18 until June 20.
3 Sheeps Anniversary Party & beer release
The eighth anniversary party is officially canceled, but the Sheboygan brewery is still releasing its anniversary beers: Bourbon Barrel Aged Uber Joe and Bourbon Barrel Aged Paid Time Off. To reduce the number of people showing up at one time, bottles will be available for pick up across four weeks, starting on Monday, April 20. All allotment tickets and reservations by Barrel Society members will be honored. More details regarding the release and pick up will be announced as release date nears.
Big Beat MKE
The annual Milwaukee beat battle was scheduled to begin on April 30, but due to the outbreak and extended social distancing guidelines and "Stay at Home"/"Safer at Home" orders from Gov. Evers and the City of Milwaukee, the event is looking to reschedule its lineup of events.
Jazz in the Park
While Jazz in the Park is not canceled, the East Town Association announced that it will delay the start of the summer free music series, which will now open on Thursday, June 4. The organization is also hoping to extend the series for another week due to the postponed opening, aiming for a Thursday, Sept. 3 final date.
The first major Milwaukee summer festival has been affected by coronavirus as PrideFest announced it will postpone its annual celebration, originally scheduled for June 4-7. However, Milwaukee Pride, Inc. is already looking into alternative dates on the Summerfest grounds, a relocation into a public park or smaller celebrations scattered across multiple weekends in order to make sure PrideFest still happens in 2020.
The Big Gig made the decision to delay this year's music festival, shifting its dates from 11 days across June 24 through July 5 to nine days across three weekends: Sept. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. There is no word yet on if the previously announced American Family Insurance Amphitheater or BMO Harris Pavilion acts will remain on the schedule for Summerfest.