Jazz drummer Sam Belton – owner of City.net Cafe on East Wisconsin Avenue – will open his Sam’s Place restaurant later this month in the newly renovated former bank at 3338 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., in the Harambee neighborhood.
The jazz-themed cafe and restaurant – which has a performance space and a meeting room, too – will be joined by Shalem Healing, a nonprofit integrated/holistic healing clinic – as well as the related Refua Medicinals – in the building, which has been undergoing renovations since the plan was announced in September 2019.
Shalem and Refua were founded by Dr. Robert Fox.
The development is a project of Bader Philanthropies, which renovated a 1927 building across the street at 3300 N. King Dr. into its headquarters in 2017.
The building at 3338 was erected (on what was then called Green Bay Road) in 1910 for the Merchant & Farmers State Bank. Designed by architect John Roth, Jr., it has in the past also been home to the York Right Masonic Temple. The building had been vacant for a number of years.
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.