By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 21, 2023 at 11:02 AM

Cream City Social Eatery will be welcoming its first customers for a reservation-only soft opening at 432 E. Center St. on Monday, April 24.

The restaurant, located on the eastern edge of the Harambee neighborhood on Holton Avenue, has been a work in progress. But, after two years of renovations, the formerly vacant building has been transformed into a restaurant which the owners hope will be a gathering place for friend and neighbors in the area.

Exterior of the restaurant
Exterior of Cream City Social Eatery

Behind the restaurant is Diamond Johnson, who owns both the building and the restaurant. Day to day operations will be managed by her partner Mark Campbell Jr. who is responsible for the vision behind the restaurant’s aesthetic.

Inside, guests will find a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere featuring built-in fish tanks, local art and murals painted by Jamahl Turner (@artfuyung), the official artist behind the Moody Park Project. Seating is available at a combination of booths and two-top tables with additional seating available at the penny-topped bar.

Take a peek at their shiny new digs on their Instagram feed:

On the menu

The menu, which focuses on American staples will be executed by Chefs Geoffrey Campbell of G. Campbell’s Kitchen and Catering LLC and Robert Bergeron, owner of Something Smells Good Catering.  A full bar is also available.

Dishes will include all-day chicken and waffles ($12); build-your-own panini (chicken, turkey, steak, shrimp or salmon), salads or wraps ($12-$16); beef or turkey burgers with lettuce, onion, tomato and served with fries ($14 or $16; additional toppings, including cheese are +$1).

Guests can also order Cream City Social’s signature fried wings (served with fries) or sauced with a choice of house bbq, garlic parmesan, Cream City sauce or buffalo (six for $10; a dozen for $20 or 25 for $40).

Fettuccine alfredo is available in half or full portions ($6 or $12; add steak, shrimp, salmon or chicken for +$8-$12).  Meanwhile, entrees include steak with mushrooms, onions and peppers ($35); jumbo shrimp scampi over rice ($30); pan-seared or baked salmon ($28); and baked or fried chicken ($22). Entrees include a choice of two sides (fries, macaroni and cheese, side salad, broccoli, asparagus, mashed potatoes or cajun corn). 

Johnson says their hope is to create a relaxed, social atmosphere geared toward a more mature crowd. Moving forward, she also hopes that the restaurant can host live jazz music, poetry nights and comedy.

The restaurant also hopes to add breakfast service as the eatery gains its footing.

Make your reservation

Guests interested in getting a sneak peek at the new eatery can sign up online for 90-minute reservations between 12 and 9 p.m. on April 24, April 28 or April 29. A deposit for reservations is required, but will be used toward guests’ final bills.

A grand opening and regular hours will be announced on social media after the soft opening. Follow Cream City Social Eatery on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

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.