John and Kate McLaughlin, owners of The Brass Rooster – a men's hat shop in Bay View – will move to a larger location and open a women’s hat shop called The Hen House next door.
Both businesses will be located at 2250-2252 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in the former Boulevard Theatre. Sarah Jonas and Camryne Roberts – the owners of Bay View’s Café Lulu – purchased the space earlier this summer. (The Boulevard is in its 29th season and now performs at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.)
The grand opening for The Hen House and Brass Rooster is scheduled for November.
Hen House will offer pre-made and custom-made women's hats as well as cleaning and refurbishment of vintage hats. Kate, a master milliner, will also teach hat making and host hat parties in the space.
The Brass Rooster opened in 2011 at 2479 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
"The Brass Rooster will look almost identical to its appearance currently, with the addition of a much larger and needed manufacturing area for the hats we make on location," says John. "The Hen House will be a different decor and shopping experience entirely designed specifically for our core female clientele."
In the future, the McLaughlins will also hit the streets in their mobile hat truck, selling at special events and around town.
"We bought a 1955 Ford delivery van that will be our headwear retail version of a food truck," says John.
Mobile hat truck? Now that's out of the (hat) box thinking.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.