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Inside the George and Madcap Lounge

Restoring Milwaukee’s National Block building rescued the historic structure from demolition. HF Hospitality, along with partner True Inc., transformed the aging landmark into an elegant hallmark that encapsulates its storied past and sophisticated future.

Awards & Accolades

A Storied History

The Italianate-style National Block building had suffered from years of neglect. The building, built in 1882, was once a bustling retail center. As time marched on, the cream brick structure housed a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting station, doctors’ offices, a restaurant, a commercial photography firm, and even a food laboratory! But after many years of use as a boarding house, the crumbling building sat empty.

The Impetus

HF Hospitality saw sophistication, elegance and beauty underneath the aging structure’s peeling paint and crumbling walls and felt drawn to preserve its past and provide a path to the future. Resurrecting a dilapidated building requires vision, hard work, and determination. HF Hospitality and partners took on the three-year restoration to ensure the building’s spirit lived on.

The George and Madcap Lounge Take Shape

Discover how HF Hospitality transformed the historic property into a sophisticated hospitality center that includes The George and Madcap Lounge.  

Class Act

Discover the reimagined space, with its soaring windows and ceilings, 19th century architectural elements, sophisticated finery, and curated art collection from Wisconsin artists dating back to the 1800s.

The George

Sophisticated and sublime. The George is a magnificent ballroom that offers an intimate feel through carefully chosen furnishings, lighting design and curated vintage and contemporary art.

Madcap Lounge

Just a short walk down within the National Block building, the Madcap Lounge draws inspiration from a London Club. The thoughtfully reimagined space offers guests a unique and intimate experience through multiple vignettes, including a library, convivial bar and billiards room.

The Art

Impressive vintage and contemporary works of art from Wisconsin artists adorn the walls of The George and Madcap Lounge. The works treat guests to a mesmerizing experience in texture, light, abstraction and storytelling.

Crystal Coenen

General Manager
The George & Madcap Lounge

Crystal Coenen is the General Manager and Lead Sales Representative for The George & Madcap Lounge.

Crystal began her hospitality career at age 16 by working in a poolside cafe at a local country club and instantly fell in love with the industry. She pursued her bachelors at the University of Wisconsin – Stout where she majored in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management with a focus in Hospitality Management. Crystal has worked in many facets of the industry including back of the house, front of the house, event planning, and private chef work. Prior to working at The George, she worked at the Milwaukee Public Market as an Event Coordinator focusing on planning the public cooking classes they hosted as well as weddings and corporate events. She also spent time as the General Manager of C. Adam’s Bakery.

Crystal has thoroughly enjoyed her opportunity at The George & Madcap Lounge. “It’s such an amazing space, I never get tired of walking into work.”

In her free time she enjoys updating her 1930’s home and walking her two dogs, Sully and Bug.

Take a Tour

Take a virtual walk through the hallmark restoration and discover how Saz’s Hospitality Group produces magnificent events in the space.