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We're Open: 'Coffee Makes You Black' hopes to give back to the 53206 neighborhood

"It's a place that is for the community and by the community."
Posted at 3:27 PM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 16:27:02-04

MILWAUKEE — Coffee Makes You Black is a restaurant and coffee shop that is located at 2803 N. Teutonia Ave.

Djdade Denson is the General Manager.

"I'm a Milwaukee native," Denson says. "I actually grew up in this neighborhood 53206, right on 19th and Locust Street. I've got a degree in environmental engineering from Marquette University. I wanted to find a way to give back to my community, so coming back to Coffee Makes You Black, a restaurant in 53206, which is a community hub."

Denson has seen some of the worst of the worst growing up in the streets of a zip code that is synonymous with crime and violence. Having a restaurant in his community is important to him.

"I think it's absolutely vital," he explains. "We've been around since 2001 and we've kept our consistency. It's a place that is for the community and by the community."

He started working for Bradley Thurman who started the business about 21 years ago. Bradley is grooming the Marquette grad to take over in less than a year.

"The future is looking very bright for Coffee Makes You Black," Denson beams. "We have a very extensive renovation plan undergoing. We are adding a brand new commercial kitchen, so we can deal with some of the load that we've been getting lately. On our second floor, we're adding a financial clinic, just to bring some resources to the community. Last but not least, on the third floor, we're doing a 300-person ball room, so we can host bigger events."

Coffee Makes You Black is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit their website.

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