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Milwaukee's Uptown neighborhood is home to a 'Blerd' safe haven

Bryant Wilcox in the Battlebox buy-sell-trade video game store.
Rafael Muñoz-Echavarria
Bryant Wilcox in the Battlebox buy-sell-trade video game store.

Battlebox is a multi-use space in the Uptown neighborhood. It includes a video game buy-sell-trade store, cafe and lounge and warehouse.

Bryant Wilcox operates the Black-owned family business, located at 5431 W. Lisbon Ave.

The video game storefront was a pawn shop, Doc's Jewelry and Loan. The security of the former pawn shop is the perfect space to house Bryant's valuable items.

He has created a safe haven for "Blerds," Black or brown nerds. The cafe and lounge hosts tournaments, themed events and so much more. But, the space could be closing.

"We're really thinking about getting out of here because we don't have any assistance," Bryant says.

Closing the space would impact his family. "That's the hardest part of even thinking about getting rid of it," Bryant says.

The Uptown geek gem could be going away, but for now, Bryant and Battlebox will keep moving forward with big plans.

Rafael Muñoz-Echavarria was WUWM's community engagement coordinator 2022-2023.
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