From Pumping Wastewater to Serving Up Food

Neighborhood developers in Milwaukee plan to repurpose an old lift station into a walk-up eatery
From Pumping Wastewater to Serving Up Food
The Brady Street lift station is being transformed into a walk-up eatery as part of a larger neighborhood revitalization project. (Photo from Urban Milwaukee)

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Wastewater infrastructure is built for a specific purpose. Being given a second life when that purpose comes to an end is rare — certainly food service doesn’t come to mind. But that’s what is in store for a former lift station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

According to, the unused Brady Street lift station is being transformed into a seasonal walk-up eatery. It’s part of a larger plan for the land on that street corner, which will include a redesign of a pedestrian/bike path, incorporate a community garden that was established in 2015, and better connect the area to nearby Swing Park. The land itself is being purchased by a local restaurant owner with most of it rented back to the Brady Street Business Improvement District.

“This little piece of land has been the object of our attention for years,” real estate developer Julilly Kohler told “The lift station was built in the 1950s and used to pump away waste and sewage from (a now abandoned) tannery, but it’s been unused for a decade or more. The past few years we’ve used it as a sort of science lab for students at Cass Street School.”

The new eatery will likely be simple, serving items like hotdogs or ice cream. Kohler says the aim is to make it the focal point of a neighborhood gathering spot, which will also include a small amphitheater for seating and free Wi-Fi access.

Sources:; Urban Milwaukee


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