By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 15, 2016 at 9:19 PM

New plans are in the works for the building at 2107 E. Capitol Dr.

Most recently occupied by Mod Gen, the "modern general store" which made its move to
211-13 N. Broadway in the Third Ward this past spring, the building was also the former home of The Garden Room as well as the Anaba Tea Room and later Tochi ramen shop.

Now, it's on the docket to become a full service wedding and events venue called The Atrium.

We reported earlier this month that Paul Hackbarth, owner of Camp Bar, was planning to expand the Shorewood bar's footprint into the space next door, currently home to his Sound by Design business. Part of what made that possible was the knowledge that Sound by Design would soon have a new home on Capitol Drive, says Hackbarth.

"I’ve been looking for a place for Sound by Design for quite some time," he notes. "The business just keeps growing and we need a space that can accommodate that growth. We knew the ideal would be to find a space that could house both our offices and an events venue, and

Hackbarth says he initially walked past the building and noticed the "For Sale" sign while he was picking up thank you cards at a local shop after the birth of his daughter earlier this summer.

"Once I did a walk-through, I was sold," he says. "After remodeling three bars, I know how much time and money she put into that space. And it was perfect for what we needed."

The building, which offers approximately 5,500 square feet on each floor, will be transformed into a multi-level event space, complete with a basement level catering kitchen. Meanwhile, the Sound by Design offices will move into the lower level of the building.

The atrium level will feature a large open area with a bar, he says. And the rooftop will offer up another option for added space.

"People want multifaceted spaces, different experiences for weddings and events," he notes. "And this space provides all of that. There are big glass doors on the front of the building that can be opened during beautiful days. And the rooftop is just gorgeous. I can just picture a bride walking through there."

Hackbarth says he envisions the space to offer multiple functions – including acting as a space for corporate innovation sessions – when it’s not rented out for weddings.

"I can also envision that we’ll make great use of the space as an extension of Camp Bar," he notes. "I like the idea of offering different ‘Summer Camp’ events on the rooftop, things like a wine night with live music, an evening of bourbon and cigars, a beer garden night or a place to host a summer ‘Sunday Funday.’"

He says he’s currently working with the school district to use the lot across the street for parking during events. It’s expected that The Atrium will be prepared to begin taking reservations beginning sometime in October.

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.