In Bars & Clubs

Rec Room Craft Co. is currently under construction.

Rec Room Craft Co. makers' space and bar coming to Walker's Point

Bay View's Krista Johnson is poised to open a craft studio and bar called Rec Room Craft Co. at 219 S. 2nd St. in Walker's Point this fall.

"We're hoping to open in October, but of course it depends on the build-out and getting through the city's requirements," says Johnson.

Rec Room Craft Co. will offer 20-30 different crafts/projects including jewelry making, woodworking, leather working, embroidery and more – along with a full bar. Guests can participate individually or with a group and work on something specific or just dabble into whatever they feel like at the time. People of all skill levels are welcome.

"It's for anyone who wants to take a little break from technology and make something by hand and have a couple of drinks," says Johnson.

Johnson says she will also hire local makers to teach more formal workshops once a month and might eventually add a retail section to her business.

"DIY bars" have popped up in other parts of the country and Johnson was inspired by one in Denver called "Upstairs Circus." The concept is similar to a "paint and drink" experience such as Milwaukee's Splash Studio in the Third Ward, but offers myriad of crafts that are focused on home decor and personal accessories.

Johnson, who lives in Bay View, says she's had numerous conversations about Club 219, the iconic LGBTQ+ bar and venue that was in the space from 1980 to 2005.

"It's been really fun to hear about the club during its heyday. I know it was a big part of Walker's Point for a long time and I certainly will come up with a creative way to hearken back to the glory days," says Johnson. "I'm really excited to be here."

Stay tuned for a first look at Rec Room Craft Co. this fall.

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