Google Map:
631 N. 19th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233

. Welcome . History . Calendar . Music . Booking . Links . Photos . Contact . Living Activism .

As we come to the end of our 48th season we would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who make The Coffee House possible. Thank you to The Coffee House volunteer board for taking care of day to day business. We couldn’t do it without you. Janine Arseneau, Jeanie Dean, Cheryl Eizen, Dave Fenner, Mary Gaar, Joe Holland, Chris Iverson, Jan Iverson, Brett Kemnitz, Gordon Kirchoff, Peter Lee, “Mud River” Lee Modder, Mike Nepper, Jeff Nesta, Don Schiewer, Paul Smith, Sandy Weisto and Steve Yeo. Also thank you to Paul Anderson, Tom Bersch, Jerry Danks, David H.B. Drake, Brian Drow, Rick Fitzgerald, Louisa Loveridge Gallas, Sheri Gallob, Fred Jaeger, Ann Jensen, Kyle Linehan, Evan Maruszewski, Ben Merens, Jym Mooney, Trisha Nepper, TJ Oman, Craig Siemsen, John Stano, Chris Straw, Tom Webber, John Webber and Greg Wong. Also, thank you to Anodyne Coffee Roasters and Clark Graphics for their support and help. Thank you to all the performers who gave their time and talents to make The Food Pantry Benefits and The Living Activism nights a great success. Thank you to everyone who brought food to help support the Central Cities Food Pantry. A special thank you to Pastor Lisa, the staff and congregation of Redeemer Lutheran Church for their longtime support of the Coffee House. Without your support we would not be embarking on our 48th Season. Last, but not least, thanks to YOU, our loyal patrons, for the past 47 years!

We will now be having all concerts and Open Stages in the second floor auditorium. Our new entrance is on Wisconsin Avenue. The circular driveway door. This door has a chair lift and a wheel chair ramp. This is also the handicapped parking area. You may also use the old, well lit church parking lot and street parking. There will be a sign on the old entrance door directing people to the new entrance. We will also have a sandwich board on Wisconsin Avenue pointing to the new entrance. Please come out and enjoy some great entertainment in our new location.

Brett Kemnitz the new Coffee House Booker, is currently booking the next season of the Coffee House. Please contact him either via email, or phone (414) 871-7272 to get your performance date.

Coffee House closed Fridays!
This season the Coffee House will run a shortened program schedule on Saturdays and the second Sunday Living Activism Concert. The Food Pantry Benefit Concerts are changed from the first Friday to the first Saturday. The cut back came about due to shortages of volunteers. Volunteer and keep The Coffee House open. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Mary Gaar at or by phone at 414628-6752, if you wish to get information on volunteering.

Do you enjoy The Coffee House and want to see it continue for another few decades If so, we need YOU on our volunteer team! Plan to attend our next monthly board meeting, or simply talk to the manager or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Mary Gaar at or at 414-628-6752

SANDY WEISTO served as Coffee House Coordinator, Stage Manager and Board President these past ten PLUS years since 2000. She will retire her many adjunct duties including calendar writing, press releasing, board meeting leading, minutes sending, supplies purchasing and Saturday night stage managing. Sandy will continue to stage manage the Living Activism Sunday concerts. Sandy will be using her free nights to perform again attaining new musical accomplishments; something we all look forward to hearing. Hopefully Sandy Weisto will be appearing on a Coffee House stage soon. Sandy, we express our deepest appreciation to you for your devotion and gentle leadership of The Coffee House these many years.

Our long faithful super volunteer, administrator, house-photographer and original board member PAUL ANDERSON left Milwaukee and the Coffee House for new ventures. We thank you Paul for all your years of service and photographs and wish you big success in your new endeavor. From Sandy… Paul was the first manager after Alan Davis way back in the very early years, so he's been with the Coffee House almost from the beginning in 1967 and often times was at the Coffee House more nights than the managers were. Paul will be here to volunteer for the Living Activism concerts.. Paul you will always have a home at The Coffee House.

Just a reminder that donations for the food pantry are now accepted at all Coffee House shows. Please consider bringing a non-perishable item if you are able. Times are tough. Help us fill the BIG barrel!

Receive a free cup of coffee by showing your valid student ID. What a deal!
Reminder: kids 12 & under are always admitted free when accompanied by a responsible adult.

Pictures from our 40th Anniversary Show

We need YOU to keep The Coffee House going for another 40 years!

If you enjoy attending events at The Coffee House, or if you're a performer who appreciates having a great venue to perform at, consider joining our volunteer team. We always can use more volunteers to staff the door and set-up & tear-down the refreshments. Be creative! If you have a great idea, join our board and chair a new committee for your idea. For example, two years ago a volunteer got the idea for and organized our first Gallery Night event.

If you are interested in any of these volunteer jobs, please come to our next board meeting or contact us via email through or our info line, 414-534-4612. All of these positions report to the board and The Coffee House Board will have the final decision in who to appoint to these jobs.


The Coffee House was founded in 1967 by the late Rev. Alan Davis of Lutheran Campus Ministry and Rev. Chuck Witt and Ms. Agnes Zeidler of Redeemer Lutheran Church as an outreach to the surrounding community including Marquette University. Over the years we have hosted a variety of programming including films, jazz, poetry, dances, a clown troupe and folk and acoustic music. We were the home of Theatre X until they acquired their own theater in 1972.

Open Hours

The Coffee House is open for performances from Labor Day through Memorial Day every Saturday night and one Sunday a month.

Open Mics

Many performers have had their first experience in front of an audience on our stage at our once a month “open mic.” The supportive atmosphere nurtures new performers. Now well-known performers such as Paul Cebar, Bill Camplin and Pamela Means performed on our stage at the start of their careers.

Food Pantry Benefits

Food pantry benefits are the first Saturday of the month. The entertainers donate their time for these events. Patrons are asked to bring two cans of food and $4.00 for admission. The food and half the money goes to the Central City Churches food pantry. The other half of the money goes to keep The Coffee House going.

“Living Activism” Program

In the late 1960s The Coffee House stressed its role as an open and friendly place for discussion on social issues. We saw a need for this again in today's world and in 2001 added a "Living Activism" night to our monthly schedule. Activist groups put on a program consisting of both a presentation about their organization or issues and entertainment. The second Sunday of the month has been reserved for "Living Activism.” A free-will donation is asked at the door with all the money going to the featured activist organization.

The mission of "Living Activism" is to aid groups in reaching a new audience and signing up new volunteers while raising awareness and money for their group. By taking care of the set-up needs of an event, we allow the groups to focus their energy on their issues. Featured groups have included Casa Maria, Hunger Task Force, Peace Action Center, Lutheran Volunteer Corp., Literacy Services, Urban Ecology Center, and W.A.V.E. (Wis. Anti-Violence Effort).


The Coffee House has been run mainly by volunteers all these years. Volunteers do everything from greeting patrons at the door at each performance, making the coffee and tea, booking the entertainment, creating the printed calendar of events and preparing it for mailing, managing the mailing list, buying the supplies, sending out press releases to the media, creating posters and managing the treasury. Two paid managers have key-carry responsibility and set up and run the sound equipment.


We are proud to be one of the longest running non-profit Coffee Houses in America. We hope you will stop in for an event. We would love to share The Coffee House with you!

Managers: Joe Holland, Gordon Kirchoff, Michael Nepper and Sandy Weisto
Telephone during open hours: (414) 534-4612
The Coffee House Information Line: (414) 534-4612

We serve coffee, herbal teas, soda, and baked goods. Free parking is available in our lighted lot. The Coffee House is wheelchair-accessible.

©2014 Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

AckMe Web Design - Get your business Acknowledged!