Corporate Event Venue Spotlight: The Grain Exchange

May 9, 2018 | Milwaukee Venue Photographs

Corporate Events at The Grain Exchange

A little WOW factor can go a long way in planning a corporate event. Who needs lots of decor when the venue you selected actually has 24 carat gold built right into the room? Additionally, The Grain Exchange boasts soaring ceilings, regal columns and an ideal downtown location – close to hotels, night life and other Milwaukee must-visit sites like the Riverwalk and the Lakefront.


Events Team

Maria, John and Katie make up the experienced and service-oriented events team at The Grain Exchange.

Commercial headshot

Commercial headshot












Maria and John were the pioneers behind The Grain Exchange when it opened it’s doors as a Bartolotta event venue in 2008. These two have been here ever since – raising the bar year over year for themselves and the event industry at large. They are both respected industry veterans with deep roots in the Milwaukee community. When the venue opened up, Maria & John had each been in the industry for over 20 years already and were the perfect pair to marry Bartolotta’s catering to this beautiful space.

Later, Katie completed the Grain Exchange events team when she joined after years of experience as an event planner.

Commercial headshot












We sat down with these three to get the inside scoop from some of the industry’s finest. Most of these answers are compilations of quotes from all of them – since they pretty much finish each other’s sentences (that’s how in-sync they are)!


The Interview

Why are companies, organizations and planners drawn to The Grain Exchange?

Just look at it!

You feel like you are being transported to another city, state, country, time. It’s classic and will never get old or dated feeling.

When you walk in this room, there’s a “Wow!” factor.

Fabulous features couples might not know about?

The team.

As much as this place is about the room, the people here make the difference. You want someone in your corner who you can trust to help you through the process!


What in-house services do you offer?

  • Catering
  • Bar
  • Planning Services
  • Vendor Referrals
  • Rental Coordination
  • Ceremony Planning
  • Linens
  • Parking
  • Hotel Recommendations



What should people know before picking a venue for their next corporate event?

  • That having a small and consistent team is really important. There is value to working with the same people from the beginning to the end of this long process.
  • You get what you pay for. And have an idea of a realistic budget prior to scheduling visits with venues.


Fun Facts About Grain Exchange

  • Built in 1879
  • 65’ ceilings
  • 24 carat gold throughout
  • All the art is original from the time it was built
  • Largest hand-painted frescoes in the state
  • Before it was a ballroom, grain used to be traded here (hence the name)

What are your favorite dishes on the menu?

Maria: Salmon, champagne beurre blanc celery root, and potatoes puree

Katie:  Wild mushroom risotto

John:  Tuscan chicken, lemon olive oil,  caramelized brussels sprouts, and roasted rosemary potatoes


The Details

The Grain Exchange is located at 225 E. Michigan Street. It features one majestic ballroom that can hold up to 350 people seated or 550 for cocktails.

Visit their website at:

Contact the team at by calling 414-727-6980.

Don’t forget to follow them on social media!


Learn More!

You can always contact the Front Room Studios team to learn more about events at The Grain Exchange or our commercial photography or videography.

Call us 414.294.0080

Email us at