MILWAUKEE - Usually, for a bar, anything that brings in customers is a good thing, but ever since the release of the Netflix series profiling Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, one bar owner in Walker’s Point says the unwanted attention has been overwhelming.
As of summer 2022, it's the Wall Street Stock Bar, but decades ago, it was Club 219, infamous for being frequented by Dahmer himself as he looked for victims.
The Netflix show has drawn true crime tourists, some even asking for a "Dahmer drink," which is not something you’ll find there.
"I knew this was a place Jeffrey had found a few of his victims," said Charese Gardner, owner of Wall Street Stock Bar.
Gardner keeps that name out of her bar, instead highlighting iconic people of the stock market, not the building’s most infamous customer.
"We’re not doing a drink," said Gardner. "We’re not doing a mural."
Gardner said ever since the Netflix show profiling serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was released in September, a lot more people have been trying to get a glimpse at the path Dahmer took.
"I have face marks on my mirrors outside because people are like, trying to look inside," said Gardner. "I don’t really understand the obsession with walking on a place he walked at."
The trail of morbid curiosity has led them to where Club 219 used to be located, a spot Dahmer visited to find potential victims.
"I redid every single thing," said Gardner. "It doesn’t even look like the place anymore. It was a bar before me."
Gardner said that curiosity comes at an expense. She said bogus reviews have popped up online.
"Then they have ‘Jeffrey Dahmer approved,'" said Gardner. "'Great place to meet new friends.' This person never visited here. One-star review. Picture of Jeffrey Dahmer here."
"It’s senseless," Gardner continued. "Obviously, those people don’t care about the family members either. To me, it’s kind of like, who’s side are you on? Are you really on the killer’s side? Because you’re like promoting for the killer, or is it just like sick jokes?"
Gardner said it all hits close to home.
"I have a lady that cooks for me, and one of the victims were her friend," said Gardner.
She said another person she works with was solicited by Dahmer himself.
"A lot of these people are still alive," said Gardner.
Gardner said she won't let the killer be what her bar is known for.
"This is my establishment," said Gardner. "This is my career. It’s just kind of traumatizing to see how people would praise a serial killer."
The owner says she’s likely going to make the "219" on the bar window less prominent.
She said she's trying to get those fake Google reviews taken down and hopes this all blows over.
She added that she hasn’t seen the Netflix show and doesn’t plan to.