Our Story

Cream City co-founder Carolyn Weber first dreamed of opening a hostel in 2011. A travel enthusiast, she was inspired by her own positive experiences staying in hostels, and in 2013, she jumped into business planning with both feet with the guidance of Juli Kaufmann. A few years later, fellow community organizer Wendy Mesich joined the team.


The neoclassical brick building was constructed in 1927 to house the Holton Street State Bank, but after the bank’s 1960 closing, it became the site of such groups as the Boys & Girls Club, Centro Del Nino and a Head Start-affiliated charter school. The building was deserted in 2006, but now hosts thousands of travelers from around the world.


Riverwest is a perfect neighborhood for a hostel, a diverse community with an offbeat DIY hippie vibe. Many of the locals stay at hostels and embrace the idea that the world is wider than our own city. Yet, Milwaukee celebrates our own history and culture in our local festivals that happen every weekend all summer, at our local bars and breweries and in the local food scene, which has exploded in the last ten years.


Cream City Hostel offers a new type of hospitality in Milwaukee - dorm-style affordable accommodations in which travelers from near and far stay not just to sleep but to socialize in house and our city at large.  A home away from home.