Popular Milwaukee Bar Faces Losing Their License

In July 2023 Never Stop Media released an article regarding the popular Milwaukee bar, Nashville North MKE on Brady St., where we went undercover as an employee investigating sexual harassment towards the female staff.  What we uncovered was far worse than an occasional inappropriate comment or raunchy adult humored joke, which is almost industry standard in the restaurant and bar industry.  Being one of the most challenging investigations NSM conducted resulted in not only some of the most horrific and disgusting sexual harassment employment violations, but repeated incidents of underage drinking, selling fake ID’s back to patrons who presented them, violent security encounters and food safety issues that could leave patrons sick or dead, seriously injured and the potential for staff to permanently lose their bartending licenses along with some hefty fines and potential for lawsuits. 

While working undercover as a kitchen cook, NSM presented several situations to various management at Nashville North that our confidential source also brought to management’s attention with the same result, nothing done about any of those situations.  We complained about food safety issues, with expired food being served, coolers breaking, leaving food at 60 degrees for more than 4 hours that was never thrown out, security not using the ID scanner, patrons being allowed to walk through secure areas because they were friends with other staff or the Asst. GM Taggart Marsh, sexual harassment towards female staff, management sleeping downstairs in the office, underage drinking, frat house type environment, violent security encounters, and even suicidal ideation by staff.  Nothing was ever rectified for any of these situations.  Read the article here: https://neverstopvoices.com/blogs/news/milwaukees-nashville-nightmare

When NSM released the previous article it was sent to all of Milwaukee’s alderpersons, the Mayor’s office, licensing committee’s and other departments within Milwaukee’s City Government, and seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as NSM heard nothing but crickets from City Government.  Employee’s of Nashville North told NSM that nothing had been done to correct the issues we outlined in the previous article in the weeks following the release of that article.

In our previous article we highlighted Matt Campbell and his behavior towards the staff at Nashville North ranging from verbal and physical altercations and threats towards former employees, harassing comments towards the female staff, touching them, making them uncomfortable, and cornering them in small spaces such as the back hallway near the women’s restroom or the liquor room where he would comment on their butt when they bent over or their under-boob if their shirt happened to raise as they were reaching for bottles of liquor or offering to pay to see them naked.

On one occasion, NSM witnessed Campbell masturbating in the downstairs basement when we accidentally walked in on Campbell during that incident while he was face-timing someone.  In another incident that involved Campbell masturbating which was highlighted in the first article was when Kitchen Manager, Don Woppert walked over to the company laptop to adjust the sound for a band that was playing and upon his surprise, Campbell had left his facebook page and Messenger open where he and another party were seen sending videos of themselves masturbating.  The video that Campbell sent to the recipient was done on company time while sitting at the bar sexually harassing one of the female bartenders.  If this isn’t cause for serious concern, Campbell made pedophile comments regarding young teenage girls which NSM also highlighted in the first article.

Nashville North wasn’t opened to provide the City of Milwaukee something new and exciting and something the city could benefit from.  It was opened because Jeff Marsh who also owns Charcoal Grill wanted his own personal playground close to home that resembled his experience in Nashville Tennessee, great music, great food, and a great atmosphere.  Unfortunately what you get when you walk into Nashville North resembles nothing of greatness that one would experience in a city like Nashville where they actually have great music, great food, and a great atmosphere.  And if you have thoughts that Jeff Marsh having more of a physical presence in an establishment he doesn't care about would help, well, he's no better.  NSM witnessed Marsh chase after a female who was engaged in a verbal argument with him through the front window.  Marsh made an ignorant comment at the female who was standing on the sidewalk and she responded by throwing a drink in a plastic cup at Marsh. Marsh bragged to his friends about what he would have done to the female had he caught her. He's also been made aware by the female staff of the sexual harassment and is the sole person giving the ok to serve expired food products not only at Nashville North but also at his main pride and joy, Charcoal Grill, and let's not forget about the expired food products that were recently served at Summer Fest in 2023.

On April 30th 2024, NSM finally heard a response to the article that was released in 2023.  An email came through from the City Clerk’s Office requesting the NSM Journalist’s presence to testify at a Licensing Hearing where Nashville North had put in an application to renew their Public Entertainment and Food Dealer Licenses along with a change of hours.  NSM filed a public records request upon receipt of the email which resulted in a 28 page PDF file that included the renewal application, noise complaints, forwarded emails between Milwaukee alderpersons that contained NSM’s original article and most importantly just 3 months after the release of NSM’s original article Milwaukee Police did an “Underage Tavern Check” on various establishments along Brady St.

Police Officer, Jason Chadwick, wearing plain clothes, accompanied by an police aide, also in plain clothes walked into Nashville North where the aide sat down at the bar where she was greeted by a bartender and was able to order an alcoholic drink.  Security whom were supposed to be located at the front door were not, nor did any security ask for ID’s prior to the Officer and the Aide sitting at the bar and ordering a drink.  Despite NSM’s highlight of the serious underlying problems of underage patrons being allowed into Nashville North, and the Underage Tavern Check failing, the bartender and manager on duty Jake Garncarz, were only issued a verbal warning because Nashville North was a “newer establishment”.  NSM has filed an open records request with the Milwaukee Police Department requesting all Underage Tavern Checks done at Nashville North since its opening in June 2022, along with other records that we requested.  We are waiting for those records.

NSM will be attending the Licensing Hearing and due to the request from the City Clerks Office, NSM will be testifying to what they observed during their undercover work at Nashville North.  The City of Milwaukee and its government have an opportunity to close down a business that to some patrons seems like a great night on the town, but once behind closed doors you enter Milwaukee’s Nashville Nightmare.  NSM went undercover to be a voice for female staff whose concerns were going unanswered and unresolved for nearly two years.  The question now after seeing what really happens behind closed doors at Nashville North is, will our City Government make the right choice and close down an establishment that has been nothing but a problem since its opening and answer the call for help that female staff had to rely on an Independent Journalist when no one else would listen?

The Licensing Hearing is scheduled for May 7th at 9:40am at City Hall in Room 301-B.  NSM will continue to follow this story.

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