The East Side Art Lot is open to the public!


The East Side Business Improvement District (BID) is finding new ways to add extended seating for restaurant patrons looking to dine outside when a favorite restaurant might be at capacity, and for those looking for a quiet respite in the neighborhood. The BID commissioned local artists to paint picnic tables that have been placed in the parking lot at 1915 E North Ave., which will act as extended outdoor seating for visitors, residents, and people looking for a good place to eat their carryout. 


The East Side Art Lot was the brainchild of area residents who were talking about new places to dine outside. Support grew as the idea was circulated among East Side business owners, so the BID wrote a grant to AARP’s Small Dollar Big Impact fund and recently received funding to buy picnic tables that local artists will be hired to paint. 


The project may be simple but it is not inexpensive. The $1,000 AARP Small Dollar Big Impact grant has funded the purchase of the ten picnic tables, but additional funds are needed to pay artists for their work, supply materials to artists, and provide ongoing trash maintenance and sanitization of the tables. To fund this, the BID put together a crowdfunding campaign, now-closed GoFundMe campaign. Thank you to ALL of our INCREDIBLE donors who contributed to this project!


What's Happening at the #EastSideArtLot? 

Saturday, October 24th, Noon to 4pm: Pumpkin Painting in the East Side Art Lot!

You know you’ve been waiting for another excuse to enjoy the Fall! On Saturday, October 24th, the East Side Art Lot will be home to even more creativity and a whole lot of pumpkins, ready to be painted and taken home. Each $15 ticket includes a pumpkin, sample of hot cider or cocoa, access to paint, and an hour and a half of time to hang out, listen to live, local music, get creative, and enjoy the season. There is an option to bring your own pumpkin (BYOP) for a discounted ticket price of $10. (If you want a good nearby selection, St. Mark’s off Downer Ave has you covered.) Due to COVID-19, tickets do not include access to paintbrushes, however some will be available for purchase. Additional, larger sizes of cider and cocoa will also be available for purchase. (Credit cards are preferred, but cash will be accepted.)

 Important: while the event runs from 12:00 - 4:00PM, pumpkin painting will happen in two reservable time slots so that we can maintain social distancing and clean the tables between groups. These time slots are 12:00 - 1:30PM & 2:00 - 3:30PM. Details for how to reserve a space and ticket pricing can be found on the Eventbrite page. Reserve your group's space soon! 

Thursday, November 12th, 4:30-8pm: Live @ the Lot!

Put on some layers and get your friends and family! On Thursday, November 12th from 4:30 - 8:00 PM the East Side Art Lot will be home to Live at the Lot- bringing drinks and live music to the East Side's newest creative public space.

A $55 ticket serves as your group's reservation for an hour and a half time slot and includes live music from Mic Over Matter, six drinks, and your group's spot at one of the Art Lot's outstanding painted tables. The Live at the Lot bar will be hosted by Von Trier and additional drinks will be available for purchase (drink selection TBA). Tickets may be sold at the event if there are available tables and these walk-up tickets will be priced at $60.

Buy your tickets here:

Important: while the event runs from 4:00 - 8:30PM, Live at the Lot will run in two reservable time slots so that we can maintain social distancing and clean the tables between groups. These time slots are 4:30 - 6:00PM & 6:30 - 8:00PM. Ticket purchases ahead of the event serve to reserve your group’s space and time. The maximum group size per reservation is six people and we ask that your group remains at its table throughout the event (when not at the bar) in order to maintain distance between groups of people.

As always, masks and social distancing are required in the Art Lot when within six feet of someone from outside your household besides when eating/drinking. The space is at its best when everyone feels safe and comfortable to use it.

This is a 21+ event! All group members must provide valid photo ID when entering the Art Lot.

Proceeds from this event help us maintain the East Side Art Lot and host future socially-distanced programming in the space!

The #EastSideArtLot is a public space open for your enjoyment dawn to dusk through mid- November! You can check out how this space came to be and more about the Art Lot artists here:

Have any questions? Email or message us on Facebook



The East Side Art Lot Painted Tables 

Congratulations to the 12 local artists who were selected to paint 10 tables in the Art Lot! Below, see Milwaukee photographer Tom Hillmeyer's photos of the beautiful tables:

Kimberly Burnett

Kimberly Burtnett Aerial

Steph Davies & Eston Bennet

Davies and Bennett Aerial

Taylor Fiester

Fiester Aerial

Annah Horst

Horst Aerial

Byada Meredith

Byada Meredith Aerial

Rebecca Segal

Becca Segal Aerial

Rozalia Singh

Rozalia Singh Aerial

Cutesy Macabre

Cutesy Macabre Aerial

Melissa Steffes & Antoinette Jones

Jones and Steffes Aerial

Lauren Zens

Lauren Zens Aerial


We owe a huge thanks to AARP Wisconsin for providing the Small Dollar Big Impact grant that got this all started! 



East Side Art Lot House Rules:

Thank you for your interest in the Art Lot! Whether you've been already or you're checking it out before your first visit, here are our house rules so that we can keep the space up and running!

- Respect each other, the space, and our surrounding businesses

- Masks required other than when eating & drinking

- Remain socially distanced

- Clean up after yourself (use the provided grabage bin)

- Do not move tables or signage without permission

- No soliciting

- No smoking

- No alcohol

- Enjoy!