MILWAUKEE -- Small Business Saturday is considered extra special for one community gathering place in Milwaukee, designed by a team of local entrepreneurs.
The Sherman Phoenix transformed the fire-damaged BMO Harris Bank building located near the intersection of 36th & Fond du Lac into a high-quality space for small businesses-of-color. The collective of businesses rose from the ashes of violent unrest in the Sherman Park neighborhood after a fatal police shooting rocked the community.
Business owners celebrated the collective's success on Saturday, admiring the progress along Fond du Lac Avenue.
“It’s still growing. It’s a beautiful thing. I love it,” said Alan Moore, a barber who works inside the Phoenix for Two Kings Barbershop.
The community gathering place has grown into a hub for art, culture and entrepreneurship in the neighborhood, offering diverse foods, wellness services and cultural activities. However when violence erupted in the neighborhood, residents were unsure of their next move.
“I didn’t know what to think,” Moore said. “Honestly, I thought it was time to get out of dodge.”
Today, Moore is one of several long term tenants at the Sherman Phoenix and remains proud of his decision.
“As soon as you walk in the building you feel at home,” said Jan Anderson, Event Director at Sherman Phoenix.
New tenants are expected soon which will include a counseling and art therapy center. For more information, click here.