By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Nov 30, 2018 at 6:22 PM Photography: Royal Brevvaxling

The Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave., celebrated a grand opening this evening with an open house, vendor samples, a crackling fireplace and lots of affirmative nods and smiles.

Located inside a former BMO Bank, the Sherman Phoenix houses 29 businesses primarily owned by people of color and many of which are family ventures.

The dining experience is "food hall style," with walk-up restaurant service and community sitting in the center of the space. On-site restaurants include Sauce and Spice Pizza, Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Lush Popcorn, Next Level Vegan, Shindig Coffee and more. 

The four-level complex also features art studio space, cultural exhibits, a yoga studio, massage space, jeweler, nail salon, hair salon, barber shop, a lash-extension salon, fitness facility, counseling services and more.

True to its name, Sherman Phoenix was literally built from the ashes of the bank that was damaged in a fire in August 2016 during violent protests in the neighborhood. The vault door is one of the only reminders of the building’s past.

"It's a cultural hub, a wellness center and a food hall," says Juli Kaufmann, who founded the project along with business partner JoAnn Sabir. "It's a gathering place for all of Milwaukee."

Sherman Phoenix’s business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. Breakfast is available on the weekends; lunch and dinner served every day.

Tour a portion of the space:

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.