Sam’s Place is truly a reflection of Belton’s legacy and passions. Born in Milwaukee, Belton earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and his teaching certification in music education from Alverno College. While teaching in the Milwaukee Public School system, he went on to receive a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass. Belton has been an educator for over 40 years, and a jazz musician for even longer.

Belton’s passion for coffee, jazz music, travel, and community intersects at Sam’s Place.


Affectionately called the Godfather of Coffee, Sam Belton’s love for coffee began in early 2000 as he traveled on various mission trips throughout the continent of Africa. As he learned that coffee’s birthplace was Ethiopia, it motivated him to begin researching the specialty coffee industry and soon after he attended Portland’s American Barista Coffee School. There he received training as a barista and instructions on how to launch a coffee cafe.

In 2006, Belton started micro coffee roasting, and received certification as an international barista. He continues to train in the art of artisan coffee roasting, attending workshops and seminars, keeping current on the trends in the specialty coffee industry.

In addition to his love for coffee, he is a professional jazz musician. Having worked with great artists including Buddy Montgomery, Manty Ellis, Berkley Fudge, Dumaah Safir, Jeff Chambers, and Brian Lynch. He’s enjoyed playing at all the major jazz venues and festivals in Milwaukee throughout the years, as well as performing in clubs and concerts nationally. His love of coffee and all things jazz is the culmination of Sam’s Place. Sam’s Place is Milwaukee’s Jazziest Coffeehouse.


Need a great eatery and a gathering place for community? Join us at Sam’s Place in our spacious dining area and enjoy free Wi-Fi with your meal. There’s room for small collaborations, so meet up with your trio or quartet and enjoy our menu and all of its offerings. We are building community together.

On special evenings, our meeting room hosts events and entertainment, including live jazz, spoken word and so much more.


Sam’s Place is housed in a classic Milwaukee structure designated as a historic site. The building at 3338 was erected (on what was then called Green Bay Road) in 1910 for the Merchant & Farmers State Bank. Designed by architect John Roth, Jr., it has in the past also been home to the York Right Masonic Temple. The building had been vacant for a number of years.