Host committee’s Omar Shaikh wants welcome party to ‘set the tone’ for RNC week

Milwaukee-area restaurateur and MKE 2024 Host Committee member Omar Shaikh wants the upcoming Red, White and Brew welcome party to “set the tone for the entire week” of the Republican National Convention. 

“It’s going to be very important,” he told “It’s a party that we really want to show a ton of hospitality to every visitor … it didn’t matter to me whether it’s the DNC or the RNC, anytime we get new people coming into our city, it’s really important that we show them hospitality and make them feel welcome.” 

The host committee earlier this week announced a group of local business leaders called the 414 Council will help host convention delegates and other partner organizations on July 14 at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee. The convention will take place July 15-18. 

Shaikh said party plans are coming together nicely. Businesses have been reaching out since Tuesday’s announcement to join the 414 Council, which involves pitching in funding for host committee efforts. 

“There was a fundraising aspect of this, but it also could be contributing in terms of ‘Hey, I have product I want to donate, or I have strategic advice I want to help with,’” he said yesterday. 

Shaikh heads up an upscale steakhouse called Carnevor in Milwaukee, and also led the effort to open the 3rd St. Market Hall, a downtown food court featuring a number of restaurants, bars, retailers, entertainment and other local businesses. He said Carnevor has one party booked during the RNC, though it’s not a delegate party, while the 3rd St. Market Hall will be hosting some delegates at various times that week. 

“We have different parties each day, so it really depends,” he said. “Some for breakfast, some for late night, some for mid-shift.” 

He acknowledged concerns that local businesses “haven’t booked a ton of parties yet” but said he remains hopeful “that all the places make a lot of money” thanks to the influx of visitors. Organizers expect as many as 50,000 delegates, officials, members of the media and other guests to flock to Milwaukee, with a projected economic impact of $200 million from the convention. 

“It’s our opportunity to really shine as a city, and really showcase a lot of our assets, and actually the assets that helped us win the DNC and RNC,” he said. “This is going to set us up to really win large-scale conventions in the future, and so that’s really the big goal.” 

See the 414 Council announcement and find more convention coverage at WisPolitics

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