Shepherd Express January 2023

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JANUARY 2023
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FOOD & DRINK

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Louis Fortis (ext. 3802)

GENERAL MANAGER: Kevin Gardner (ext. 3825)

MANAGING EDITOR: David Luhrssen (ext. 3804) BUSINESS MANAGER: Peggy Debnam (ext. 3832)

EVENT COORDINATOR: Jan Bruder (ext. 3810)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Bridgette Ard (ext. 3811) Petra Seymore (ext. 3828) Tyler R. Klein (ext. 3815) Laurie Verrier (ext. 3831)

SALES MANAGER: Jackie Butzler (ext. 3814)

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Chuck Hill (ext. 3822)

IN MEMORY OF DUSTI FERGUSON (OCTOBER 18, 1971 – NOVEMBER 20, 2007)

WEBMASTER: Barry Houlehen (ext. 3807)

DIGTAL STRATEGIST: Allen Halas (ext. 3803)

STAFF WRITER & CIRCULATION COORDINATOR: Blaine Schultz (ext. 3813)

INTERNS: Sabrina Rosler, Tomasa Lane

Distribution: New issues of the Shepherd Express magazine are on the street, on the first Wednesday of each month, free of charge. The Shepherd Express may be distributed only by authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of the Shepherd Express, take more than one copy of each monthly issue. Mail subscriptions are available. No refunds for early cancellations. One year (12 issues) via First Class mail: $100.00.

207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 410, Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: 414/276-2222 Fax: 414/276-3312

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NEWS 06 How Kelsey Kaufmann Transformed the Cactus Club from a Rock Club into a Community Hub 08 This Modern World 10 It's Past Time for Republicans to Join America in Rejecting Trump — Taking Liberties 12 "Art Against the Odds" Shows the Humanity of Wisconsin's Prison Artists — Issue of the Month 14 Collin Price, Co-Founder of Indigenous Business Group, Brings Visibility to Native Businesses — Hero of the Month 16 Milwaukee Public Schools Need Teachers — MKE SPEAKS: Conversations with Milwaukeeans
20 Firefly Tosa Still Glows Bright After 15 Years 22 Veni, Vidi, Vichy — Flash in the Pan 24 Perfect Cappuccino — Beverages SPECIAL SECTION 26 Best of Milwaukee 27 Arts & Entertainment 30 City Confidential 34 Locally Owned Food - Retail 38 Locally Owned Restaurant 46 Milwaukee Music 49 O ut & About 54 Body, Mind & Spirit 54 Bought & Sold 56 Home Improvement 56 LG BTQ 56 Medical 58 Real Estate 58 Services Rendered 60 Sports & Recreation 62 Health & Wellness 62 Hemp for Whole Body Wellness — Cannabis 66 When Bodies Defy Boxes — SexPress 68 When Bad Things Happen — Out of My Mind 70 E xperience Winter Magic in Idyllic Lake Geneva — Day Trips 72 Winter Arts Guide January-February 2023 CULTURE 90 Nõ Studios Builds Community Among Milwaukee’s Creative Class 92 This Month in Milwaukee HEAR ME OUT 94 E xasperated By Intolerance — Dear Ruthie 96 2022 Marked Changes in Milwaukee's LGBTQ Leadership Landscape — My LGBTQ POV ART FOR ART'S SAKE 98 From the City that Always Sweeps SPONSORED BY
SHEPHERD EXPRESS MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, REGARDING ANY ADVERTISING. DUE DILIGENCE IS RECOMMENDED BEFORE ENTERING INTO ANY AGREEMENT WITH AN ADVERTISER.SHEPHERD EXPRESS WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND RELATING TO ANY AD. PLEASE CHECK YOUR AD THE FIRST DAY OF PUBLICATION AND NOTIFY US OF ANY CHANGES. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ERRORS IN ADVERTISING AFTER THE FIRST DAY. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO EDIT, REJECT OR RECLASSIFY ADVERTISEMENTS AT OUR SOLE DISCRETION, WITHOUT NOTICE. WE DO NOT KNOWINGLY ACCEPT ADVERTISEMENTS THAT DISCRIMINATE OR INTEND TO DISCRIMINATE ON ANY ILLEGAL BASIS, OR ARE OTHERWISE ILLEGAL. NO REFUNDS FOR CANCELLATION AFTER DEADLINE, NO COPY CHANGES EXCEPT TO PRICE OR TELEPHONE NUMBER. FOR MORE UNIQUE CONTENT, VISIT SHEPHERDEXPRESS.COM. SCAN ME 14 70 26
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by Sophie Yufa.
4 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
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Publisher's Year End Letter to our Readers

This is our year-end letter to our readers. As most of you know, the Shepherd Express has been serving Milwaukee for the past 40 years bringing you honest and courageous coverage of serious news issues. As I talk to readers, often at our events especially our Best Of parties in January, an amazing number of you have been picking up the Shepherd for close to 40 years. We have always been a free publication because we believe that democracy needs an informed citizenry, so we don’t want lack of money to deprive anyone from getting news and analysis especially honest, accurate news. Virtually, all the major media in our area: newspapers, radio and television are owned by conservative, out-of-state corporate interests.

As everyone knows, smaller, locally owned media companies are struggling. Independent newspapers throughout the country continue to fail as advertising revenues are sucked up by the mega-corporations like Facebook and Google. The Shepherd has been struggling for years, since the Great Recession of 2008, but we are mission driven and we plan to be around for another 40 years. I have been the editor/publisher for the past 25 years. I do not take a salary or get any expenses paid. Some people volunteer at various noble nonprofit organizations, so my work is given in that same spirit of serving the common good.

THREE SOURCES OF REVENUE

The Shepherd is primarily supported by three sources of revenue: advertising, events and most recently our readers with our Friends of the Shepherd Express. Many of our advertisers are event driven or hospitality businesses, so when the pandemic hit in early 2020, they basically went dark. After the vaccines were approved and many people got vaccinated and now boosted a few times, these businesses are back albeit hindered by labor shortages.

When much of Milwaukee closed in 2020, we shifted most of our resources to our website, shepherdexpress.com

and built it into one of the most popular news websites in Wisconsin. In the interest of helping our small businesses, we listened to our advertisers who asked us to become a glossy publication because they wanted to see their ads really pop. It was the right decision.

EVENTS AND THE FRIENDS GROUP

Our events are coming back as we see COVID-19 becoming more endemic and for most people who are vaccinated and boosted, COVID often manifests itself as a bad cold for a few days. We are planning an event a month in 2023, and we invite you to please attend.

The Friends group is slowly growing as people realize the importance of a courageous, locally, and independently owned news publication that will print what the corporate news media companies including print, radio and television are afraid to cover. Our endorsements, for example, were especially appreciated this past year as people began to feel that Democracy was really on the ballot in November and America had to win. Fortunately for America, Democracy won at the polls in November. Unfortunately, in our current highly partisan country, we lost some distribution points and a few advertisers who were strong Trump supporters and election deniers. That’s the cost of being an honest, courageous free press.

KEEPING THE SHEPHERD EXPRESS FREE

Also, many long-time readers who for decades had picked up a free Shepherd every week starting when they were young and needed a free publication and one that they said, “got it.” Now that they are older and more financially secure, many have been joining our Friend’s group saying that “it is now my time to give back to enable younger people, often saddled with student debt, to continue to get a free Shepherd like we got when we were young.”

Today you can get the Shepherd free as a glossy monthly publication, on our very popular website, or in our daily e-newsletter that is delivered to over

60,000 inboxes six days a week. We are committed to keeping the Shepherd free to you but running a small media company is a costly proposition.

Like every business, our costs have gone up especially paper. Most paper comes out of Canada, so we do not have the problems associated with the congestion at the East and West coast ports. But there is still a problem getting the paper down from the mills in Canada. I talked to one company that said that their mill had 80 semi-trailers filled with paper, but there were only 21 tractors with drivers willing to bring the paper down to the states. That’s just one example.

OUR MISSION AND COMMITMENT TO YOU

All the above efforts are done to bring you solid journalistic content, however you choose to consume it. We take pride in providing you with intelligent, courageous, and accurate journalism that is not afraid to take on anyone, any organization, any corporation, or any level of government that is cheating or in any way deliberately hurting the people, the nonprofit organizations or the businesses of Milwaukee. We are guided by a strong belief in democratic institutions and social justice. We ask you to please help and support the Shepherd Express by patronizing our advertisers, attending our events, and most importantly, joining our Friends of the Shepherd Express.

Thank you

Louis Fortis

Louis Fortis is Editor/Publisher of the Shepherd Express, and formerly taught Economics/Political Economy at Smith College and served three terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly.

PUBLISHER'S LETTER
SCAN ME SUPPORT AND JOIN THE FRIENDS OF THE SHEPHERD EXPRESS ONLINE AT SHEPHERDEXPRESS.COM JANUARY 2023 | 5
How Kelsey Kaufmann Transformed the Cactus Club from a Rock Club into a Community Hub
6 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS NEWS
Photo courtesy of cactusclubmilwaukee.com.

The corner of Russell Ave. and Wentworth Ave. has played host to acts like White Stripes, Death Cab for Cutie and Sylvan Esso, as well as countless Milwaukee acts in Cactus Club’s storied history. While the Bay View venue has helped to foster the careers of many up-and-coming artists, as well as the general Milwaukee music scene, the next era of the club may be its most important yet.

Since taking over ownership of Cactus Club in February 2020, Kelsey Kaufmann and her team have focused on making the venue a welcoming space for everyone in the community, in addition to keeping a thriving concert calendar. That mission was sidetracked almost immediately by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the club to remain closed for months.

The shutdown also created an unforeseen opportunity, as programming to keep the venue active shifted online. Once the venue gradually reopened to the public, the spirit of their online community work lived on, as in-person film screenings, maker markets, and small business pop-ups for people of diverse backgrounds became as commonplace on the club calendar as concerts. The umbrella of community programming was formalized this past September, when the club filed to launch a new arts and education nonprofit, Cactus+.

“Cactus+ will help to sustainably re-structure everything you know and love about Cactus Club. It’s about finding a path for the future that ensures a space that can welcome all, compensate artists, workers and organizers and model better practices for small venues and community hubs,” said Kaufmann. “When I say welcome all, I mean that expansively to include financial, mobility, intergenerational access and beyond. We want to continue to provide a springboard for emerging artists, locally and from around the world, and support community building that includes every corner of the city.”

With nonprofit status, Cactus Club will be able to welcome in generations of aspiring artists and creatives, and access grants to make education programming feasible. Cactus+ looks to educate the community on not only music industry-adjacent fields like audio engineering and filmmaking, but also human rights, history, eco-friendly sustainability and more. That programming will extend Cactus Club’s role in the community, giving back to Bay View and Milwaukee overall.

ACCESS IS EVERYTHING

In 2019, Kaufmann and her team worked with local legislators to restructure the formal qualifications of what is deemed to be a performing arts center. The previous laws had made hosting all-ages shows with any regularity a logistical nightmare, with staff having to remove all alcohol from the main floor of the bar and cover coolers in order to

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Cactus illustrations by Jeanna Draw/Getty Images.

abide with the regulations in place at the time. Removing the red tape was the first step in what would become a mission to allow all walks of life into Cactus Club’s doors, but that mission would soon expand.

The next step, laid out as a core component of Cactus+, is the club’s accessibility initiative. As of right now, the venue is not up to code in terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act. While there is a ramp to the performance area of Cactus Club, navigating it with a wheelchair would be fairly difficult, due to its pitch and narrow doorway. In the spirit of being able to truly provide a club for all people, Kaufmann is making accessibility a priority in the club’s immediate future.

“Our building is over 100 years old. Our accessibility initiative seeks to bring our building more up to code by providing a ramp to the front door, eliminating our tiny bathrooms, adding a multi-stall, ADA compliant, all-gender bathroom as a building addition as well as adding a sprinkler system,” said Kaufmann. “Some people think that we should just demo the building and start over. History matters. The stories that connect so many of us to this space are important. It's imperative that we make these overdue infrastructure improvements so everyone can participate for years to come. This is a space for the people, run by artists that care deeply for this city. We invite you to get involved.”

Those interested in the Cactus+ program and accessibility initiative can view more details on the Cactus Club website, CactusClubMilwaukee.com.

Allen Halas is Digital Strategist for shepherdexpress.com.
8 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS NEWS
Photo courtesy of cactusclubmilwaukee.com.

IT'S PAST TIME FOR REPUBLICANS TO JOIN AMERICA IN REJECTING TRUMP

Winning is always supposed to be better than losing in politics. But the narrow Republican majority that barely won House control in the party’s disastrous midterms could easily turn into an even worse nightmare for Republicans.

Forget all those Republican plans to make the next two years hell on earth for President Biden and Democrats. That was before voters reduced their confident predictions of a surging red tidal wave to a trickle.

Here’s the understatement of the century why 2023 could be an even worse year for Republicans unless they change directions. Kevin McCarthy is no Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi’s brilliant leadership made passing major legislation with a

slender majority look easy. The only woman elected to that position may have been the most effective House Speaker in American history.

McCarthy will never be. Neither will any other Trump-approved House Republican. McCarthy’s been frantically making deals for weeks with the craziest Republicans in captivity including Marjorie Taylor Greene to become Speaker. At this writing, he still hasn’t secured the 218 votes to win the job on Jan. 3.

GOP SELF-DESTRUCTION

That’s right. There are even crazier House members than Greene with demands to be satisfied. At this point, it doesn’t really matter whether McCarthy or somebody even more extreme wins.

Illustration by Michael Burmesch.
NEWS TAKING LIBERTIES 10 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

That’s because Republicans are caught in a self-destructive perfect storm. Republicans have now lost three straight national elections by following a false god. They lost the midterms because they nominated terrible candidates spewing Trump’s lies and contempt for democracy.

The only reason they squeaked out a House victory was Republican states corruptly gerrymandered elections to assure themselves of winning a majority of House seats even when they lose statewide elections.

The other dreadful result of gerrymandering is electing far more extreme Republicans in the House. When a record number of mainstream Republicans who couldn’t stomach life under Trump retired or were driven from the party after the violent insurrection, they were immediately replaced by more extreme members.

What happens next will embarrass Republicans nationally by creating chaos going into the next presidential election. It's a bad time to be caught on the wrong side of American history. Since Trump’s defeat, he’s continued to incite his supporters against federal law enforcement to try to escape punishment for the deadly violence that ended his presidency.

Trump forged links with the lawless armed militias of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys long before they responded to his call to Washington to lead the insurrection to overthrow President Biden’s election. A jury has now convicted the Oath Keepers of seditious conspiracy for attempting to violently overthrow the lawful transition of power. The Proud Boys are facing similar charges.

Trump is now explicitly advocating the destruction of American democracy—calling for the termination of the Constitution to return him to power. It’s long past time for Republicans to join America in rejecting Trump. They’ll just be another lunatic fringe party until they do.

The successful midterms will allow Biden and the Democratic Senate to block the most reprehensible legislation coming out of the House. Republicans won’t have anything left to do but conduct fraudulent investigations into nonexistent administration scandals. Their political targets are, to correctly use the term, fake news.

Americans face serious problems if they want elected officials to address rebuilding the economy. Hunter Biden isn’t one of them. He’s never held any political office. Many families can identify with the heartbreak of the Bidens as they struggled to save a son they loved very much from drugs. With Hunter in recovery, all anyone else should care about is his continued success.

PROSECUTION MOVING FORWARD

Surely, House threats to impeach Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland and investigate the FBI for raiding Mar-a-Lago are over now. Federal prosecutors are moving full speed ahead with criminal investigations into Trump’s actions before and during the January 6 insurrection and his possible theft of hundreds of secret government documents when he left the presidency.

Legal experts once thought charging Trump might be a difficult decision for Garland. No president has ever before been criminally prosecuted for his actions in office. But after riveting testimony from Republican White House witnesses before the bipartisan House January 6 Committee, it would be more surprising if Trump were not criminally charged.

Throughout his presidency, Trump used to boast almost daily of his imaginary historic achievements. Now Trump could finally achieve his fantasy of making history. The highest official ever tried for his role in an armed insurrection was President Jefferson’s former vice president Aaron Burr in 1807. Burr was acquitted because there were no eyewitnesses to his planning of an armed rebellion against Jefferson.

Americans in those days didn’t have the technology we do to watch our violent insurrections on live television. It’s getting late, but there’s still time for Republicans to distance themselves from Trump. Relax and enjoy the trial. Remember, Americans are supposed to be on democracy’s side.

Joel McNally was a critic and columnist for the Milwaukee Journal for 27 years. He has written the weekly Taking Liberties column for the Shepherd Express since 1996.

TRUMP FORGED LINKS WITH THE LAWLESS ARMED MILITIAS OF THE OATH KEEPERS AND THE PROUD BOYS LONG BEFORE THEY RESPONDED TO HIS CALL TO WASHINGTON TO LEAD THE INSURRECTION TO OVERTHROW PRESIDENT BIDEN’S ELECTION.
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THE SUCCESSFUL MIDTERMS WILL ALLOW BIDEN AND THE DEMOCRATIC SENATE TO BLOCK THE MOST REPREHENSIBLE LEGISLATION COMING OUT OF THE HOUSE.

“Art Against the Odds” Shows the Humanity of Wisconsin’s Prison Artists

Aforthcoming exhibition, “Art Against the Odds: Wisconsin Prison Art,” to be presented by The Portrait Society Gallery of Contemporary Art (PSG), demands our attention. Beyond being a powerful art show, it has much to say about our criminal justice system and mass incarceration. Presenting the expressive work of 65 prison artists and examining the penal system within which they create, the exhibition aims to pierce prison walls and counter the invisibility which those walls otherwise impose on so many in our society.

Slogans like “Soft on Crime,” and “Lock ’Em Up” punctuate our politics. America incarcerates more persons than any other nation on Earth. In Wisconsin about 40,000 individuals are in adult correctional institutions and more than 60,000 adults are under community supervision at any one time. Our state incarcerates more Blacks proportionate to their percentage of the population than does any other state in the nation.

When removed from our communities, prisoners become little more than statistics for most of us, if we think of them at all. “Art Against the Odds” seeks to counter this dismissive tendency and rather to humanize prisoners as broader and more complex human beings than as characterized merely by their criminal records. In turn, the exhibition questions whether “those people” locked away in our prisons aren’t in the full breadth of their being perhaps worthy of being treated differently than in the ways our harsh penal system currently does?

LIFE STILL HAS MEANING

Debra Brehmer, Portrait Society’s director, stresses that “art is a mirror that reflects the maker as a person with the courage and desire to move beyond their criminal history.” One of the artists echoes this: “[Art] is a way to share a piece of myself in such a way that it connects me to others, provides me with some validation that I am not truly lost to society, that my life still has meaning despite my current predicament.”

Nor is this an abstract humanitarian concern. Ninety-five percent of prisoners will be released and rejoin our communities. Wisconsin state and local governments spend approximately $1.5 billion annually on our correctional systems, substantially more than other states our size. Engaging with these prisoners’ art will give us a window by which to judge the reasonability of our current penal system, so expensive in taxes and spendthrift of human potential.

NEWS ISSUE OF THE MONTH 12 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

IMAGE CREDITS:

Page 12

TOP: M. Winston, Small house, 2022. Re-purposed food cartons, acrylic.

CENTER: John Tyson, 2022. Graphite on paper

BOTTOM: Curtis Wilks, Matthew 27:1-66, 2013, Acrylic and pen on paper, 16 x 20 inches Page 13

ABOVE: Rich Perekovich, Front Lines, 2020, Charcoal on Bristol, 14 x 17 inches

BELOW LEFT: Dominic Marak, Portrait of a Prisoner: Fernando Torres, Disposable series, 2021 Collage: Snack Food Wrappers on Bristol, 10 1/4 x 8 inches

BELOW RIGHT: Ernesto Rivera, Justice Can’t See, 2021, Oil on unstretched canvas, 10.25 x 7.75 inches All images courtesy of Portrait Society Gallery, artagainstthe odds.com

To facilitate this questioning, exhibition programming will include two panel conversations among former prisoners and others actively engaged with our penal system. The first panel, “Correcting The Narrative: Realities and Reform in Our Prison System,” will focus on such issues as rehabilitation, reentry, restorative justice and possible prison reforms. The second panel, “Carceral Aesthetics: Making Art In Prison,” will feature formerly imprisoned artists, discussing the intent, processes, and challenges of creating in confinement.

To underscore the significance of this exhibition, Portrait Society has published a stunning 187-page catalogue, featuring scores of color plates and five essays by individuals involved in our prisons, with prisoners, and with art in varied ways.

“Art Against the Odds” will be hosted in the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) galleries, January 19-March 13. The panel “Correcting the Narrative: Realities and Reform in Our Prison System” will take place on February 2, and “Carceral Aesthetics: Making Art In Prison” on February 9, both at 7 p.m. at MIAD. Free docent led tours will be available Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. through the run of the show.

Peter Goldberg is a retired public defender and a former member of the City of Milwaukee Arts Board.
JANUARY 2023 | 13

In the spring of 2022, a nonprofit organization called the Indigenous Business Group (IBG) was formed by three Native entrepreneurs in an effort to help Indigenous businesses prosper and support economic growth among the tribes in the region. The three founders are Collin Price of the Ho-Chunk Nation; Zoar Fulwilder, who is Salt River Pima-Maricopa; and Rob Pero of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Collin Price, owner of B-Team Strategy and based in the Milwaukee area, sat down for an interview to discuss the development of the group. But before talking about the organization itself, it’s important to understand the challenges tribes and Native businesses owners face – and the motivation to start IBG.

There’s a growing interest among the tribes to have economic diversification, explains Price, but “one thing that hampers economic tribal development is the government structure.”

Photo by Erin Bloodgood.
Collin Price, Co-founder of Indigenous Business Group, Brings Visibility to Native Businesses
14 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS NEWS HERO OF THE MONTH

Wisconsin has 11 federally recognized tribes that are sovereign nations—all of which have their own governing bodies. Each tribe functions differently, but many tribes across the United States rely on casinos as their primary revenue source. This is because of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a 1988 law that protected gaming for the tribes and established a federal gaming structure.

FINDING NEW RESOURCES

Despite having gambling as a revenue source, many tribes struggle to diversify their earnings because of lack of resources and capacity, remote reservation locations, and other reasons that stem from years of oppression.

The Indigenous Business Group wants to be that solution by providing a network between tribes and Indigenous business owners. Price and his co-founders have extensive connections in the business community and want to connect funders with business owners to bring in investments and foster ideas.

Price’s expertise is in relationship building and connecting the right people across the state. His background in public relations and communications at the Ho-Chunk Nation introduced him to members of tribal governments around the state and helped him understand the importance of developing trusted relationships.

The other co-founders Zoar Fulwilder and Rob Pero bring different strengths to the table. Fulwilder, the managing partner of Mavid Construction, has years of experience in

the construction industry. With this expertise, he advises tribes on construction practices and is able to connect Native people to job opportunities in the field.

Rob Pero, founder of Perodigm Media and Canndigenous, has expertise in media, communications, and public relations. According to Price, he takes an aggressive approach to knocking down barriers for budding business owners.

These three ambitious entrepreneurs are using their resources and connections to offer funding solutions, support, and most importantly bring visibility to Indigenous business owners.

What started as networking meet-ups, has since grown into a strong support system. In their first year as an organization, the Indigenous Business Group hosted a conference called the Indigenous Biz Con at Potawatomi Casino this past October. This brought together Indigenous businesses, high-level tribal administrators and elected tribal officials.

“We see Indian Country just getting started in terms of business,” says Price. The organization is young, but they have big aspirations to put Native business owners on the map.

Learn more about the Indigenous Business Group at www.indigenousbusinessgroup.org.

Erin Bloodgood is a Milwaukee photographer and storyteller. See more of her work on her website at www.bloodgoodfoto.com.

JANUARY 2023 | 15

Milwaukee Public Schools

Need Teachers

MPS TALENT DIRECTOR MICHAEL

HARRIS EXPLAINS THE CHALLENGE

16 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS NEWS MKE SPEAKS: CONVERSATIONS WITH MILWAUKEEANS
Photo by Tom Jenz.

When it comes to educating the 71,000 students attending Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), the system is under a dark cloud, and the thunder is growing louder. MPS needs an additional 200 teachers. I met Michael Harris for a conversation about the teacher shortage and other issues. He is senior director of talent management at MPS. His job is to recruit teachers and staff, and it’s a crucial job. There are over 8,000 MPS employees.

Harris looks like a confident businessman. He wears hornrimmed eyeglasses over a starched white shirt, tie and vest. He is 54, a father and a grandfather, but he could pass for 34. His personality brims with boyish enthusiasm, but he commands mature respect. He has devoted his adult life to public education, and he likes to talk about helping young people to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Tell me about your personal history.

I grew up on 12th and Burleigh, heart of zip code 53206. Youngest of five children in a single mom family. My mom served as the certified dietitian kitchen manager for the St. Thomas School on 35th and Brown and later as the manager at Lakeside Children’s Center on the East Side. My dad was a semi-truck driver in Chicago. We lived in a middle- class Black neighborhood where people got along and watched out for each other. I attended elementary and middle school in that neighborhood and then Riverside High School on Locust. Good school for kids who planned to go to college. Various tracks to get there. I chose the business track. While in high school, I worked part time at a Downtown bank to gain on-the-job experience. I learned how to dress for business and how a business operates.

After I graduated from high school, I got married and had two beautiful children, Brooklyn and Brittney. I attended MATC, then transferred to Lakeland University where I earned my bachelor’s degree. Through all this, I was working full time as a manager at various restaurants in the Milwaukee area to support my young family.”

How did your career path into education begin?

After I got out of college in 1997, I became a teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools at Lincoln Center of the Arts middle school. Eventually, I got into school administration as an associate principal in the Menomonee Falls District. Then, I became the principal at Lakeshore Middle School in Mequon-Thiensville. In 2013, I got my dream job as the principal at Riverside University High School, my alma mater.

Those three plus years were the most rewarding years of my career. During my time there, I was recruited for the job of executive director of secondary teaching and learning in the Clarke County School District in Athens, Georgia. Later on, I became the executive director of talent management there. About a year and a half ago, I returned to Milwaukee during the pandemic to serve as the MPS senior director of talent management, my job now.

Nationally, there is a teacher shortage, and the situation in MPS is no different. Currently, the district has a significant shortage of teachers and paraprofessionals. We are looking to fill more than 100 teaching positions in our elementary schools and nearly 100 positions in high schools. So it’s been a challenge. We’ve been quite aggressive in our recruitment efforts locally and even internationally. We’ve made recruiting trips to Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Nigeria, and we were pleased to find teachers in those places. The general problem has been a huge decline in the number of college students enrolling in the schools of education because the cost has gone up, but the wages for public and private teachers has not. The starting teaching salary in MPS for a newly licensed Wisconsin teacher is $46,979.”

To become qualified to teach in Wisconsin, you need to go through a tough process. Besides earning a college degree, you have to earn your state of Wisconsin license. One of the newer programs you oversee is the Milwaukee Public Schools University (MPSU)—a different way to become licensed?

MPSU is a non-credit bearing educator program approved by the State of Wisconsin to accept bachelor degreed MPS employees who don’t have a teaching license but want to become licensed teachers. Physical education is one of the subject areas where we’ve gotten approval. This program includes only employees of MPS and is not open to external candidates. I oversee the MPSU program. However, there is a manager who facilitates the programming and enrollment to make sure we align with all of the requirements for teacher licensure by the state. If we have a need, in this case for phys ed teachers, we have to be creative in how we address that need. The MPSU program is one way.

Illustrations by Valeriya_Dor/Getty Images. JANUARY 2023 | 17

One of the complaints I hear from inner city residents and community organizers is there are so few courses in the trades, for example, electricians, carpenters, mechanics and culinary. There is also a lack of tech courses such as computer programming and coding. I understand. We don’t offer as many courses in the trades as we once did. We’ve gotten away from that curriculum because post-secondary education became geared to college preparation. Some inner-city kids of color don’t want to go to college and do not qualify for college.

I’d like to see more courses in trades come back at MPS. The trade jobs pay very well in this current job market. We are trying to recruit skilled trades people from the private sector and place them in the public salary schedule as teachers. This is very difficult because they are making a lot more money in the private sector.”

Ninety percent of MPS students are Black or brown. The central city has significant issues including broken families, high crime, low incomes and poverty. Many Black community leaders I’ve talked to—from community organizers to elected officials and appointed bureaucrats—think the best way to improve the inner city is to build up the infrastructure. By that, they mean new stores and businesses, quality housing, and better schools.

My field is education, and I can only answer from that point of view. My feeling is that with so many schools in our city and not just MPS, we lose a sense of place, a sense of neighborhood. And like you said, it takes community leaders, elected leaders, and next-door neighbors to rebuild our sense of community. Like schools, neighborhoods with strong community involvement are safer, connect people to services and jobs, and provide a better quality of life.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, MPS students have an average math proficiency score of 15% versus the Wisconsin public school average of 42% and reading proficiency score of 19% versus the 41% statewide average.

I think we need to get away from evaluating school children only based on standardized testing. Kids are more than just test scores. Children have multiple ways of demonstrating what they know and what they’ve learned. Standardized tests do not measure all of it. A young person might have a skill in the arts or in mechanics or carpentry. What does a standardized test tell you about that person? We need to find a better way to evaluate our children and encourage them on their own journeys.”

Do we expect too much from our teachers? After all, it is the families who raise and are responsible for their children.

Raising responsible children is a combined effort. Take me. I may be an educator, but I’m also a parent and a grandparent. I know teachers in MPS are working incredibly hard. They need parents and everyone in our community to support them and to rally around our schools and our kids.

Illustrations by Valeriya_Dor/Getty Images. 18 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS NEWS MKE SPEAKS: CONVERSATIONS WITH MILWAUKEEANS
Tom Jenz writes the Central City Stories column for shepherdexpress.com.
JANUARY 2023 | 19

FIREFLY TOSA STILL GLOWS BRIGHT AFTER 15 YEARS

Nestled in Wauwatosa’s picturesque downtown village, Firefly Tosa is a cozy spot for casual dining and drinks. Owned and operated by sisters Vesna and Marija Madunic, who also own Gracious Catering, Firefly has been an excellent venue to showcase their inventive, modern dishes made with only the freshest, high-quality ingredients.

Firefly has been open under that name since 2007. Two intimate dining rooms at the front of are perfect for small groups or family dinners, and the larger Skylight room at the back is warm and inviting for a laidback dinner. Another option is drinks at the bar for any size group with comfortable high-top ta-

bles and semi-private nooks, including a posh fireplace lounge off to one side. The noise level is kept under control with strategically placed lux draperies. On a recent visit, the staff was friendly and attentive, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the food was delightful.

Begin your meal with something from the bar bites small plate menu like the crispy garlic fries ($8), beautiful hand cut fries topped with lots of fresh garlic, parmesan, and flavorful gremolata, served with a tasty aioli and ketchup.

Or choose the crazy delicious bacon wrapped rumaki ($12), tender dates filled with creamy Boursin cheese and wrapped with fantastic peppered ba-

Photo by Susan Harpt Grimes. Photo by Susan Harpt Grimes.
Brick background by Amguy/Getty Images. 20 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS FOOD & DRINK

con. Another excellent choice, the goat cheese croquettes ($12), are lightly breaded and perfectly fried balls of goat cheese drizzled with a phenomenal black pepper truffle honey sauce.

REASONABLE PRICES

The dinner menu is concise and reasonably priced with solid, if a bit limited, offerings. Standouts include the sweet and spicy Firefly’s sticky chicken ($24), fried chicken perfection with a buffalo caramel glaze, served with a chive buttermilk biscuit, mashed potatoes, and a heavenly blue cheese honey sauce. Another standout option is the pork chops ($24), two expertly cooked chops with a lovely parmesan-jalapeno panko crust, served with mashed potatoes and topped off with a zippy garlic-chili lime sauce. The Firefly burger ($15) was also quite good, featuring a special blend of ground short rib and chuck pattie, topped with garlic aioli, white cheddar, delicate deep-fried jalapeno and onion strings and lettuce piled high on a fresh brioche bun, served with fries.

The menu is rounded out with several salads ($7-$14). The brief list of desserts is worth saving room for, especially the apple blackberry tart ($10) served with a silky crème anglaise and rich bourbon caramel.

There’s no shortage of libations available at Firefly, with a primary focus on cocktails. Seasonal cocktails are always fun to sample. The ginger bee’s knees ($12) will warm you up from the inside, and the brandy cardigan ($12) is full of cinnamon-y goodness. Year

round, fans of the Wisconsin staple brandy old fashioned, will enjoy the Firefly black cherry old fashioned ($12), or go with the Milwaukee mule ($10), served in a proper copper cup.

FIREFLY TOSA 7754 Harwood Ave. (414) 431-1444 fireflytosa.com
Susan Harpt Grimes is a regular contributor to shepherdexpress.com.
JANUARY 2023 | 21

Veni, Vidi, Vichy Veni, Vidi, Vichy

Vichyssoise, a chilled soup of potatoes, leeks and onions, has a place alongside ratatouille, French onion soup, gazpacho and other legendary, vegetable-heavy dishes of bucolic origin. Peasant food, as it were, that eventually became regarded as high-class.

Personally, I think traditional vichyssoise is a tad boring. And the soup’s highest profile proponents seem to wish to keep it that way. Most recipes frown on deviations and keep it simple.

I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I feel that my version is better. It’s not exactly busier—salt and pepper remain the only seasonings—but it has more depth. It includes all of the original ingredients, but the leeks and onions are augmented by their cousin garlic, while the potatoes are joined by cauliflower and celery root, also known as celeriac.

Although my version is more complex than the original, it remains simple, and charms you in a similar way. Snazzing up this dish just doesn’t work, even with bacon bits, mayo, tomato, hot sauce, or other tweaks that usually improve

anything. Here they fall flat. My vichyssoise-esque is at its absolute best when topped with no more than chopped chives, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Those chives, along with the garlic, leeks and onions are all members of the allium or lily family. That’s a lot of allium for one dish, so if you are hesitant to call it vichyssoise, we could go with Cream of Allium soup instead.

And it’s more than just a soup. It makes a great white sauce, on noodles, meat or veggies. It’s a refuge for when you eat too hot of a jalapeno. It’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack.

Although my recipe calls for very little cream compared to the original, I consider the cream totally optional. Even without the cream, it’s still creamy, rich and maddeningly satisfying. A full bowl vanishes quickly, allowing you to have another, and another. And before you know it, the soup course becomes the main course, and the next thing you know, there’s no room for dessert.

Images.
Photo by Liudmila Chernetska/Getty
FOOD & DRINK FLASH IN THE PAN 22 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
Photo by Ari LeVaux.

Cream of Allium Soup aka vichyssoise-esque

This recipe ends up nearly as thick as mashed potatoes, but you can still eat it like a soup. For the chicken stock, I’m a huge fan of Better than Bouillon paste. But any form of stock will work, including cubes or liquid stock. If using liquid stock, substitute it for the water, and increase the salt levels accordingly as most commercially made stock contains none.

• 8 cups water

• 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon paste, or a cube

• 1 teaspoon salt

• A pound of leeks, white and nearly white parts only, chopped

• ½ pound onions, not red, chopped

• 4 large garlic cloves, chopped

• ½ pound celeriac, peeled and chopped

• ½ pound potatoes, peeled and diced

• 1 pound cauliflower florets, broken into small pieces

• 4 tablespoons butter

• 4 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 tablespoon lemon zest

• ¼ – ½ cup heavy cream (optional)

• Black pepper, chopped chives and olive oil to garnish.

Heat the water, salt and chicken stock to a boil. Add the potatoes. After five minutes add the celeriac. After another five minutes add the cauliflower. Cook another five minutes and turn it off. Allow to cool with the veggies in the water.

Sauté the onions, leeks and garlic in the butter and oil on medium heat, stirring on occasion to keep from browning or worse. Cook for about 30 minutes until translucent and caramelized (a few brown spots are OK)

When everything is cool enough to work with, add the leeks, onions, garlic, potatoes, celeriac and cauliflower (and the water they cooked in) to a blender, along with the lemon zest and cream, and puree. Garnish with chives, black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

Ari LeVaux has written about food for The Atlantic Online, Outside Online and Alternet.

JANUARY 2023 | 23

Perfect Cappuccino Perfect Cappuccino

It isn’t the coffee. It’s the milk froth, what Italians call schiuma. Its weight, its texture, the density of its air bubbles. Milk froth and steamed milk make up two-thirds of a cappuccino. They’re the primary quality of perfect cappuccino. And all perfect cappuccino asks of you is to refrigerate milk properly and froth milk correctly.

Milk should be refrigerated at temperatures below 40°F. When milk is removed from refrigeration, its temperature shouldn’t exceed 45°F. At higher temperatures, milk fats break down, displacing milk proteins, which possess the property that stabilizes milk and air. That means the milk’s frothing capacity decreases.

As long as you handle your milk properly, all you have to have for perfect cappuccino is an espresso maker and a guide for correct milk frothing.

by efetova/Getty Images. 24 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS FOOD & DRINK BEVERAGES
Cappuccino photo

THE PERFECT CAPPUCCINO:

1

Start with a clean, medium-sized stainless steel pitcher. A 32-ounce pitcher. Makes enough schiuma for three cappuccini

2

Use cold whole milk. It should be less than 40°F. (Use a thermometer.) The colder the milk is, the better it is for frothing. A temperature of 35°F is ideal. All types of milk froth, but only whole milk produces heavy, creamy, thick froth. Reduced-fat milk makes froth without sufficient heft. Fat free milk makes big, airy bubbles. 3

Pour the milk halfway up the pitcher. 4

Purge condensation from the steam wand by turning it on for a second or two while it’s over the drip tray. 5

Submerge the tip of the wand 1/2 inch below the milk's surface and against the side of the pitcher. If the wand begins too deeply submerged, the milk will steam but not aerate and make froth. Hold the pitcher so that the wand dissects the surface of the milk at a little less than a 45° angle. The wand's position and angle will cause the milk to spin. Apply full steam and hold the pitcher steady. Listen for sounds of hissing, which indicate air is being drawn into the milk. As the milk froths, it rises quickly, expanding with air. The optimum temperatures to draw air into milk terminate at 100°F. (Use a thermometer.) Higher temperatures yield big air bubbles, which corrupt a cappuccino's taste, texture, and appearance.

6

When the temperature reaches 100°F, push the wand deeper into the milk and tip the pitcher so that the milk spins faster, whipping the air bubbles into the small, fine lattices which aesthetically and sensually distinguish perfect cappuccino. 7

When milk reaches 150°F, disengage the steamer. Do not bring the wand to the surface until the steamer is off. The temperature will rise to about 160°F.

8

Set the pitcher aside and make espresso straight into the cappuccino cup. Doing so preserves the tan layer of foam on top of the coffee, the emulsified oils and proteins that Italians call crema. A proper cappuccino is served in a rounded-bottom, six-ounce cup. 9

Thump the pitcher on the counter gently two or three times to rid the milk of any big air bubbles. 10

Take the pitcher by the side and give the milk a couple of good, strong whirls, a technique that enhances the texture of the steamed milk and turns the froth lustrous. 11

Pour the milk down the center of the cup, through the espresso, so that the crema rises in a dense rim around the sides. Doing so allows the milk froth's microscopic bubbles to pass through the coffee and steamed milk. Judge the pour to comprise the cup of one part espresso, one part steamed milk and one part milk froth. The cappuccino should not be served with any other ingredients, including toppings. It should be velvety and glossy, displaying a soft dense consistency.

12

Purge milk from the steam wand for one or two seconds. Wipe down the wand.

Compiled with the guidance of Heidi Rasmussen, Senior Manager Education and Quality Assurance, Illy Caffè North America; Dr. Johnny McGregor, Chairman of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina; Fritz Storm, 2002 World Barista Champion; and David C. Schomer, author of Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques

Gaetano Marangelli is a sommelier and playwright. He was the managing director of a wine import and distribution company in New York and beverage director for restaurants and retailers in New York and Chicago before moving to Wauwatosa.

AN ABRIDGED TECHNICAL GUIDE
Images. JANUARY 2023 | 25
Photo by Theerawan Bangpran/Getty
26 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE
Illustration by Sophie Yufa.

ART GALLERY (NON-MUSEUM)/ Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel

Since 2019, Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel, has offered live music, art exhibits, theater, cocktails, and food from steak to pizza. Its location is close to the Riverwalk, theaters, Lake Michigan and the Third Ward. Winning in multiple categories is a feather in the cap for this unique destination. The galleries, one of them run by MOWA and the other by the hotel, are alone worth a visit. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Dream Lab

• En Pointe Gallery and Gifts

• Var Gallery

ART MUSEUM

Milwaukee Art Museum

The soaring spires of the museum’s addition by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has become Milwaukee’s symbol—and you can’t beat that heated underground parking garage in winter. The Milwaukee Art Museum has a strong collection at its base, spanning the ancient world through just yesterday and hosts several significant exhibitions during each calendar year. Not to be missed is the current exhibition, a look at the artists who reflected America’s gritty urban scene at the start of the 20th century, “After Ashcan: The 14th Street School,” through March 26. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS:

• Grohmann Museum

• Haggerty Museum of Art

• Warehouse Art Museum | WAM

ART & CRAFT FAIR/MAKERS MARKET

Milwaukee Makers Market

With a goal of supporting local artisans, Ryan Laessig launched Milwaukee Makers Market in 2015 as a small outdoor event in the parking lot of Colectivo Coffee’s Bay View location. The market, now held at venues such as Discovery World and The Ivy House, has grown into a thriving hub for makers to sell product and network with customers and other artists. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Cream City Creatives

• Hovercraft

Re: Craft & Relic

CHORAL GROUP Kids From Wisconsin

The Kids From Wisconsin are an extremely talented group of singers, musicians and dancers. Do yourself a favor and check out one of their suitable-for-all-ages shows. The Kids will blow your socks off with their high energy renditions of classic tunes, Broadway hits, pop and country songs. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Bach Chamber Choir Chant Claire

• Milwaukee Symphony Chorus

CLASSICAL MUSIC ENSEMBLE Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

Under the baton of music director KenDavid Masur, the MSO’s current season includes everything from Disney animated movie scores to Handel’s Messiah, from contemporary composer Tan Dun to concert hall favorites such as Dvorak and Vivaldi—usually in the gorgeous setting of the Bradley Symphony Center. (Morton Shlabotnik)

FINALISTS: Bach Chamber Choir

• Chant Claire Present Music

COMEDIAN

Charlie Berens

Charlie Berens has become a local household name over the past decade. While he has traveled the country doing comedy tours, written the hilarious Midwest Survival Guide, and conducted countless interviews over the years, Berens may be best known as the “Manitowoc Minute guy” who helps us laugh at our Wisconsinisms. Our accent, our unique customs, our heroes and perhaps most importantly, ourselves. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Dana Ehrmann

• John McGivern

• Ton Johnson

COMMUNITY FESTIVAL Bastille Days

Bastille Days hosts a wide variety of all things French in the heart of the city. The festival has everything for your inner Francophile; live music, a vast range of cuisine, a 5K run to kick off the festivities, and an Eiffel Tower replica and much more. At Bastille Days, there’s an endless supply of beautiful art and cultural fun, as well as the best crepes one could find this side of the Atlantic. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS:

• Bay View Bash

• Milwaukee Irish Fest

• Petfest

DANCE COMPANY Milwaukee Ballet Company

Milwaukee Ballet continues to mix contemporary with classic, making it a favorite with Shepherd Express readers. Over its 52-year history, the Milwaukee Ballet has developed a national reputation for its work in modern ballet historical works like Swan Lake For children, there’s always the beloved holiday favorite The Nutcracker. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: Catey Ott Dance Collective

• Danceworks, Inc.

• Ko-Thi Dance Co Inc

LOCAL RADIO PERSONALITY Alley Faith

There are few constants in Milwaukee radio, but for the past 18 years, one of them has been hearing Alley Faith in the mornings on 103.7 KISS FM. Alley’s presence as part of the morning show on the station is always welcoming, whether discussing celebrity gossip or sharing stories of her own family. In addition to radio, Faith also hosts a public affairs podcast for the station, and is known to volunteer time and give back to the greater Milwaukee community off the airwaves. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS: Anthony Foster

• Element Everest-Blanks Mandy Scott

LOCAL TV PERSONALITY/STAGE ACTOR

John McGivern

There is just something about John McGivern that brings a smile to your face. He has a huge personality and is full of positive energy. His explorations of Milwaukee neighborhoods and neighboring communities in his PBS show “Around the Corner “are a joy to watch. If you’ve seen him on stage, you surely found yourself laughing along as John McGivern does what he does best—make Milwaukee a brighter place. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: TV PERSONALITY

• Brian Gotter

• Shannon Sims

• Ted Perry

FINALISTS: STAGE ACTOR

Anna Marie Zorn

• Dear Ruthie Dimonte Henning

• Elyse Edelman

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
JANUARY 2023 | 27

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Brit Nicole

Brit Nicole is many things—poet, vocalist, healer, performer, and musician to name a few. She co-founded PENtastic open mic in 2013; currently she’s hosting open mic Lyrical Sanctuary and is involved with Heal the Hood MKE, Wisconsin Association for Child and Youth Care Professionals, and Rooted Society. Earlier this year in April, Nicole released her debut spoken word album Nocturnal Butterfly. (Ben Slowey)

FINALISTS:

• David Luhrssen

• Ellia Ana Hill

• Jenna Kashou

MOVIE THEATER

Oriental Theatre MKE

Milwaukee is fortunate in having several cinemas from Hollywood’s golden age that are still operating as movie theaters. Perhaps the grandest of them all, the Oriental, is an architectural fantasy blending the Near East with the Far East. Its ambitious programming includes foreign, independent films and revivals across all genres. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS:

• Avalon Atmospheric Theater

Landmark's Downer Theatre

• Marcus Theaters

MUSEUM (NON-ART) Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells St. mpm.edu

Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), Milwaukee’s beloved natural and human history museum, first opened to the public in 1884. Since then, permanent exhibits such as Streets of Old Milwaukee, along with special exhibits, programs and collections, have educated and delighted more than a half-million visitors each year. With a new home on the horizon, MPM will offer wonders of the world for generations to come. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

America's Black Holocaust Museum

• Discovery World

• Jewish Museum Milwaukee

MUSIC EDUCATION Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

For almost 125 years the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music has been Wisconsin’s leading community music school. The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is now the first institution to offer Smart Start™, a new and innovative Early Childhood education program that uses musical activities to train fundamental cognitive skills for children ages up to four-years-old. Students of all ages are welcome to learn; WCM also offers tuition assistance. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Kids From Wisconsin

• Milwaukee Jazz Institute

• Sound Check Studios

LAKEFRONT FESTIVAL Summerfest

Milwaukee’s premier music festival and outdoor venue puts the “summer” in the festival setting. The internationally known—and renowned—music fest literally features every type of music and entertainment possible under the sun, the moon and the stars. In fact, that’s the best way to enjoy it. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: German Fest

• Irish Fest Petfest

OUTDOOR MUSIC SERIES

Chill on the Hill

It is no secret that here in Milwaukee we try to stuff as much summer as we can into the precious few days of warm weather. Each Tuesday evening from June through August, the bandshell at Humboldt Park features a line-up of local, live music. The family-friendly event draws a bevy of food trucks, there is a beer and wine garden, carry-ins are welcome, dogs are welcome. The site also hosts other events including a fall pumpkin pavilion, ethnic festivals and movie nights. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Franksville Craft Beer Garden

• Jazz in the Park

• Tosa Tonight

RADIO STATION Radio Milwaukee

For 15 years Radio Milwaukee has been making our radio band a happier place. Because they are community-supported they seem to recognize what the people want to hear. Whether it’s Marcus Doucette taking requests on Saturday mornings and weekdays at noon, or Kenny Perez giving us a reason to get up and dance on Saturday nights. There’s a little something for everyone on 88.9 FM. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• 91.7 WMSE-FM

• Milwaukee's NPR 89.7 WUWM-FM

• WISN - News/Talk 1130

THEATER COMPANY Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Milwaukee’s premier theater company hits the top spot with readers given its innovative and diverse programming. At 67 years old, The Rep continues to really live the adage, “the show must go on!” even when the pandemic shut down everything, including its season closer of Titanic: The Musical last spring 2022 mid-stream, er, mid production. The ill-fated ship sailed again when The Rep brought it back this past fall, all the more sturdy and solid in a sleek, stylish production that enthralled viewers making live performance come alive ... again. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Falls Patio Players

• First Stage Next Act Theatre

• Skylight Music Theatre

28 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE

LOCAL ACTIVIST

Vaun Mayes

Vaun Mayes is the top Black street leader and peace activist in Milwaukee. For years, he has dedicated his life to his role as a community organizer. He heads Community Task Force Milwaukee, a group of youth leaders and faith-based organizations seeking peace and unity. If there is trouble in Vaun’s Sherman Park community, he often shows up to help. (Tom Jenz)

FINALISTS:

• Angela Lang

• Elle Halo

• Jasmine Tyler

LOCAL CHARACTER Milverine

The stuff of legend or just a guy who prefers to walk? Milwaukee has a rich history of local characters including John Hamann (aka Milverine), whose resemblance to a certain Marvel Comics character has made him a recognizable face in his hometown for little more than walking, sometimes with his small dog and shirtless—weather permitting—from Downtown to Bay View. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Dear Ruthie

• John McGivern

LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR

Ali Acevedo

Ali Acevedo gave up a 9-to-5 job with US Bank to strike out as an entrepreneur. With two locations, downtown West Allis and Bayshore Towncenter, his All Goods resale shops specialize in vintage street wear, Milwaukee Bucks gear, college crewnecks, and even Disney tees. “It’s more personable when you learn about the people. You learn about so much stuff going around in the city from having those conversations that you never knew,” he told the Shepherd Express

“Every now and then it’s nice to just know that you’re helping your community and that they’re helping somebody who took the chance.” (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Becky Cooper

• Geoff Hoen

• Ryan Laessig

LOCAL PODCAST

Real Stories MKE

Presented in collaboration with WUWM and Ex Fabula, Real Stories MKE highlights the people and ideas that make Milwaukee unique. Each story is recorded from a live Ex Fabula event and compiled around a central theme by hosts Kim Shine and Joel Dresang. In an effort to connect the city’s many neighborhoods and backgrounds, the podcast serves as a common ground for all of Milwaukee to come together. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS: Geekset Podcast

• Melanated Musicology

• Tell Them You Mean Business by Hupy and Abraham, S.C.

• The General Session Podcast

• Vigil

MILWAUKEE ALDERPERSON

Marina Dimitrijevic

Marina Dimitrijevic has been an extraordinarily effective public servant. As a county supervisor and now as alderperson representing the near South Side, she continues to work hard to deliver impressive results for her constituents and for all of us in Milwaukee. (Louis Fortis)

FINALISTS: Jose Perez

• Michael Murphy

• Milele Coggs

MILWAUKEE COUNTY SUPERVISOR Ryan Clancy

Ryan Clancy apparently impressed his constituents during his relatively short stint as a county supervisor—so much so that the voters elevated him as their representative in the state assembly. We look forward to seeing his accomplishments at the state level. (Frank Grey)

FINALISTS:

• Liz Sumner

• Sequanna Taylor

• Sheldon Wasserman

MILWAUKEE INFLUENCER

Discover Milwaukee

Showing off our city to the world is no small task. Discover Milwaukee has harnessed the pulse of the city, though, acting as a social media guide, with eye catching videos and photos showing you around. Whether you’re looking for something fun to do on the weekend or discovering some of the many hidden gems that make Milwaukee unique, Discover Milwaukee has likely played the role of tour guide for many, both inside of the city and out. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Ali Acevedo

• Chris Novak

• Riva Treasure

MILWAUKEEAN OF THE YEAR Giannis Antetokounmpo

While our fair city can be divided on any number of issues, there is common ground every time that Giannis Antetokounmpo takes the floor for the Milwaukee Bucks. With a powerful performance on the floor, as well as an infectious smile and sense of humor off the court, there’s simply not much to dislike about the Greek Freak. Few people have brought put Milwaukee’s image on the international radar in the way that Antetokounmpo

CITY CONFIDENTIAL
30 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE

CITY CONFIDENTIAL

does, and when you really think about it, his presence in the city is a catalyst for the community’s growth as a whole. Few people truly embody the spirit of all that is good about Milwaukee, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is definitely one of them. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Bobby Portis

Cavalier Johnson

• Hazel Jones

• Mandela Barnes

• Ranell Washington

• Vaun Mayes

MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESS Funky Fresh Spring Rolls

In addition to the spot a Sherman Phoenix, you can find Funky Fresh Spring Rolls at 28 grocery stores and bodegas in the greater Milwaukee area. Founded by TrueMan McGee in 2013 and born out of a need for healthy food options for his personal training clients, the handcrafted spring rolls quickly outgrew the workouts in demand. With fillings like kale, broccoli, mushroom, sweet potato and black beans, the rotating selection is a healthy and tasty alternative to deep fried egg rolls. (Benjamin Dover)

FINALISTS:

• All Goods

• Maranta Plant Shop

Ruby’s Bagels

• The House of the Gypsy Twisted Plants

MOST BELOVED POLITICIAN / RISING STAR IN POLITICS

Mandela Barnes

Mandela Barnes gained hands-on lawmaking experience through two terms in the state assembly. He became one of the more prominent lieutenant governors in recent Wisconsin history, taking the lead on important issues and serving with Gov. Tony Evers through the difficult months of pandemic response and protest over the death of George Floyd. Barnes was narrowly defeated in his bid for U.S. Senate seat by Ron Johnson’s well-funded ad campaign based on lies and not-so-subtle racism. (David Luhrssen)

MOST DESPISED POLITICIAN Ron Johnson

Apparently assured of an easy win through an ugly, billionaire-financed campaign of deceit and racism, Ron Johnson was shocked by how close his margin of victory was over Mandela Barnes. Wisconsin has no reason to feel proud over its junior senator. Johnson remains an election denier, even after being caught on camera admitting Donald Trump’s loss in Wisconsin. He remains a threat to American values for his plan to cut Social Security and Medicare. (Frank Grey)

FINALISTS: Bob Donovan

• Tim Michels

• Tony Evers

MOST TRUSTED PUBLIC OFFICIAL Tammy Baldwin

From her years in the Wisconsin legislature through her service in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Tammy Baldwin has been an elected official who knows how to get things done. She has shown an extraordinary capacity to work across the aisle to achieve bipartisanship—even with politicians with whom she has little in common. She recently authored the Respect for Marriage Act, which codifies marriage equality in federal law that was recently signed into law by President Biden. (Louis Fortis)

FINALISTS: Mandela Barnes Ryan Clancy Tony Evers

ORGANIZATION

SUPPORTING VETERANS

NON-PROFIT/HUMAN SERVICES ORGANIZATION / PLACE TO WORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

Planned Parenthood

Since the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision this summer, Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin has led the way for local women whose right to choose has been taken away. As soon as the decision came down, Wisconsin’s archaic 1849 abortion ban was reinstated. Planned Parenthood immediately began working with doctors and clinics in neighboring states to assist women who prefer living in the 21st century. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: NON-PROFIT/HUMAN SERVICES ORGANIZATION

• Ex Fabula

• Ignite The Spirit- Milwaukee

• Mattie's Memory Moms Mental Health Initiative

FINALISTS: PLACE TO WORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

• BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing Communities)

• Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc. Marquette University Center for Peacemaking

• MICAH Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope

• UBUNTU Research & Evaluation

• WISDOM: Linking people of faith across Wisconsin to work for justice YWCA Southeast Wisconsin

PHILANTHROPIST

Bader Philanthropies

3300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive bader.org

Milwaukee

Homeless Veterans Initiative

6300 W. National Ave., West Allis mhvivets.com

With Bader Philanthropies, the season for giving is year-round. Founded in 1992, the organization has committed more than $426 million in grants and program related investments in a variety of areas that focus on making life better for people living in neighborhoods in Milwaukee, rural Wisconsin and around the world. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Andy Nunemaker

• Jan Serr & John Shannon

• Madeleine Lubar

FINALISTS:

MOST BELOVED POLITICIAN

• Cavalier Johnson

• Ron Johnson

Tony Evers

FINALISTS: RISING STAR IN POLITICS

• Cavalier Johnson

Kalan Haywood

• Priscilla Coggs-Jones

Ryan Clancy

• Tim Michels

Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (MHVI) serves homeless and at-risk veterans and their families by filling in the gaps that other veterans’ service organizations might miss. Programs include outreach, emergency food, crisis management, furniture and household items, and a women’s initiative addressing unique challenges faced by female veterans. Their Bikes for Stripes donation program provides bicycles for veterans and their children. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Dryhootch Coffeehouse

• Fisher House

• Float Milwaukee

JANUARY 2023 | 31

PLACE TO PICK UP THE SHEPHERD EXPRESS

Milwaukee Public Libraries

Multiple locations

Many metropolitan areas lack a library system as extensive as Milwaukee and surrounding suburbs. Despite the predictions by Y2K futurists, books have not gone away, and the libraries remain vital hubs of community life.

(David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS:

• Beans & Barley

Outpost Natural Foods

CITY CONFIDENTIAL

PLACE TO WORK FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

Urban Ecology Center

Since 1991, the Urban Ecology Center has offered a multitude of programs educating the community about the environment, conservation, sustainability and other issues related to urban ecology. Through programs for adults and children, the nonprofit highlights the natural assets of the city and promotes urban environmental stewardship. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Milwaukee Riverkeeper

In the heavily gerrymandered GOPcontrolled legislature. He currently serves as Senate Democratic Caucus Chair. (Frank Grey)

FINALISTS: Evan Goyke

• Jonathan Brostoff

• Robin Vos

WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESS Flour Girl & Flame

Then he was encouraged to run for State

the Racine County line. He has effectively

Flour Girl & Flame, operated by Dana Spandet, is woman-owned and part of the LGBTQ+ community. Spandet built a following selling her flavorful pizzas, baked in a 900-degree wood-fired pizza oven, at pop-ups around town. Now with a permanent carryout location, which operates during winter, she stays committed to supporting local, diverse farmers and producers while engaging in environmentally sustainable business practices. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• GlampMKE Infinite Gymnastics

• Nourish Skin and Sugar Studio

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ARTISINAL CHEESE

West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe

Multiple locations westallischeese.com

This popular café and cheese shop, with its impressive variety of artisan cheese and meats, again wins the nod for Best Cheese Selection. The café menu features more than a dozen signature sandwiches (several, of course, with cheese!) and creative daily specials. The build-your-own sandwich option lets customers choose from a variety of breads, cheeses, meats and toppings. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS: Alpinage Cheese

• Clock Shadow Creamery Glorioso's Italian Market

• The Village Cheese Shop

BACON Nueske's

Applewood

Smoked Meat nueskes.com

Nueske’s Applewood Bacon is a tasty delight. It appears on restaurant menus all around town, paired with breakfasts, burgers, bloody marys, and even as a topping on doughnuts. Nueske’s really stands out because they use a lean cut that is slowly smoked over applewood, resulting in an incredibly flavorful, meaty bacon that crisps up to perfection when cooked. Next time you’re looking to elevate your bacon experience, seek out the Nueske’s! (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Becher Meats

• Bunzel's Meat Market

• Held's Meat and Cheese Market Karl's Country Market ( World Famous Sausage) Kettle Range Meat Company

• South Milwaukee Sausage and Meats

BAKERY / HOT HAM AND ROLLS

Grebe's Bakery

5132 W. Lincoln Ave. grebesbakery.com

Grebe’s has spent years providing Milwaukee’s bakery lovers mouthwatering donuts, ham, and rolls, as well as many other deli and coffee options. A trip to Grebe’s is sure to be full of comforting nostalgia and unparalleled pastries, and this Milwaukee essential is a perfect

stop on any holiday, gathering, or regular Sunday. A Grebe’s chocolate iced custard-filled donut tastes of nothing less than home. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS: BAKERY

• Jen's Sweet Treats

• Peter Sciortino Bakery

• Rocket Baby Bakery

FINALISTS: HOT HAM AND ROLLS Jen's Sweet Treats

• Layton Fruit Market

• South Milwaukee Sausage and Meats

BEER SELECTION / LIQUOR STORE Discount Liquor Inc

Multiple locations

Discountliquorinc.com

Chances are if you can’t find it here, it can’t be found. Discount Liquor stocks some 1,500 import, craft and domestic beers and more than 8,000 wines from many countries. More than 3,500 varieties of spirits from national and local distillers line the shelves. The folks at Discount Liquor know their product. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS: BEER SELECTION

National Liquor & Wine

• Ray's Wine & Spirits

FINALISTS: LIQUOR STORE

• Avenue Wine & Liquor Inc

• Otto's Wine & Spirits on Oakland Ray's Wine & Spirits

BRATWURST / SAUSAGE / SAUSAGE SHOP

Usinger's™ Famous Sausage, Inc.

1030 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive usinger.com

Let's be frank (sorry—it’s hard not to find a good sausage, especially bratwurst, in Milwaukee. In a city of wurst, where we are blessed by sausage makers from large companies to small independents, one stands above the rest: the revered Usinger’s Famous Sausage, a true taste of old Milwaukee since 1880. Find their brats for your grill, and other fine varieties to sample, at their shop downtown or in stores throughout southeast Wisconsin. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS: BRATWURST

• Bunzel's Meat Market

• Foltz Family Market

• South Milwaukee Sausage and Meats

FINALISTS: SAUSAGE G. Groppi Food Market

• Karl's Country Market ( World Famous Sausage)

• South Milwaukee Sausage and Meats

FINALISTS: SAUSAGE SHOP

• Bunzel's Meat Market

C & R Market

• Foltz Family Market

• Karl's Country Market ( World Famous Sausage)

• South Milwaukee Sausage and Meats

BUTCHER SHOP / MEAT SELECTION

Bunzel's Meat Market 9015 W. Burleigh St. bunzels.com

For generations, Milwaukee cooks who want the highest quality meats and choicest cuts of beef, pork, chicken and more, have known they’ll find what they are looking for at Bunzel’s. Beautifully displayed in a well-stocked case, there’s always something that looks tempting. And, if you need a special cut of meat, the helpful butchers onhand will prep it however you request. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: BUTCHER’S SHOP

• Becher Meats

Kettle Range Meat Company

• South Milwaukee Sausage and Meats

FINALISTS: MEAT SELECTION

• Kettle Range Meat Company

• Ray's Butcher Shoppe South Milwaukee Sausage and Meats

CHEESE CURDS

Clock Shadow Creamery

Clock Shadow Creamery’s signature product, Squeaks, are cheddar cheese curds with a fresh cheddar flavor and a unique squeak sound heard while chewing the curds. The curds are made through a time-honored technique in which cheese makers stack and restack cheddar cheese slabs and let the whey drain. The curds are cut and salted by hand and delivered fresh soon after production. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Cedar Valley Cheese Store

• Karl's Country Market (World Famous Sausage)

West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe

• Widmer's Cheese Cellars

CHEESE SELECTION

West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe

Multiple locations westallischeese.com

This popular café and cheese shop, with its impressive variety of artisan cheese and meats, again wins the nod for Best Cheese Selection. The café menu features more than a dozen signature

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sandwiches (several, of course, with cheese!) and creative daily specials. The build-your-own sandwich option lets customers choose from a variety of breads, cheeses, meats and toppings. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Glorioso's Italian Market

• Larry's Market

• Wisconsin Cheese Mart

CHOCOLATIER Indulgence

211 S. Second St. indulgencechocolatiers.com

Chocolates and truffles and bars. Oh my! Is this the stairway to chocolate heaven? The vote is in. And the answer is “yes!” There’s cocoa mix and dipped fruit and seasonal chocolate and ... well you know the rest. Simply ... indulge. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Cocoa Tree Confectionery

• Freese's Candy Shoppe

• Jen's Sweet Treats

CRAFT BEER Lakefront Brewery

1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee lakefrontbrewery.com

Lakefront’s tours are over the top and their beers are second to none, so they were a cinch to sweep the “tour” categories and get best craft beer. As for the cheese curds? Good luck trying to eat just one. Come for the tour, stay for the food, enjoy some ales fresh from the finishing tank, and have some fun in the beer hall, where there’s always a good time going on. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS: Black Husky Brewing

• Eagle Park Brewing Company

• Third Space Brewing

CUPCAKES

Aggie's Bakery & Cake Shop

7328 W. Greenfield Ave. aggiesbakery.com

There are a lot of places in town to get cupcakes, but Aggie’s cupcakes have become a favorite of so many because of their delicious real buttercream frosting and the skill of their expert cake decorators who create beautiful cupcake confections. Be sure to check out Aggie’s incredible cream puff cupcakes which pair all the goodness of a cupcake with the decadence of a State Fair cream puff. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Classy Girl Cupcakes CupKate - Homemade Vegan Cupcakes

• Jen's Sweet Treats

DISTILLED SPIRITS Great Lakes Distillery & Tasting Room

616 W. Virginia St. greatlakesdistillery.com

Fact: Great Lakes Distillery is Wisconsin’s first since Prohibition. Fun: its tours and the big wind-up ... it’s Tasting Room. GLD has been been making distilled spirits in small batches including its award winning Rehorst Vodka, Gin, Citrus Honey Vodka, Roaring Dan's Rum, Kinnickinnic Whiskey, Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte & Absinthe Rouge, plus a host of seasonal spirits. Not sure what to try first? You can always come back for another tour, another tasting. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Central Standard Crafthouse & Kitchen & Craft Distillery

• Eagle Park Brewing & Distilling

• Twisted Path Distillery

FARMERS MARKET West Allis Farmers Market

6501 W. National Ave., West Allis

Since 1919, the West Allis Farmers Market (6501 W. National Ave.) has been a foundation of the community, serving as a lively, festive marketplace connecting urban residents with rural farmers selling vegetables, fruit, flowers, honey, maple syrup and artisan foods. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

Greenfield Farmers Market

• South Shore Farmers Market

• Tosa Farmers Market

FROZEN PIZZA

Palermo’s Pizza

3301 W. Canal St. palermospizza.com

A staple in the frozen pizza aisle at most supermarkets in Milwaukee and beyond, Palermo’s line of frozen pizza brands includes Urban Pie, Connie’s, Screamin’ Sicilian and Surfer Boy. Each features different styles for different tastes. Founded by the Fallucca family, Palermo’s began as an Italian bakery and restaurant on Milwaukee’s East Side before pivoting to pizza manufacturing in 1979. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

Cedar Teeth

• Lotza Motzza

• Screamin' Sicilian

GOURMET POPCORN

Pop's Kettle Corn

S75W17461 Janesville Road thepopskettlecorn.com

Pop’s Kettle Corn is known for both traditional and unconventional flavored popcorn, as well as its own unique charm. The Muskego location is well worth the trip for its kettle corn, popcorn tins, assortments of pretzels, personalized gifts, bloody mary mix, and even unicorn flavored popcorn. The only way to fully experience this range of flavor and hometown quality is to taste it for yourself. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS:

• Goody Gourmets

• Knights Gourmet Popcorn and Candies Lush Popcorn

GROCERY—ALL PURPOSE

Woodman’s Food Market

Multiple locations woodmans-food.com

Employee-owned and headquartered in Janesville where it began as a produce stand in 1919, with locations in Oak Creek, Menomonee Falls, Waukesha and Kenosha, Woodman’s offers a large selection at competitive prices. Best advice? Map out a game plan or detailed shopping list and get your steps in. As big as this place is, shopping during non-peak hours is a breeze. Besides reasonably priced groceries, Woodman’s stores include liquor departments, gas stations and oil change centers. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

G. Groppi Food Market

• Outpost Natural Foods - Bay View Sendik's Food Market

GROCERY - ETHNIC/GROCERY –GOURMET/TAKE-OUT DELI

Glorioso's Italian Market

1101 E. Brady St. gloriosos.com

When brothers Joe, Eddie and Teddy Glorioso founded Glorioso’s Italian Market on Brady Street in 1946, they might not have realized at the time that they were building the cornerstone for a destination and a Milwaukee institution. Still family-owned, Glorioso’s offers a deli counter with made-to-order sandwiches, pasta, pizza and flatbreads, as well as favorites such as gelato, espresso, cheese, fresh sausage and meats, wine and beer. (Sheila Julson)

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LOCALLY OWNED FOOD - RETAIL

FINALISTS: ETHNIC GROCERY

• Cermak Fresh Market

El Rey

• Parthenon Foods - European Market

• Wioletta's Polish Market

FINALISTS: GOURMET GROCERY

• G. Groppi Food Market

Sendik's Food Market

• Whole Foods Market

FINALISTS: TAKE-OUT DELI

• Bunzel's Meat Market

• G. Groppi Food Market

Jen's Sweet Treats

GROCERY - ORGANIC Outpost Natural

Foods - Bay View

2826 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. outpostcoop.com

Outpost was among the organic food pioneers in Milwaukee and growing numbers of Milwaukeeans have come to trust the coop’s four locations as a primary source for groceries. Like the other Outposts, the Bay View location offers produce, dairy, wine, beer, spirits, meat and supplements along with many gluten-free and vegan products. Outpost also sells sandwiches, sushi and other ready-to-heat-or-eat items. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS

Fresh Thyme Market

• Trader Joe's Whole Foods Market

HARD CIDER

Lost Valley Cider Co.

408 W. Florida St. lostvalley.com

For those who like the sweet or dry tastes of a good hard cider, Lost Valley is the place, with a constantly rotating menu from different cideries. They also serve mead (from honey) and hard kombucha (fermented tea), and even some beer and non-alcoholic offerings. It’s dog-friendly

and you can order flights of samples to get a taste of all the different flavors they have available. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• AEppelTreow Winery

• Apple Works Winery

• Cache Cider

HOME COOKING MEAL KITS

Freshchef Meal Prep

8103 W. Tower Ave. freshchefmke.com

Even people that love to cook sometimes get too busy to plan, shop and cook a wholesome meal each night (and who wants all that cleanup?). Freshchef Meal Prep delivers clean, nutritious, singleserving prepared meals and family style meal components for busy folks that want to eat healthy but don’t always have the time. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

Kettle Range Meat Company

• Miltown Eats

• The Real Good Life

SODA

Sprecher Brewing Co.

701 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale SprecherBrewery.com

Sprecher Brewing may be known in particular for its craft beer and root beer, but their soda line has expanded to be quite impressive, as well. With dozens of bold flavors, and a name that is a Milwaukee institution dating back to the oldest craft brewery in the city, Sprecher sodas can be found in all of their varieties all over Milwaukee. You don’t get to be the oldest producer of craft sodas in the city without being well liked, and Sprecher is certainly a favorite around town. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• •

TEA Rishi Tea & Botanicals

185 S. 33rd Court rishi-tea.com

Loose leaf, bagged, seasonal, organic, you name it—Rishi has it all—and then some since their teas come from around the world. There are chai teas and concentrates, powers, sachets...this list goes on and on. Choose from teaware, learn the proper temperature to brew tea. There’s even recipes for cocktails. Tea-tails anyone? (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Fava Tea Company

Urbal Tea

WINE SELECTION

Total Wine & More Multiple locations

totalwine.com

Total Wine & More boasts that it is “America’s wine superstore.” The retail chain, with locations in 27 states, carries thousands of wines from regions and countries around the globe. In addition to a vast selection of vino, wine enthusiasts can also find gifts and accessories. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Discount Liquor Inc. Ray's Wine & Spirits

• Thief Wine Shop & Bar

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AFRICAN RESTAURANT Alem Ethiopian Village

307 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee is fortunate for having two Ethiopian restaurants. Alem, located in the heart of Downtown, has been a readers’ favorite for several years, despite going carry-out and curbsideonly since COVID. Alem’s entrées include dishes made of beef, chicken and lamb, as well as the vegetarian’s delights made with split peas, lentils and salad. And then there is that wonderful injera bread … (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS:

• Blue Star Cafe

• Ethiopian Cottage Restaurant

• Immy's African Cuisine

BAR FOOD Camino

434 S. Second St. caminomke.com

Named after the 1960s Chevrolet El Camino, the owner Casey Rataczak liked the idea of the practicality and classic nature of the car. While the menu might look like a classic bar food menu, each item has its own flavorful twist on things. While good cheeseburgers are not hard to come by in Milwaukee, Camino’s stands out. Everything is buttery and melted to the exact right point and it has a sweetness you don’t find at some of the older frozen custard burger stands. (Sandy Reitman)

FINALISTS:

• Catfish Lounge

• Miller Time Pub & Grill

• Steny's Tavern & Grill

BARBECUE / RIBS

Double B's BBQ Restaurant & Timber’s Catering

MKE-Style BBQ

7412 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis DoubleBs.com

The motif of Double B’s Barbeque Restaurant is fairly simple; let the food do the talking. The West Allis restaurant elevates dining on smoked meat with Chef Mark Timber's delicious pork, beef, and chicken dishes. From wings to ribs, and burnt ends to brisket, there isn’t a weak spot in Double B’s game. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS: BARBEQUE

• Heaven's Table BBQ

• Iron Grate BBQ Co.

• Smoke Shack

FINALISTS: RIBS Carson's

• Heaven's Table BBQ

• Iron Grate BBQ Co.

• Maxie's

• Sandra's on the Park

BREAKFAST/BRUNCH

Blue’s Egg

317 N. 76th St. bluesegg.com

If it’s breakfast or brunch (or both), then Blue’s Egg is the place to go for unique approaches to traditional dishes. Hash browns get special treatment. And for those watching their calories, there’s even “Skinny Browns.” And that’s just the beginning. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: BREAKFAST

• Café at the Pfister Mimosa

• Toast

• Uncle Wolfie's Breakfast Tavern

FINALISTS: BRUNCH

• Bubbles & Brunch at Saint Kate Sabrosa Cafe & Gallery

• Story Hill BKC

BREW PUB Eagle Park Brewing Company

823 E. Hamilton St. eagleparkbrewing.com

It’s no surprise that Eagle Park Brewing won in the microbrewery/taproom category, given its popularity as a go-to spot for fine beers, food and a great hangout location on the Lower East Side (plus a taproom and distillery in Muskego). Their tap brews, which also include their recent acquisitions from the Milwaukee Brewing Company, range from classic styles like lagers and stouts, through lots of IPAs and an eccentric selection of flavored sours, slushes, milkshakes, and hard seltzers. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• Layman Brewing

• Stubby's Gastrogrub & Beer Bar

• The Explorium Brewpub Third Ward

LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT
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BUFFET

Maharaja

1550 N. Farwell Ave. maharajahrestaurants.com

Maharaja’s bountiful buffet introduced Indian food to many Milwaukeeans. Since the pandemic, the once daily buffet has been restricted to Saturday and Sunday. However, Wednesday through Friday, the buffet has been replaced by an ample five-course lunch special offering diners choices in appetizers, entrees and dessert. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS:

• India Garden

• Jin's Sushi Seafood & Bar

BURGERS / ICE CREAM - FROZEN CUSTARD STAND Kopp's Frozen Custard

Multiple locations kopps.com

Kopp’s opened its first location in 1950 and is considered one of the “Big Three” of Milwaukee’s frozen custard legacy. Although they offer standard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavored frozen custard, they’re known for more exotic concoctions like blueberry cheesecake, tiramisu or peanut butter, along with a “flavor of the day.” Their generously sized “jumbo” burgers are available with a range of toppings. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS: BURGERS

• Nite Owl Drive-In Ice Cream Parlor & Sandwich Shoppe

• Oscar's Pub & Grill SafeHouse

FINALISTS: ICE CREAM/FROZEN CUSTARD

• Gilles Frozen Custard Leon's Frozen Custard

• Purple Door Ice Cream

BURRITO

Café Corazón

Multiple Locations corazonmilwaukee.com

Café Corazon offers several excellent burritos. From their classic Corazon burrito filled with familiar ingredients like rice, beans, cheese to more creative options like the Seafood Trio Burrito, it’s tough to make a “wrong” choice. Corazon straight up has a Best Burrito on the menu which is as fantastic as it is filling! Be sure to pair your meal with a delicious traditionally made margarita - served on the rocks with plenty of lime. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

Botanas Restaurant

• Chucho's Red Tacos

• Luna's Mexican Restaurant

CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT

Cubanitas

Multiple locations

Cubanitas (which means “little Cuban girls” in Spanish) is the definition of Cuban cuisine. Empanadas. Plantains. Lechon Asado (pulled pork) and the ever popular ropa vieja (shredded flank steak with tomato sauce, onions, red and green bell peppers). Of course, there must be specialty drinks like mohitos! And its namesake, Cuba Libre, featuring rum named after the liberation of Spain. Just add a warm tropical breeze and a great meal at Cubanitas is now complete. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Mobay Cafe

• Uppa Yard

CENTRAL/SOUTH

AMERICAN RESTAURANT

Chef Paz Restaurant

9039 W. National Ave., West Allis chefpaz.com

You may not be expecting to find a topnotch Peruvian restaurant in West Allis, but Chef Paz will reset your expectations with their incredibly fresh and beautifully prepared dishes. Outstanding empanadas, tender chicken and rice, rich beef stew, and flavorful seafood, will all bring a bit of South American brightness to your day. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Antigua Latin Inspired Kitchen

• El Salvador Restaurant MKE

• Triciclo Peru

CHEAP EATS

Conejito’s

Place

539 W. Virginia Ave. conejitosplace.com

Few things on the no-frills menu at Conejito’s Place have changed since the South Side Mexican restaurant first opened in 1972. Flavorful tacos, tostadas, burritos and enchiladas—still served on paper plates—satisfy without emptying the wallet. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Cosmos Cafe

• Don Pastor Food Truck

• Oscar's Pub & Grill

Real Chili

• Steny's Tavern & Grill

CHEF

Adam Pawlak

greateffingpasta.com

Chef Adam Pawlak gained visibility for his time on “Hell’s Kitchen,” the reality/competition cooking show, but

in Milwaukee he’s put his stamp on a pair of Egg & Flour pasta bar locations (which also took top honors in our MAC & CHEESE category), as well as E&F Pizzeria at Crossroads Collective. What does he do in his spare time? In March, Pawlak launched a series of cooking classes at the Milwaukee Public Market. (Benjamin Dover)

FINALISTS:

• Arnie Gonzales

• Gregory Leon

• Heskeith Flavien

CHICKEN SANDWICH

Crafty Cow

Multiple locations craftycowwi.com

Crafty Cow’s chicken sandwiches provide a variety to choose from for all tastes and appetites: there’s the classic chicken with a “special sauce”; the fancy chicken, which includes snap pea & broccoli slaw, chipotle mayo. And for those who like more than just one chicken patty, there’s the honey butter chicken biscuit, a “double decker” with, you guessed it, honey butter on a buttermilk biscuit. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• HotWax by Meat & Co. MKE

• Palomino Bar

• Pete's Pub Steny's Tavern & Grill

CHICKEN WINGS

TomKen's Bar & Grill

8001 W. Greenfield Ave. tomkensbar.com

TomKen’s Bar & Grill has remained Milwaukee’s hot spot for all things chicken for many years. With award winning chicken wings and chicken sandwiches, complemented by a variety of options for sauces, a menu full of delicious appetizers, and a satisfactory bar selection, TomKen’s is ready to satisfy all of your cravings for delicious chicken. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS:

• Catfish Lounge

• Points East Pub

• Steny's Tavern & Grill

CHINESE RESTAURANT / KOREAN RESTAURANT

Momo Mee Asian Cuisine

110 E. Greenfield Ave. momomerestaurant.com

This pan-Asian restaurant is a favorite for Chinese and Korean cuisine. It’s well known for its xiou long bao (soup dumplings). But there is, oh, so much more

LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT
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LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT

to choose from with a wide variety of clay pot, rice and noodle dishes. Desserts feature the uniquely purple sticky rice pudding and the fried mantou (steamed buns) with cinnamon condensed milk. And if you’re wondering about the name, it’s simple: Momo means “dumplings”; “Mee” are noodles—and with such a combo, it doesn’t get better than that. (Harry Cherkinan)

FINALISTS:

CHINESE

• Emperor of China

• New Fortune Asian Cuisine

• Sze Chuan Restaurant

FINALISTS: KOREAN Char'd

• Merge

• Stone Bowl Grill

COFFEE SHOP

Colectivo Coffee Lakefront

1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive colectivocoffee.com

A local pioneer in specialty coffee roasting, Colectivo Coffee has grown to 12 locations throughout the Milwaukee Area. Their lakefront shop, housed in an 1888 historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station, remains a popular spot to grab a cup of joe. In March 2022, a final decision by the National Labor Relations Board makes Colectivo the largest unionized coffee chain in America. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co.

• La Finca Coffeehouse

• Valentine Coffee Co.

DONUTS

Cranky Al's

6901 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa www.crankyals.com

Made fresh daily, Cranky Al’s donuts are an excellent treat to begin your day. It doesn’t matter if you’re partial to filled donuts like the Hoytie Toytie, cake donuts like long-time Milwaukee favorite crullers, or even a humble glazed donut, you’ll be ruined for mass produced or prepackaged grocery story varieties forever. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

Donut Monster

• Grebe's Bakery

• National Bakery & Deli

FAMILY FRIENDLY RESTAURANT Landmark Family Restaurant

3451 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Landmark Family Restaurant, the unassuming neighborhood diner on the corner of KK and Vollmer, sits a mere

block from the sign welcoming visitors to Bay View. The handwritten daily specials board on a recent visit included macaroni goulash; you could be anywhere from 1952 to 2022. And while time doesn’t exactly stand still, Landmark serves a timeless feeling of comfort—that notion of somehow having been here before. Which is what made it your favorite. A social media review said it best, “Inexpensive and friendly. Very down to earth. No pretenses.” (Benjamin Dover)

FINALISTS:

• SafeHouse

• Steny's Tavern & Grill

• The Stillery

FARM-TO-TABLE

Odd Duck

RESTAURANT

939 S. Second St. oddduckrestaurant.com

The Odd Duck team didn’t miss a beat since moving from their long-time spot in Bay View to more spacious digs in Walker’s Point. With a creative menu of small plates and sharables for vegetarians and omnivores, Odd Duck has become a forerunner in sourcing seasonal produce and ingredients from local farms and producers. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS: FARM-TO-TABLE

• La Merenda

• ParkSide 23

• Story Hill BKC

FINALISTS: GOURMET Ardent

• Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails

• Eldr+Rime

• Lupi & Iris

• Sanford Restaurant

FISH FRY / GERMAN RESTAURANT Kegel's Inn

5901 W. National Ave., West Allis keglsinn.com

Kegel’s Inn is nearly 100 years old. So you know they’re definitely doing things right with multiple generations of old timers and fans. A double winner, “fish fry” and “German” make up a large part of Milwaukee’s diverse history and community. And with traditional fare like rouladen, goulash and sauerbraten as well as modern-day cuisine, including a vegan fishless fry, Kegel’s Inn will be around for another 100 years. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: FISH FRY

• Catfish Lounge

• Steny's Tavern & Grill The Packing House

• The Stillery

FINALISTS: GERMAN

• Mader's Restaurant

• The Bavarian Bierhaus

• Weissgerber's Golden Mast Inn

FRENCH RESTAURANT

Le Reve Patisserie and Cafe

7610 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa lerevecafe.com

French food at its finest and a menu guaranteed to have you speaking French in no time. The menu is extensive and easy to follow. And if your motto in life is, “eat dessert first,” then look no further. The dazzling, colorful display of macarons (baked almond meringue cookies with flavored French buttercream filling), will be a great start, or finish, or both. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: Bavette La Boucherie

• Lake Park Bistro Pastiche Bistro

FRIED CHEESE CURDS

Lakefront Brewery

1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee lakefrontbrewery.com

Lakefront’s tours are over the top and their beers are second to none, so they were a cinch to sweep the “tour” categories and get best craft beer. As for the cheese curds? Good luck trying to eat just one. Come for the tour, stay for the food, enjoy some ales fresh from the finishing tank, and have some fun in the beer hall, where there’s always a good time going on. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• Camino Miller Time Pub & Grill

• The Stillery

FROZEN YOGURT SHOP

Yo Mama!

1349 N. Wauwatosa Ave., Wauwatosa yomamagoodness.com

You can tell yourself that Frozen Yogurt is good for you. And, perhaps compared to some other frozen treats popular in Milwaukee it is at least better for you. The tough part is keeping yourself in check at Yo Mama’s self-serve frozen yogurt machines, and tougher still not over doing it at the “toppings” bar. Whatever creation you make it’s sure to be delicious! (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• MyYoMy Frozen Yogurt

• Yo Factory

GELATO SHOP

Glorioso's Italian Market

1011 E. Brady St. gloriosos.com

When brothers Joe, Eddie and Teddy Glorioso founded Glorioso’s Italian

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LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT

Market on Brady Street in 1946, they might not have realized at the time that they were building the cornerstone for a destination and a Milwaukee institution. Still family owned, Glorioso’s offers a deli counter with made-to-order sandwiches, pasta, pizza and flatbreads, as well as favorites such as gelato, espresso, cheese, fresh sausage and meats, wine and beer. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Cold Spoons Gelato

• Divino Gelato Cafe Ltd

GLUTEN-FREE/ FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

Lazy Susan MKE

2378 S. Howell Ave. lazysusanmke.com

While not every menu item at Lazy Susan is gluten-free, most dishes are either naturally gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. Folks who suffer from gluten allergies or celiac disease can relax a bit and simply enjoy a delicious meal. And, for those lucky folks who don’t have to worry about it, you won’t even notice the missing gluten but will still get to enjoy a delicious meal! (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Beerline Cafe

• Cafe Manna Wauwatiki Bar & Grill

GREEK RESTAURANT Oakland Gyros

Multiple locations

One of Milwaukee's favorite counterservice restaurants offers gyros and shish-kebob sandwiches, spinach pie, Greek salads and even plain old cheeseburgers. The leg of lamb combo features a large piece of tender, flavorful meat in a brown sauce, served with warm pita, black olives, feta and choice of fries or salad. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS:

• Apollo Cafe

• Brothers Gyros & Pizza

• Cosmos Cafe

HOT DOG

Martino's Italian Beef and Hot Dogs

1215 W. Layton Ave. martinoshotdogs.com

You say “hot dog!” And Shepherd Express readers say “Martino’s!” First, there’s so many sizes to choose from for all appetites. Then there’s all the choices: from the classic Chicago style dogs with all manner of toppings to the Southern dog, with chili and coleslaw on a beef hot dog and a steamed poppy seed bun. And

the answer is yes; you can definitely have more than just one at a time. Try not to! (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Riley's Good Dogs

• Sammy's Taste of Chicago

• The Dogg Haus

HOTEL RESTAURANT

Mason Street Grill

425 E. Mason St. masonstreetgrill.com

Located in the Pfister Hotel on the main floor, Mason Street Grill is the classic place for steaks and other chophouse fare cooked on wood-fire grills, featuring live jazz music. But there’s plenty of other choices including fish, chicken and barley risotto. Something for every palate. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• ARIA – The Restaurant at Saint Kate

• Café at the Pfister

• Cantina 20

• Eldr+Rime

Oggie's Kitchen & Bar

INDIAN/PAKISTANI RESTAURANT

Cafe India Bay View 2201 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. cafeindiamke.us

An impressive restaurant with full bar and enclosed patio space, Café India began in the strip mall adjacent to a gas station in Walker’s Point—that location still does a brisk business. Rakesh Rehan’s menu reflects the diversity of India, and the spot has grown to become a vital part of Bay View’s international restaurant scene. Vegetarian, tandoori, curry—the extensive menu welcomes the adventurous as well as the timid. A welcome tip is to be cautious with the spice level. (Benjamin Dover)

FINALISTS:

• Bollywood Grill

• India Garden Maharaja

• Saffron - Modern Indian Dining

IRISH RESTAURANT

County Clare Irish Inn & Pub 1234 N. Astor St. countyclare-inn.com

County Clare is one of those Irish pubs with just the right mix of snug and cheery, from the authentic feeling bar to the bright dining room. It’s got the selection of great draft beers and whiskeys you’d expect, live Irish music every week, and a food menu of Irish American comfort food like cottage pie, pot roast and smoked salmon for a great dinner or Sunday brunch. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• Mo's Irish Pub Wauwatosa

Mulligans Irish Pub & Grill

• O'Lydia's Bar and Grill

ITALIAN RESTAURANT / ROMANTIC RESTAURANT

Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant

2995 S. Clement Ave. tenutasitalian.com

At Tenuta’s, that’s amore! As double winners, clearly “Italian” and “Romantic” go hand in hand—literally. The small space definitely turns up the intimacy while sharing bowls of pasta and drinking Italian wine. The prices are affordable, the portions plentiful and the romance, well, that’s priceless. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: ITALIAN

• Ca’Lucchenzo

• SALA - Modern Sicilian Dining Tavolino | Wine + Pasta + Pizza

• That's Amore

FINALISTS: ROMANTIC

• Eldr+Rime

• Harbor House Milwaukee ChopHouse

• Onesto

Sanford Restaurant

• The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar

JAPANESE RESTAURANT / SUSHI

Hungry Sumo

2663 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. hungrysumosushibar.com

Hungry Sumo, located in an intimate storefront space in Bay View, has a solid menu featuring Japanese favorites like maki, nigiri, sashimi, teriyaki and ramen, and Thai curries. For those that don’t eat seafood or meat, there’s a good selection of vegetarian maki. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS: JAPANESE

• Kanpai Izakaya Kawa Ramen and Sushi

• KIN by Rice n Roll SUSHI BAR

• Kyoto

• Meiji Cuisine

• Wasabi Sushi Lounge

FINALISTS: SUSHI

• Kanpai Izakaya

• Kyoto

• Screaming Tuna Milwaukee

JEWISH/KOSHER-STYLE RESTAURANT

Benji's Deli Multiple Locations benjisdeliandrestaurant.com

A Kosher-style Jewish deli is more than just a place to get cold cuts, soups and

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LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT

salads, it’s more of a diner that leans heavily Jewish. Let’s say you’re not into lox or fried matzoh, there are simple breakfast plates and various sandwiches fit for all eaters. (Sandy Reitman)

FINALISTS:

• Allie Boy’s Bagelry & Luncheonette

• Friendship Cafe & Bakery

• Jake's Deli North

KITCHEN OPEN AFTER 10 P.M.

The Vanguard

2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. VanguardBar.com

You don’t have to be a whiskey snob to appreciate the vast selection of spirits at The Vanguard in Bay View. Bottles line the wall, and the staff is more than ready to serve up shots or a mixer, depending on the situation. With a full array of specialized sausages and more, and the atmosphere of a trendy restaurant mixed with a Bay View dive (depending on your time of day,) you’ll walk away from The Vanguard feeling glad that you stopped in. Be somebody at The Vanguard. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Oakland Gyros

• Pete's Pub

• Steny's Tavern & Grill

LOUISIANA/SOUTHERN RESTAURANT / SOUL FOOD

Maxie’s

6732 W. Fairview Ave. maxiesmke.com

Between the jambalaya, BBQ spare ribs, gumbo, oysters and much more, a trip to Maxie’s is a trip straight to the heart of what everyone loves about food; comfort and flavor. Appetizers, beer, cocktails, and wine, topped off with a gorgeous interior, Maxie’s ambiance and menu work together to provide an exceptional restaurant experience. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS:

LOUISIANA/SOUTHERN

Crawdaddy's on Greenfield

• Daddy's Soul Food & Grille

• Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar

FINALISTS: SOUL

• Crawdaddy's on Greenfield Daddy's Soul Food & Grille

• Terri Lynn’s Soul Food Express

MAC & CHEESE

Egg & Flour Pasta Bar

Multiple locations greateffingpasta.com

Few would argue that mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Milwaukee has

a few restaurants dedicated specifically to this gooey, satisfying dish, but Egg & Flour Pasta Bar’s mac and cheese, with scratch-made lumache (shell) pasta and a combination of cheeses, takes top honors. A lobster mac and cheese dish is available every Friday. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Cousins Subs

• Joe Mama's Bar & Grill

• Maxie's Steny's Tavern & Grill

• The Stillery

MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT Shawarma House

Multiple locations shawarmahouse.us

Shawarma is seasoned beef, lamb or chicken cooked on a rotating skewer. The thinly shaved meat is often served like a sandwich rolled up in a pita, with a side of rice. As tasty as that sounds, the menu at the family owned Shwarma House also offers grilled chicken tikki (bonein), vegetarian favorites, falafel and side dishes such as fattoush, hummus, tabouleh, baba ghanoj, dwali, kibbah and lentil soup. (Benjamin Dover)

FINALISTS:

• Lupi & Iris

Pita Palace Mediterranean Cuisine

• Shahrazad Persian / Middle Eastern Cuisine

MEXICAN RESTAURANT Botanas Restaurant

816 S. Fifth St. botanasoriginal.com

Botanas has been serving up all manner of Mexican cuisine on Milwaukee’s South Side for over 20 years. And given its extensive menu, there’s always something else to try with each return visit. Experience the cactus salad (leaves minus the sharp stuff) and enchilada soup as well as house specialties like the mar y tierra (shrimp, chicken and steak sautéed in red wine on roasted tomatillo salsa). And if you still have room for dessert, there’s the classic fried ice cream—the perfect finish to a great Bontanas meal. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Café Corazón

Guanajuato Mexican Restaurant

• La Casa de Alberto

MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT Casablanca

Multiple locations casablancaonbrady.com

Casablanca has long roots that began on Milwaukee’s South Side—before

Middle Eastern food was widely known in Milwaukee—before the move to Brady Street early this century. And they have just kept growing. A few years ago, the already attractively designed East Side restaurant added a colonnaded upper level with a veranda. A Brookfield Casablanca followed. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS:

• Damascus Gate Restaurant

• Naf Naf Grill

• Taqwas Bakery and Restaurant

NEW RESTAURANT (OPENED IN 2022)

Saffron - Modern Indian Dining

223 N. Water St. Suite 100 saffronmke.com

Saffron is all about providing a modern twist on traditional Indian food and spices with an innovative spin. located in the heart of Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, Saffron caters to every type of culinary desire: organic, vegan, glutenfree, dairy-free, vegetarian, halal and kosher. And for those foodies who want new approaches to traditional dishes, Saffron has it all—and then some. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails HotWax by Meat & Co. MKE

• Lupi & Iris

OUTDOOR DINING Zócalo Food Truck Park

363 S. Sixth St. zocalomke.com

With a diverse array of rotating food start-ups, there’s something for everyone at Zócalo. Since opening in 2019, Milwaukee’s first food truck park has helped launch many food entrepreneurs toward success. A tavern, outdoor and indoor seating and heated huts provide unique ambiances for socializing.

(Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

La Merenda

• Pier Garden at The Starling

• Sandra's on the Park

PIZZERIA - DEEP DISH Fixture Pizza Pub

623 S. Second St. FixturePizza.com

While some would argue that the best deep-dish pizza can be found 90 miles south of Milwaukee, Fixture Pizza Pub is willing and able to give Chicago establishments a run for their money. The Walker’s Point establishment is

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LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT

known for their array of specialty pizzas, each bearing the name of a nearby establishment in the neighborhood. There’s no skimping on the ingredients at Fixture, with each pie loaded to the crust with savory ingredients. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Pizzeria Scotty

• Tomaso's

PIZZERIA - THIN CRUST

Zaffiro's Pizza & Bar

1724 N. Farwell Ave. zaffirospizza.com

If you are a fan of traditional Milwaukeestyle pizza, you know that Zaffiro’s is the place to go for perfect cracker thin crust. Owned by the Zaffiro family since 1954, generations of Milwaukeeans have come to love their simply topped, but always delicious pizzas. The only question you need to answer is, do you want your pizza with E “Everything” or “EBF” —Everything But Fish (anchovies)?” (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: Fixture Pizza Pub

• Ned's Pizza

• Proof Pizza

PIZZERIA - WOOD-FIRED OVEN Flour Girl & Flame

8121 W. National Ave., West Allis flourgirlandflame.com

Flour Girl & Flame, operated by Dana Spandet, is woman-owned and part of the LGBTQ+ community. Spandet built a following selling her flavorful pizzas, baked in a 900-degree wood-fired pizza oven, at pop-ups around town. Now with a permanent carryout location, which operates during winter, she stays committed to supporting local, diverse farmers and producers while engaging in environmentally sustainable business practices. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Proof Pizza

• Wy'East Pizza

• San Giorgio Pizzeria Napoletana

PLACE TO EAT ALONE

Milwaukee Public Market

400 N. Water St. milwaukeepublicmarket.org

Milwaukee Public Market has become a bustling crossroads—Downtown workers grabbing a noontime lunch; out-oftowners venturing over from Third Ward hotels and anyone looking for variety and good food. Upstairs, the northeast nook offers a bit of privacy to read something from the Public Library’s cart of books

for sale. Often, the biggest challenge is which of the dozen or so vendors to choose. Several spots also offer bar and table service. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Beerline Cafe

• Blue's Egg

• Pete's Pub

• Story Hill BKC

RAMEN

Red Light Ramen

1749 N. Farwell Ave. redlightramen.com

Located on Milwaukee’s Lower East Side, Red Light Ramen’s funky vibe makes it the perfect complement to the entertainment district. The once small menu has expanded, and now features a multitude of ramen options, in addition to boozy slushies and delectable desserts. Red Light Ramen continues to provide Farwell Avenue one-of-a-kind flavors and eccentric aura. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS:

• Easy Tyger

• Hungry Sumo Kawa Ramen and Sushi

RESTAURANT OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY

The Packing House

900 E. Layton Ave. packinghousemke.com

For some it may be a tradition, for others it’s just a nice way to celebrate the holiday and give Mom a break from cooking. Whatever the reason you may go to The Packing House on December 25, you’ll be sure to get a delicious meal. Decadent prime rib, steaks, and seafood dishes prepared expertly, and served by a professional staff will make you feel pampered for your holiday dinner. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: Bollywood Grill

• Huan Xi Chinese Restaurant

RESTAURANT SERVICE

Story Hill BKC

5100 W. Bluemound Ave. storyhillbkc.com

Story Hill BKC has a story to tell. It involves house made and locally sourced ingredients with backup from their sister restaurant Blue’s Egg bakery a few blocks away. The Story Hill part of the name tells what Milwaukee neighborhood it’s in, and the BKC stands for bottle kitchen cocktail, in case you were wondering. (Sandy Reitman)

FINALISTS:

• Buttermint Finer Dining & Cocktails

Steny's Tavern & Grill

• The Stillery

RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW Harbor House

550 N. Harbor Drive bartolottas.com

Mention the restaurant Harbor House and the first words are the view, the view, and the view. And it is a beautiful one looking out onto Lake Michigan. But, as the saying goes, it’s what’s inside that counts. And the food and drink add so much more to “that view.” Harbor House is heavy on seafood with its own take on classics like lobster cioppino, a lobster shrimp clam pot with plenty meat offerings as well. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Lake Park Bistro Lakefront Brewery

• Riverfront Pizzeria Bar & Grill

SANDWICH

West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe

Multiple locations westallischeese.com

This popular café and cheese shop, with its impressive variety of artisan cheese and meats, again wins the nod for Best Cheese Selection. The café menu features more than a dozen signature sandwiches (several, of course, with cheese!) and creative daily specials. The build-your-own sandwich option lets customers choose from a variety of breads, cheeses, meats and toppings. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

Boo Boo's Sandwich Shop

• Cousins Subs

• LuLu Café and Bar

• Riley's Sandwich Co.

SEAFOOD RESTAURANT St Paul Fish Company

Multiple locations stpaulfish.com

If it’s fish you’re wanting, this is the place with every choice imaginable. The New England style boils are the newest addition to the menu, with your choice of lobster, crab or seafood. But the lobster roll is as good as any East Coast. versions. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Eldr+Rime

• Harbor House

• Maxie's

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LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT

SOUPS

The Soup Market

Multiple

Locations

thesoupmarket.com

The Soup Market has been a mainstay in Milwaukee, filling bellies and warming hearts, for the past 17 years. The four restaurant locations boast three tasty soups that are always available daily— chicken noodle, chicken dumpling, and a weekly chili, plus an additional three to six soups available on a rotating schedule with at least one vegetarian option. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• LOUP-Soup with a Local Twist Pete's Pub

STEAKHOUSE / SUPPER CLUB

Five O'Clock Steakhouse

2416 W. State Street fiveoclocksteakhouse.com

Since 1946 the Five O’Clock Steakhouse has been a much beloved establishment in Milwaukee. Known as much for their tantalizing steaks and outstanding service as they are for their wonderful classic supper club touches, including relish trays and warm bread for the table. Destination dining at its finest, every meal at the Five O’Clock Steakhouse will be an experience to treasure forever. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: STEAKHOUSE

• Carnevor

• Milwaukee ChopHouse

• The Packing House

FINALISTS: SUPPER CLUB

• Pitch's Lounge & Restaurant

• Sandra's on the Park

• The Packing House

STREET FOOD VENDOR

Meat on the Street

1125 N. Ninth St. motscatering.com

Meat on the Street offers a Filipino take on meat, vegan, and gluten-free options. Track the food truck or stop in for a visit at the ELEVEN25 food hall. As the name implies, Meat on the Street specializes in the likes of pork, chicken, kabobs, lumpia (seasoned ground pork) and adobo flavors but also offers alternatives in the way of vegan bowl, hot tofu bowls, tofurrito, garlic rice, cucumber salad, and veggie egg rolls. (Benjamin Drover)

FINALISTS:

• EZ Tiki

• Shorty's Grilled Cheese

• Vocado MKE

SUB SANDWICH SuburpiaWauwatosa

11108 W. Bluemound Road suburpia.com

Eating at Suburpia is like taking a nostalgic food trip back to the ‘70s and ‘80s. Suburpia was legendary back in the day and their particular model of using fresh, sesame seed topped bread and lots of herbed oil seems harder to find these days. If you’ve never had one, ask about the “rules” on how to eat their subs when you order. There is a second location near the airport, but Shepherd voters specifically voted the Wauwatosa location as Best of Milwaukee. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Cousins Subs Riley's Sandwich Co.

• The Chocolate Factory

• The Picnic Basket Restaurant

TACO

Paloma Taco and Tequila

5419 W. North Ave. palomatacoandtequila.com

Paloma Taco & Tequila tacos feel like tacos for people with a sense of adventure. While they do offer traditional ground beef tacos for American tastes, Paloma really shines when you try some of their more creative offerings like the tuna poke taco or the absolutely-to-diefor crispy Brussels sprouts taco. Vegan and gluten-free options are readily available as well. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: BelAir Cantina

• Café Corazón

• Guanajuato Mexican Restaurant

• Lazo's Taco Shack

• Troublemaker's Cocina

TAKEOUT/CURBSIDE PICKUP

LuLu Cafe and Bar

2265 S. Howell Ave. LuLuBayView.com

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, restaurants all over Milwaukee learned fairly quickly to adapt to a curbside pickup model in order to keep their businesses in operation. In particular, Bay View’s LuLu Café excelled in their curbside service, proving a complement to their already revered menu and in-restaurant service. Whether you’re craving one of their signature burgers, wraps, or a Loaded LuLu appetizer of house-made potato skins, the restaurant has a great system in place to keep you satisfied on the go. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Cousins Subs

Egg & Flour Pasta Bar

• Steny's Tavern & Grill

• The Stillery

TAPAS (SMALL PLATES)

La Merenda

125 E. National Ave. lamerenda125.com

La Merenda’s small plates lend to a unique cultural experience, allowing diners to sample cuisines of the world made with quality, locally sourced ingredients. A bright, inviting dining area and an attractively landscaped patio make the dining experience at La Merenda all the more charming. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

Movida at Hotel Madrid

• Odd Duck

• Story Hill BKC

THAI RESTAURANT

Thai-namite

Multiple locations thai-namite.com

This is as close to classic Thai food you can get short of visiting the country. It’s all here from curries and stir-fried rice and noodles to sushi and sashimi. There’s traditional and flavored sakes and, perfect for our town, the “Sake Bomb” (sake with beer). (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

Bangkok House Authentic Thai Cuisine

• EE-Sane Thai-Lao Cuisine

• Mekong Cafe

VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

Twisted Plants

Multiple locations twistedplants.com

Since making the leap from a food truck business to a brick-and-mortar location in Cudahy in spring 2020, Twisted Plants continues to satisfy vegans as well as omnivores with their 100 percent plantbased burgers, sandwiches and sides. Over this past year, they’ve added a second location on Brady Street, and their food truck still appears at area events and businesses. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Cafe Manna

The LaFayette Place

• Vocado MKE

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LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANT

VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

Beans & Barley

1901 E. North Ave. beansandbarley.com

East Side staple Beans & Barley began as a small health food store in 1973. They began serving hot to-go food in 1979. After a fire demolished the original building in 1993, owners secured funding and in 1994 rebuilt the store and café that stands today at 1901 E. North Ave. Over the years, the café-deli-market has become a standard for consistent healthy foods and vegetarian/vegan appetizers, salads, soups, hot and cold sandwiches, entrées and brunch. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Beerline Cafe Cafe Manna

• Twisted Plants Vocado MKE

VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT Hué Vietnamese Restaurant

2699 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. huerestaurants.com

Hué moved a few doors to the corner spot that formerly housed Sven’s Café. The new location offers an outdoor patio— weather-permitting—while indoors, a wall-size mural depicts a street scene that sets diners in a bustling Vietnamese neighborhood. While this time of year, phõ is an obvious choice, Hue’s Vietnamese fish fry is a delightful twist on a classic. Turmeric marinated, beer battered swai is served with garlic fried rice, Asian slaw and Thai basil aioli. Their food truck is ubiquitous at summer events around town as well. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Evie's Vietnamese Kitchen

• Mekong Cafe

• Pho Viet Vietnamese Noodles of Mequon

WINE LIST Voyager

422 E. Lincoln Ave. voyagermke.com

Located in the heart of Milwaukee’s Bayview neighborhood, Voyager is all about sustainably produced wine from around the world. The cozy space features a knowledgeable staff with wines for all palates and pocketbooks. The vibe leans less on stuffy and more on casual with just the right amount of upbeat attitude to keep you coming back. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Birch

• Mason Street Grill

• Onesto

• Story Hill BKC

MILWAUKEE MUSIC

ACOUSTIC MUSICIAN

Evan Christian

Chicago-born, Milwaukee-raised musician Evan Christian studied flamenco guitar in Madrid, Spain. He mixes blues, soul and R&B with what Jelly Roll Morton coined the “Spanish tinge.” With his trademark bowler hat, Christian has been a regular performer at the Jazz Estate, the East Side club of which he has been rumored to becoming part owner. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Catelyn Picco

• Jake Williams

• The Nightinjails

ALT COUNTRY BAND

Rebel Grace

This group of five seasoned local musicians teamed up in 2010 to become favorites in the alt-country scene along with a number of other genres. Their take on contemporary country music has developed a growing list of fans across the state. Check them out and rock out. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Dan Lepien

Jim Gaff Band

• Road Crew

BLUEGRASS BAND / FOLK BAND

The Whiskeybelles

Last year purists scoffed at characterizing the Whiskeybelles as a Bluegrass band. This year pearls have been clutched in the name of Folk music. Where will this madness end? Let’s just agree that with music based in traditional country, the female trio, who never take themselves as serious as all that, are familiar faces at local outdoor festivals. How would you define their sound? Maybe join them on a cruise in February to settle it once and for all thewhiskeybellescruise.com (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS

BLUEGRASS:

• Chicken Wire Empire

• Dairyland's Finest String Band

• Zach Pietrini

FINALISTS FOLK:

• Paddygrass

• The Midnight Purchase

BLUES BAND

Altered Five Blues Band

The rhythm section of bassist Mark Solveson and drummer Alan Arber deliver the music with plenty of horsepower. Jeff Schroedl’s guitar lashes like the backside of a whip and Jeff Taylor’s commanding vocals drive home the hard-time lyrics.

Keyboardist Raymond Tevich adds detail on piano and organ. Holler if You Hear Me was recorded in 2021 Nashville by Tom Hambridge, whose production credits include acclaimed bluesmen such as Buddy Guy and James Cotton. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS: Ivy Ford

• Jonny T-Bird and the MPs

• Milwaukee Blues Rock Collective

CLUB DJ Mr. New York

While he may be named for The Big Apple, Mr. New York knows how to rock a party in Milwaukee properly. On any given night, you can find him spinning at one of Milwaukee’s premier clubs, with an openformat mix that leans on whatever the atmosphere calls for. With big city flare, Mr. New York will get any club in the city moving. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

DJ Breezy

• Ronco

• Rutger Krueger

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MILWAUKEE MUSIC

COVER TRIBUTE BAND

The Toys

The Toys are a local institution in Milwaukee and rightly so as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. You name it, they play it. From ‘80s dance and rock hits (waaay back in the 20th century) to country and all things current, The Toys offer something for everyone. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Failure to Launch

• FM Rodeo

• Smart Mouth

ELECTRONIC ARTIST

Immortal Girlfriend

The duo of brothers Kevin and William Bush continue to push themselves and the subgenre of chillwave music to Milwaukee’s masses. Immortal Girlfriend have quickly become one of Milwaukee’s most buzzed about bands and added some massive singles to their catalogue this year, with standouts “Beams (I Know You Like Me)” and “Someone Like You.” (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Moonbow Ronco

• Travvy Trav

JAZZ COMBO Milwaukee Jazz Institute Ensemble

The Milwaukee Jazz Institute takes great pride in continuing the tradition of jazz throughout the city. Their Ensemble has many performance opportunities, with musicians at all skill levels encouraged to get involved. The legacy of the city’s jazz scene is in the good hands of these talented performers, who will continue to share the gift of jazz with generations to come. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS:

• Ellen Winters Group Heirloom

• J Ryan Trio

• No Seatbelts

METAL BAND Still Stayer

Milwaukee’s heavy rock and metal scene becomes more robust with each passing year, and rockers Still Stayer made their mark on the scene this year with their impressive Everend EP. The band brings dense melodies, spacious atmosphere and hardhanded vocals, and have all the power of a well-seasoned act. Still Stayer are just one of the standout bands making plenty of noise in the city but— according to our readers—have proven themselves above the rest. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Bray Road

• Imperial Fall

• Without Annette

MUSIC PRODUCER

Alaria Taylor

With numerous songwriting awards under her belt already in both regional and national competitions, Alaria Taylor has shown a commitment not only to her own music, but to enhancing the careers of those around her as well. In addition to producing music, Taylor is the Milwaukee director of Chick Singer Night, a nationwide showcase that gives a platform to female artists. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Mitch Cooper

• Spacecrime

• Travvy Trav

POLKA BAND

The Squeezettes

Reigning champs three years running, The Squeezettes lean into Milwaukee’s ethnic musical heritage and give it a fun update. Anchored by Mike Chaltrey’s distinct sousaphone and drummervocalist Michael Eells; driven by the twin Milwaukee-centric Baldoni accordions of Linda Mueller (lead accordion) and Pamela Scesniak (rhythm accordion), this polka-inspired group blends humor and tradition. Where else but Milwaukee would you find such a high-energy band fronted by ex-burlesque chanteuseturned-old-school torch singer, Chanel le

latest in a discography now dating back five years, with an ever-evolving sound captured along the way. D’Aych is only looking upward, and now has one more notch in his belt on the way to emerging on a larger scale. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Blakc Shiffe

• StreetTeam Hektik

• Taiyamo Denku

ROCK BAND Tigera

With high energy on stage and the chops to back it up, Tigera are a band that you will not forget once you’ve seen them live. Quickly emerging to become a well-known name in local rock music, the band combines elements of power pop and classic rock, with plenty of catchy elements along the way. From stages on one side of the city to the next, the band has been turning heads, and are surely on their way to great things. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Betsy Ade and the Well Known Strangers

• Blue Moon Assault

• Diet Lite

• Fall Back

VOCALIST - FEMALE

B.D. Greer

B.D. Greer’s electrifying voice has graced many stages this year, and her musicianship is an inspiring force. Invoking nostalgia for the days of Aretha Franklin, her voice boasts a rich tone color that is unmatched. B.D. Greer’s commitment to the art of performing makes this jazz singer a must-see for any Milwaukee music enthusiast. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS:

Betsy Ade

• Catelyn Picco

• Shanti Lleone

VOCALIST - MALE AJ Kartz

First time Best of Milwaukee winner AJ Kartz is leader and founder of The Late Nites, the Milwaukee seven-piece neosoul/funk fusion band. The sprawling group plays original music, their song “Tonight” is smoothness personified. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Adam Fettig

• Dan Lepien Jake Williams

own. His 2022 efforts include releasing

success only. Those releases are just the

48 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE

ALL-AGES VENUE / LIVE MUSIC VENUE / ROCK CLUB

Cactus Club

2496 S Wentworth Ave CactusClubMilwaukee.com

The White Stripes, Spoon, Queens of the Stone Age and hundreds of other bands have graced the stage at Bay View’s music institution, Cactus Club. While a long-running rock haven, the venue has also transformed into a community hub, with an ever-increasing amount of all-ages, inclusive programming thanks to a dedicated team. Not only will you discover your next favorite act at Cactus Club, but you’ll feel like part of a welcoming community, as well.

(Allen Halas)

FINALISTS: ALL-AGES VENUE

• First and Bowl

• Franksville Craft Beer Garden

• X-Ray Arcade

FINALISTS: LIVE MUSIC VENUE:

• Franksville Craft Beer Garden

• Paulie's Pub and Eatery

• Turner Hall Ballroom

FINALISTS: ROCK CLUB

Paulie's Pub and Eatery

• Promises

• Shank Hall

• X-Ray Arcade

ARCADE/GAMING / VIDEO ARCADE

Up-Down MKE

615 E. Brady St. updownarcadebar.com

A nostalgic gamer’s dream, Up-Down MKE features more than 60 arcade games, all at 25 cents apiece. In addition to ‘80s and ‘90s pinball, Nintendo 64 console gaming, and classic skee-ball, this bar also offers an extensive craft beer menu and house-made pizza by the slice. Conveniently located on Brady Street, Up-Down MKE is the perfect place to find tons of retro fun. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

FINALISTS: ARCADE/GAMING

• Bounce Milwaukee

• The Garcade X-Ray Arcade

FINALISTS: VIDEO ARCADE

• Bounce Milwaukee

• The Garcade

• X-Ray Arcade

OUT & ABOUT ART STUDIO/CLASSES (NON-BAR)

Milwaukee Blacksmith

140 W. Oklahoma Ave. MKESchoolOfIron.com

Forged in fire, strong as iron, Milwaukee Blacksmith has become a fixture in the city. Moving beyond the conventional ironworking operation, the Knapp family has made Milwaukeeans part of their operation, offering classes in iron art creation. Whether you want to make your own beer holder or shepherd’s hook, or are looking for something more intricate, Milwaukee Blacksmith can help you out. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Angelic Roots

• Cream City Clay, Inc. Pottery School & Art Studio

• Neighbor Art Studio

ATTRACTION FOR OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS / BREWERY TOUR / MILWAUKEE TOUR

Lakefront Brewery

1872 N. Commerce St. lakefrontbrewery.com

Lakefront’s tours are over the top and their beers are second to none, so they were a cinch to sweep the “tour” categories and win best craft beer. As for the cheese curds? Good luck trying to eat just one. Come for the tour, stay for the food, enjoy some ales fresh from the finishing tank, and have some fun in the beer hall, where there’s always a good time going on. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS: ATTRACTION FOR OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS

• 3rd St. Market Hall

• City Tours MKE

• Milwaukee Art Museum Safehouse

FINALISTS: BREWERY TOUR

• Layman Brewing

• Miller Brewery

• Sprecher Brewing Co. Torzala Brewing Co.

FINALISTS: MILWAUKEE TOUR

• Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery

• City Tours MKE Tippecanoe Herbs

AXE THROWING BAR AXE MKE

1924 E. Kenilworth Place axemke.com

More than just a place to heave axes like your barbarian forebears, Axe MKE is an event destination where they can set you up for an axe-flinging

birthday party, date night, or even a large celebration, complete with beer, cocktails, champagne, catering, and, um axes! (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• Bounce Milwaukee

• NorthSouth Club West Bend Axe & Escape

BAR FOR QUIET CONVERSATION / CRAFT BEER SELECTION AT A BAR

The Sugar Maple

441 E. Lincoln Ave. mysugarmaple.com

Quiet conversation in a romantic setting makes The Sugar Maple a double winner and the perfect place for either or both. The tap beers are endless, with plenty of booze-based drinks available as well.

Contributing to its low-key vibe, Sugar Maple features even features hempbased drinks as well. From Slip-N-Cider to Three Sheets, if hemp is on your menu, Sugar Maple serves it up just the way you like it. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: BAR FOR QUIET CONVERSATION

• Layman Brewing

• The Tin Widow

• Tied House Milwaukee

FINALISTS: CRAFT BEER SELECTION AT A BAR Draft and Vessel Tosa

• Layman Brewing Sir James Pub

• Steny's Tavern & Grill

BAR ON A BUDGET

The Drunk Uncle 1902 S. 68th St.

While you might not find a drunk uncle on your first visit, you will find close to 50 tap beers, plenty of drink specials and a friendly staff to serve your every need. And if a drunk uncle shows up, well, he’s definitely found his namesake. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Bad Moon Saloon

• Bremen Cafe

• Clementines Tavern The Newport

BAR TO BE SEEN IN / HOTEL LOUNGE

The Bar at Saint Kate

Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel 139 E. Kilbourn Ave. saintkatearts.com

Since 2019, Saint Kate-The Arts Hotel, has offered live music, art exhibits, theater, cocktails, and food from steak to pizza. Its location is close to the

JANUARY 2023 | 49

Riverwalk, theaters, Lake Michigan and the Third Ward. Winning in multiple categories is a feather in the cap for this unique destination. The galleries, one of them run by MOWA and the other by the hotel, are alone worth a visit. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS: BAR TO BE SEEN IN

• Room Seven

• The Stillery

• Tied House Milwaukee

FINALISTS: HOTEL LOUNGE

• Blu

• Eldr+Rime

• The Pfister Hotel

BAR TO WATCH SOCCER

Nomad World Pub

1401 E. Brady St. NomadWorldPub.com

Soccer is the world’s game. While in Milwaukee the options to take in the action from all over the globe are expanding, few can create the atmosphere of Nomad World Pub. The East Side bar caters to both club and international football, in a celebration of the beautiful game unlike any other. Raise a pint or two, support your club loudly and proudly, and take in a matchday on Brady Street. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Moran's Pub Pete's Pub

• The Highbury Pub

BAR WITH A PATIO / TRIVIA NIGHT

Blackbird Bar

3007 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. blackbirdbayview.com

Blackbird Bar debuted its attractive patio in 2021 and added a colorful, tropical-inspired mural in 2022. The outdoor space serves as a charming respite for enjoying craft brews and decent wines. Their popular Team Trivia night each Thursday at 7 p.m. has challenged and entertained patrons for more than a decade. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS: BAR WITH A PATIO

• Bad Moon Saloon

Fluid Milwaukee

• Tied House Milwaukee

FINALISTS: TRIVIA NIGHT

Bad Moon Saloon

• Moran's Pub Pete's Pub

BEER GARDEN

South

Shore Terrace

Kitchen & Beer Garden

2900 S. Shore Drive southshoreterrace.com

South Shore Terrace again comes out on top in the Beer Garden category. Visitors can choose from good beer and wine selections, along with snacks, entrées and sides, while savoring lake breezes and scenic views of Lake Michigan, South Shore Park beach and the downtown skyline. What screams summer in Milwaukee more than that? (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Franksville Craft Beer Garden

Hubbard Park Beer Garden

• Leinie’s Beer Garden at Miller Time Pub & Grill

BLOODY MARY Sobelmans

Multiple locations sobelmanspubandgrill.com

Sobelmans Bloody Marys are a drink and meal with those over-the-top toppings: Colby jack cheese, a pickled Polish sausage, a pickled mushroom, a pickled Brussels sprout, an asparagus, a celery stalk, a green onion, and on another toothpick a shrimp, a lemon wedge, and a grape tomato. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Steny's Tavern & Grill The Stillery

• The Wicked Hop

COCKTAIL LOUNGE / ROMANTIC BAR

At Random

2501 W. Delaware Ave. atrandom.com

Hip. Retro. Cool. That’s At Random. And its handcrafted cocktails and stealthily sophisticated vibe underscore the fun of a visit to this evening only lounge (5 p.m. if you’re checking the time). Since 1964, At Random has been providing drinks made with its secret ingredients as well the Magic Forest: its outdoor patio for the summer and heated huts for our Wisconsin winter weather (by reservation only). (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS: COCKTAIL LOUNGE

• Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

• Giggly at Saint Kate

• Tied House Milwaukee

FINALISTS: ROMANTIC BAR Blu

• Shanghai MKE Tied House Milwaukee

COCKTAIL KIT Foundation Bar

2718 N. Bremen St. foundationbar.com

In 1893 Jon Gunzkewitz moved a building from beneath the Holton viaduct to the present-day Riverwest location of the Foundation Bar. In 1995, the owners began their odyssey toward what has become one of the finest Tiki bars around. The rum-centric drink menu features a Mai Tai (natch) and over 40 exotic cocktails. Since 2017, the apartment upstairs has been available for what is most likely Milwaukee’s only Tiki-themed Air B&B. (Blaine Schultz)

FINALISTS:

• Bittercube Bazaar Style Up Group

DANCE CLUB

Mad Planet 533 E. Center St. mad-planet.net

Since 1990, DJ retro dance parties, live music, low cover charges, reasonably priced drinks, and an all-around eclectic vibe have made Mad Planet Milwaukee’s favorite dance club. On Friday and Saturday nights the beats are irresistible, and the dance floor is packed all night. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS: Freight 38

• LaCage NiteClub Room Seven

ESCAPE ROOM Escape the Room Milwaukee

222 E. Erie St. escapetheroom.com/milwaukee

Escape the Room Milwaukee offers four escape rooms, each with its own theme including an Indiana Jones theme, Mission Impossible theme, an apartment, and an ‘80s rec room. The clues are just challenging enough to keep your group busy for the whole hour, and unlike some other places, Escape the Room MKE offers private rooms for just your own group. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

60 To EscapeMilwaukee Escape Rooms TeamEscape 262

• West Bend Axe & Escape

OUT &
ABOUT
50 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE
JANUARY 2023 | 51

HAPPY HOUR

Mason Street Grill

425 E. Mason St. masonstreetgrill.com

Located in the Pfister Hotel on the main floor, Mason Street Grill is the classic place for steaks and other chophouse fare cooked on wood-fire grills, featuring live jazz music. But there’s plenty of other choices including fish, chicken and barley risotto. Something for every palate. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Eldr+Rime

Fluid Milwaukee

• Mulligans Irish Pub & Grill

• Pete's Pub

• Story Hill BKC

HOOKAH LOUNGE

Casablanca

Multiple locations casablancaonbrady.com

Casablanca has long roots that began on Milwaukee’s South Side before the move to Brady Street early this century. And they have just kept growing. A few years ago, the already attractively designed East Side restaurant added a colonnaded upper level with a veranda. What better environment for smoking the hookah than a Middle Eastern restaurant. (David Luhrssen)

FINALISTS: Dream Lab

• Revel Bar

• Room Seven

IMPORT BEER SELECTION AT A BAR

Von Trier

2235 N. Farwell Ave. vontriers.com

Walking into Von Trier sometimes feels like you’ve stumbled into a Bavarian hunting lodge, and their beer list does nothing to dispel that vibe. You’ll need to visit quite a few times to work your way through the imports alone, with German and Belgians well represented, and then you can start on the craft beers. Hey, it’s a good excuse to keep coming back! (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• JD'S Pub & Grill

• Sir James Pub

The Drunk Uncle

• Three Lions Pub

IRISH PUB County Clare Irish Inn & Pub

1234 N. Astor St. countyclare-inn.com

County Clare is one of those Irish pubs with just the right mix of snug and cheery, with its authentic feeling bar and bright dining room. It’s got the selection of great draft beers and whiskeys you’d expect, live Irish music every week, and a food menu of Irish American comfort food like cottage pie, pot roast and smoked salmon for a great dinner or Sunday brunch. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS: Moran's Pub

• Mulligans Irish Pub & Grill

• Paddy's Pub

JAZZ CLUB

The Jazz Estate

2423 N. Murray Ave. jazzestate.com

Milwaukee’s jazz scene is a vibrant one, if slightly under the radar. Once again, The Jazz Estate takes the BOM honors. The club’s four-decade pedigree means you can count on the nightspot for some serious jazz and more. The history includes performances from Joe Henderson, Cedar Walton, Red Rodney, Brian Lynch, Arturo O’ Farrill, and Charles McPherson. If you are looking for an intimate lounge with a timeless vibe, this is it. (Benjamin Dover)

FINALISTS:

• Angelo's Piano Lounge Bar Centro

• Blu

• Caroline's KARAOKE BAR

Landmark Lanes 2220 N. Farwell Ave. landmarklanes.com

Landmark Lanes is considered a place where all are welcome and has been a mixing pot of Milwaukeeans for decades. It is known as a place where friends and strangers alike get together to bowl, drink, play video games and be amongst each other in a heartfelt and laid-back environment. Where everyone can get loose. This year, Landmark Lanes has invested in renovations meant to bring back its glory days including a new marquee, renovated bars, new arcade games and handpainted signs by Milwaukee Sign Painter. (Ava Elizabeth Carmody)

FINALISTS:

• Allure MKE

• Amelia's Restaurant

• Drunken Cobra

• The High Note Karaoke Lounge Tonic Tavern

• Walkers Pint

MARGARITA Café Corazón

Multiple Locations corazonmilwaukee.com

Café Corazon offers several excellent burritos. From their classic Corazon burrito filled with familiar ingredients like rice, beans, cheese to more creative options like the Seafood Trio Burrito, it’s tough to make a “wrong” choice. Corazon straight up has a Best Burrito on the menu which is as fantastic as it is filling! Be sure to pair your meal with a delicious traditionally made margarita served on the rocks with plenty of lime. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Botanas Restaurant

• La Fuente Restaurant Tied House Milwaukee

MARTINI

Elsa’s on the Park

833 N. Jefferson St. elsas.com

Shaken. Stirred. Neat. On the Rocks. Elsa’s does all that with the martini and infinitely more. Lemon Drop. Grapefruit. Espresso. Sourtini. Flirtini. The choices are endless. So stop in. Sit down. And sip the night away. (Harry Cherkinian)

FINALISTS:

• Blu

JoJo's Martini Lounge

• Tied House Milwaukee

MICROBREWERY/TAPROOM

Eagle Park Brewing Company

823 E. Hamilton St. eagleparkbrewing.com

It's no surprise that Eagle Park Brewing won in the microbrewery/taproom category, given its popularity as a go-to spot for fine beers, food and a great hangout location on the Lower East Side (plus a taproom and distillery in Muskego). Their tap brews, which also include their recent acquisitions from the Milwaukee Brewing Company, range from classic styles like lagers and stouts, through lots of IPAs and an eccentric selection of flavored sours, slushes, milkshakes, and hard seltzers. (Barry Houlehen)

OUT & ABOUT
52 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE

FINALISTS:

• Amorphic Beer Indeed Brewing Company & Taproom

• Layman Brewing

• OPE! Brewing Co.

• Third Space Brewing

• Torzala Brewing Co.

NEW BAR (OPENED IN 2022)

OPE! Brewing Co.

6751 W. National Ave., West Allis opebrewingco.com

This year’s best new bar is a brewery, the Stallis-themed Ope! Brewing Company on National. It’s a spacious venue (including the bar itself and the parking lot) with plenty of comfortable seating, and of course, a large selection of their own beers, many of which are named for Wisconsin slang, hey? So ope, just gonna sneak past ya, didn’t see ya there ... (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• Clementines Tavern

• Promises Pufferfish

PAINT & WINE BAR

Arte Wine and Paint

1442 Underwood Ave., Wauwatosa artewineandpaint.com

Who doesn’t love a night out with a tasty adult beverage and an activity that allows you to stretch your creativity? Arté Wine & Paint offers this opportunity and does it well. Sessions have a theme and a guide to direct you which is quite helpful if you’re new to painting. It’s fun to see how similar, yet different, the “same” painting will look depending on the artist. (Susan Harpt Grimes)

FINALISTS:

• Art Bar

• Charmbiance Wine Bar & Arts

• SIP MKE

PET-FRIENDLY ESTABLISHMENT

Black Husky Brewing

909 E. Locust St. blackhuskybrewing.com

Black Husky Brewing is dogfriendly? Wait, I thought it was a dog establishment that’s human-friendly! This place actually sells their own dog products like shampoo and paw balm at the bar. So while your best friends have some fun making new friends, you nondogs can enjoy some fine Black Husky ales at this popular Riverwest taproom. (Barry Houlehen)

FINALISTS:

• Bad Moon Saloon

• The Highbury Pub

• The Hounds & Tap

PLACE FOR FAMILY FUN Bounce Milwaukee

2801 S. 5th Court bouncemilwaukee.com

Bounce Milwaukee is a locally owned alternative to big chain family entertainment centers. Children and adults can have fun on the rock-climbing wall, play laser tag and arcade games, or cut loose in an inflatable sports area and indoor playground. A full menu features food made with fresh ingredients, and nothing is fried. Party packages are available for children, adults and corporate events. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

• Franksville Craft Beer Garden

• Little Sprouts Play Cafe SafeHouse

SPORTS BAR Steny’s

800 S. Second St. StenysTavern.com

The beauty of Steny’s Tavern in Walker’s Point is that the bar and restaurant knows the importance of game day. Whether you’re having a pregame meal, or celebrating a big win, they have everything that you need. Wall to wall televisions have sports on from around the country, and when it’s time to get to the game, their shuttles are more than likely running to get you to the stadium entrances on time. Pregame or postgame, Steny’s is your place for sports. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS:

• Moran's Pub

• Pete's Pub

The Highbury Pub

STRIP CLUB

Silk Exotic Gentlemen's Club

Multiple locations silkexotic.com

Here we are in 2023 and there is still a category for Best Strip Club. With three other “gentlemen’s clubs” in the running it remains obvious that there is still a demand. Or as Art Kumbalek once said, “If you have a wad of Washingtons burning a hole in your pocket, and you’re itching to stick a couple, three or more of them within the friendly confines of someone’s G-string or what-haveyou, I suggest that your grocery store, fast-food joint or walk-in health clinic is not the place to perform such a charitable deed. No sir; you get your giftgiving fingers over to Silk Exotic, adult entertainment par excellence, I kid you not.” (Benjamin Dover)

FINALISTS:

• On the Border Texas Jay's Gentleman's Club

WHISKEY SELECTION AT A BAR

The Vanguard

2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. VanguardBar.com

You don’t have to be a whiskey snob to appreciate the vast selection of spirits at The Vanguard in Bay View. Bottles line the wall, and the staff is more than ready to serve up shots or a mixer, depending on the situation. With a full array of specialized sausages and more, and the atmosphere of a trendy restaurant mixed with a Bay View dive (depending on your time of day,) you’ll walk away from The Vanguard feeling glad that you stopped in. Be somebody at The Vanguard. (Allen Halas)

FINALISTS: Giggly at Saint Kate

• The Stillery Tied House Milwaukee

WINERY SoLu Estate Winery & Meadery

W8269 County Road F, Cascade, Wis. soluestate.com

Located on the Kettle Moraine Trail in Sheboygan County, SoLu Estate is a working winery and meadery with a full bar, dining area, retail component, live music nights, tastings and tours. Fourteen different varietals grow in the vineyard and are used in their French-inspired dry and fruit wines. (Sheila Julson)

FINALISTS:

Cedar Creek

• Chiselled Grape Winery

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

• Pieper Porch Winery & Vineyard

• Two Brothers' Wines

• Vines To Cellar

• Wollersheim Winery & Distillery

OUT & ABOUT JANUARY 2023 | 53

ACUPUNCTURIST

Milwaukee Community Acupuncture

Acupuncture & Holistic Health Associates

Heaven & Earth Acupuncture and Wellness

• MKE MindBody Wellness

ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL CLINIC

MKE MindBody Wellness

• Thrive Holistic Medicine

• VIVA Wellness

• Zuza's Way Integrative Care

BOUTIQUE FITNESS

Shred415 East Side

• Burn Boot Camp - Sussex Burn Boot Camp Waukesha

• Peak Physique Personal Training

CROSSFIT-STYLE GYM

BrewCity CrossFit

• Badger CrossFit

• Burn Boot Camp Redemption Fitness

GYM

Wisconsin Athletic Club

• Badger CrossFit

Burn Boot Camp

• Burn Boot Camp Waukesha

MASSAGE THERAPIST

MKE MindBody Wellness

District 108 Salon & Spa

• Lula Mae Aesthetic Boutique

VeVa Beauty Bar

• Zen Garden Bodywork

PERSONAL TRAINER

Ricky Grabow

• Alex Rosencutter Garrett Van Aucken

• Michael McVicker

PILATES STUDIO Flying Squirrel Pilates

• Club Pilates [solidcore]

REIKI STUDIO

MKE MindBody Wellness

• Angelic Roots

Lovely Salon and Spa

• Shanti Lleone

SPA

WELL Spa + Salon

• Lovely Salon and Spa

Lula Mae Aesthetic Boutique

• Nourish Skin and Sugar Studio

YOGA STUDIO

Healium Hot Yoga

• Embody Yoga

• The Heart Revival Center for Yoga & Buddhist Studies YogaSix

BODY, MIND & SPIRIT BOUGHT & SOLD ADULT RETAIL STORE The Tool Shed Temptations ANTIQUE STORE Antiques On Pierce • BC Modern • Clocktower Antiques AUTO DEALERSHIP - DOMESTIC Soerens Ford, Inc. Griffin Chevrolet • Holz Motors, INC. • Mike Juneau's Brookfield Buick GMC AUTO DEALERSHIP - IMPORT Subaru City of Milwaukee • David Hobbs Honda • Reina International Auto • Wilde Toyota AUTO DEALERSHIP - PREOWNED Manyo Motors Galaxy Auto Sales LLC. • David Hobbs Honda Gordie Boucher Lincoln BIKE SHOP Wheel & Sprocket • Emery's Cycling, Triathlon & Fitness • The Bikesmiths Truly Spoken Cycles BOOKSTORE Boswell Book Company • La Revo Books Lion's Tooth • Rooted MKE BOUTIQUE CLOTHING Sparrow Boutique + Gift Bandit MKE • Close to the Heart • Faye's CAMPING EQUIPMENT Sherper's Riverwest Outdoors • Yellow Wood CARPET/FINE RUGS Shabahang and Sons Persian Carpets • Kerns Carpets • Malkin's Flooring Warehouse Shabahang Rug Gallery, Persian and Oriental Carpets CBD RETAIL SHOP Knuckleheads CBD & Vapes Canni Hemp Co. • Kind Oasis Terrasol Dispensary CLOTHING - CHILDREN'S Once Upon A Child Blackbear • Creatively Yours Little Monsters • Raising Good • Sparrow Collective 54 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE

HOME IMPROVEMENT

ARCHITECT

Johnsen Schmaling Architects

• John Curran

Lakeside Development Co.

BASEMENT/REC ROOM REMODELER

LaBonte Construction

Accurate Basement Repair

• Basement Recording LLC

• Bluejacket Builders

• Carmel Builders Inc

• Conexion Wisconsin LLC Emally's Construction

• Gravelle Designs

J&J Contractors I LLC

BATHROOM REMODELER

LaBonte Construction

Borth-Wilson Plumbing & Bathroom Remodeling Building Waters Inc

• Coach House Homes

• Conexion Wisconsin LLC

• Connor Remodeling & Design, Inc.

• Designing Works

J&J Contractors I LLC

• North Shore Kitchen & Bath

CLOSET DESIGN Closets by Design

• Gravelle Designs

Lake Country Custom Cabinets, LLC

ELECTRICIAN

Roman Electric

• Brighter Connection

• Current Electric Co. Current Projects

• KWK Electric Inc

• Lyons Electric Co Inc

• Roach Electric

HOME BUILDER

Stepping Stone Homes

• Bielinski Homes Jewell Homes Inc

• LaBonte Construction

HOME REMODELING

LaBonte Construction

• Allrite Home & Remodeling

Big Fish Contracting

• Formula Home Improvements, Inc.

KITCHEN REMODELER

LaBonte Construction

• Coach House Homes Design Tech Remodeling

• Designing Works

• Dream Kitchens

• Emally's Construction

• Kitchen Remodeling Group Inc MMP Building, Remodeling and Restoration No Bull Remodeling

• North Shore Kitchen & Bath

• Renaissance Design & Renovation

LANDSCAPER/ LAWN MAINTENANCE Cream City Landscaping

• Josh Does It All

• M C Green Services

• The Green Team of Wisconsin, Inc.

PLUMBER

Budiac Plumbing Inc

• Austin Plumbing Co.

• Bontempo Plumbing

• Dave Burns Plumbing Inc.

• Mid City Corporation Milestone Plumbing, Inc.

• Sid Grinker Co.

ROOFER

J&J Contractors I LLC

• Allrite Home & Remodeling

Community Roofing & Restoration

• Formula Home Improvements, Inc.

WINDOW & SIDING

J&J Contractors I LLC

• Allrite Home & Remodeling

• Formula Home Improvements, Inc.

• HomeTowne Windows and Doors

Pella Windows & Doors of Brookfield

LGBTQ DRAG EVENT Hamburger Mary's Milwaukee • DIX Milwaukee • Lakefront Brewery Drag Bingo • This is it! DRAG PERSONALITY Dita Von • Ester Flonaze Melee McQueen • Miss BJ Daniels LGBTQ ADVOCATE Geoff Hoen • Arika Kaosa Gregory Leon • Marco Briceno • Michael Damian LGBTQ EVENT Pridefest Big Night Out • Courage MKE Gala • Cream City Foundation Business Equality Luncheon • Milwaukee Pride Parade LGBTQ-INCLUSIVE BUSINESS This is it! Amilinda • Beard MKE • Cactus Club LGBTQ-OWNED BUSINESS This is it! Amilinda • Beard MKE • Cactus Club 56 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE

GREEN BUSINESS

The Ivy House

• Everything Grows LLC

• Tall Guy and a Grill Catering

HAIR REMOVAL

Rose AestheticsThird Ward

• District 108 Salon & Spa

• Lula Mae Aesthetic Boutique Nourish Skin and Sugar Studio

HAIR SALON - MEN'S Hedwig's Hair Salon

• District 108 Salon & Spa

• Gent's Classic Barber Shop Lovely Salon and Spa

HAIR SALON - WOMEN'S Lovely Salon and Spa

• District 108 Salon & Spa

• Hedwig's Hair Salon

• Monarch Loft LLC

HOTEL ROOMS

The Pfister Hotel

• Saint Kate - The Arts Hotel

• The Iron Horse Hotel

INSURANCE AGENCY

Shorewest Insurance Associates LLC

• Cream City Insurance

• Mac Gillis Agency Inc

• Reilly Insurance Services, Inc.

INSURANCE AGENT / BROKER

Claudia Reilly

• Brian MacGillis

• Jerad Steinfeld

• Joe Woelfle

• John Hillyer

LAW FIRM - BANKRUPTCY

• Bankruptcy Law Office of Richard A. Check S. C.

• Miller & Miller Law, LLC

• Riverwest Law Firm

LAW FIRM - BUSINESS

Fox O'Neill & Shannon

• Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP

LAW FIRM - CRIMINAL DEFENSE

Kim & LaVoy, S.C.

• Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP

• Jacob Manian

LAW FIRM - DIVORCE

Gagne McChrystal De Lorenzo & Burghardt

• Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP

• Kim & LaVoy, S.C. MacGillis Wiemer, LLC

LAW FIRM - ESTATE PLANNING

Fox O'Neill & Shannon

• Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP

• Law Offices of Carlson & Lunde, S.C. Moertl Wilkins & Campbell

LAW FIRM - FAMILY LAW

Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP

• Gagne McChrystal De Lorenzo & Burghardt

• Kim & LaVoy, S.C

LAW FIRM - FULL SERVICE Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc.

• Fox O'Neill & Shannon

• Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP Groth Law Accident Injury Attorneys

LAW FIRM - PERSONAL INJURY Hupy and Abraham, S.C.

• Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP Groth Law Accident Injury Attorneys

• Gruber Law Offices, LLC

PET GROOMING/SERVICES

• Pretty Paws Pet Spa, LLC

NAIL SALON

Nail Bar Milwaukee

• Lula Mae Aesthetic Boutique

• WELL Spa + Salon

TATTOO PARLOR

Black Dawn Tattoo

• Color Bomb Tattoo Shop and Body Piercing

• The Foundry Tattoo Company

• Walker's Point Tattoo Co.

VETERINARIAN Community Veterinary Clinic

• Bayshore Veterinary Clinic

• Brentwood Animal Hospital

• Milwaukee Vet Clinic Shorewood Animal Hospital

WEDDING VENUE

The Ivy House

• Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery

Glacier Hills County Park

• Story Hill Firehouse The Pfister Hotel

• Lien

JANUARY 2023 | 59
Debt Advisors Law Offices Milwaukee
Bark Dog Wash & Groom
Bay View
Community
-
Embark Pet Spa Honeysuckle Hounds
Headshots
PHOTOGRAPHER Premier
Photography
Eric Halvie Jamie Robarge
Photography
Phu
South Shore Gallery & Framing
PICTURE FRAMING GALLERY
Bresler Eitel Framing Gallery
Greenwood Park Gallery & Framing, INC
Noble Arts
SERVICES RENDERED

BOWLING ALLEY

Bay View Bowl

• Highland Lanes

• Holler House

Landmark Lanes

• South Shore Bowl

ENDURANCE EVENT

Polar Bear Plunge

• Best Dam Bike Tour

Ride Across Wisconsin

• We Run They Fly 5K

FAVORITE BREWERS PLAYER

Christian Yelich

• Corbin Burnes

Rowdy Tellez

• Willie Adames

FAVORITE BUCKS PLAYER

Giannis

Antetokounmpo

• Bobby Portis

• Jrue Holiday

Khris Middleton

SPORTS & RECREATION

FAVORITE PACKERS PLAYER

Aaron Jones

• Aaron Rodgers

• AJ Dillon

Jaire Alexander

GOLF COURSE

Brown Deer Park Golf Course

• Blue Mound Golf and Country Club

Hansen Park Golf Course

• New Berlin Hills Golf Course

MINI GOLF COURSE Moorland Road Golf Center

Nine Below

• Prairieville Park

Swing Time Germantown

• Tee Aire

PADDLESPORTS - RENT OR BUY Milwaukee Kayak Company

• Brew City Kayak

• Koha SUP

• PROLITE Sports

• Sherper's

REC SPORTS LEAGUE

The Rock Sports Complex

• Adlai Horn Pickleball & Tennis Courts

• Bavarian United Soccer Club Elmbrook United

• Greenfield Softball Leagues at Konkel Park

• Milwaukee Curling Club

• Milwaukee Gay Volleyball

• Newport Volleyball

• NorthSouth Club

ROCK CLIMBING VENUE

Adventure Rock

• Bounce Milwaukee

• Turner Hall Climbing Gym

60 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL BEST OF MILWAUKEE

Hemp for Whole Body Wellness Hemp for Whole Body Wellness

As an integrative functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Dagmara Beine of Zuza’s Way Integrative Care is frequently asked by her patients, “If you have to choose just one daily nutritional supplement, what would be your favorite?”

Her answer is always “full spectrum hemp oil.” While cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most commonly sought-after hemp products, Beine notes that CBD is just one of many beneficial cannabinoids in hemp. (Hemp is the cannabis plant selectively bred to contain less than 0.3% THC, the current federally legal limit.)

“Although CBD is the cannabinoid that’s been studied the most, the hemp plant has 90-plus cannabinoids that are undergoing studies, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in small, legal percentages,” Beine says. Full spectrum hemp oil contains cannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG), which she praises as effective for acute and chronic pain.

Full spectrum hemp oil can be ingested daily to fight inflammation, but it’s also considered an adaptogen, Beine explains. “Adaptogens are classified as herbs that help the body deal with stress. I like to utilize full spectrum hemp oil as a daily supplement in smaller doses for stress relief.”

Beine has a master’s degree from Marquette University’s Physician Assistant Studies program. She has a Ph.D. in Functional and Integrative Medicine from Quantum University, based in Hawaii. Her own family has used full spectrum hemp oil for wellness. Three years ago, she and her husband Ryan—also a physician’s assistant—started Twister River Farms. They grow hemp with organic methods and have a line of products for adults and children.

Full spectrum hemp oil can alleviate nausea and anxiety for cancer patients during their course of conventional treatments, Beine says. “It’s also my go-to for helping patients fall asleep and stay asleep. There’s new research coming out to show that full spectrum hemp oil can help improve gut health.”

Psychological stress can lead to dysfunction of the small intestine, and full spectrum hemp oil can help heal the gut.

THE BODY’S ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. “It’s goal is to promote balance, or homeostasis, in the body. It does that by regulating all sorts of body systems that affect sleep, mood, pain and immune response,” says Kate Johnson, a former attorney and owner of Madison-based Your Kush Coach.

As a self-professed “cannabis nerd,” Johnson has used cannabis in one form or another for more than 25 years to manage symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and as an alternative to alcohol. She’s a Certified Cannabis Educator and a Certified Cannabis & Health Coach through the Cannabis Coaching Institute, and a Level 1 Professional Interpener—a cannabis sommelier—through the Trichome Institute.

The endocannabinoid system has receptor sites that act as locks, Johnson explains. When the body is signaling it is out of balance through pain, anxiety, digestive issues or lack of sleep, the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant act as keys that unlock the endocannabinoid system to help restore balance.

Beine adds that the body produces its own cannabinoids, but our ability to make enough healthy cannabinoids to keep body systems running smoothly are often disrupted by disease processes or life stressors.

FINDING QUALITY PRODUCTS

The hemp market remains largely unregulated. “It’s still a game of hot potato between the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food & Drug Administration,” cautions Johnson. “To date, nobody is checking on how hemp is grown, how it’s processed, or how much CBD is actually in that $70 dollar bottle of oil.”

Photo by IRA_EVVA/Getty Images. 62 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL HEALTH & WELLNESS CANNABIS

A certificate of analysis (COA) should come with any quality hemp product. “The COA proves that the product has been lab tested. It should match what the label says,” Johnson explains. The COA is available through a QR code or a paper copy included with the packaging. It should show that the product was tested for potency, THC content, pesticides and heavy metals.

“The hemp plant is a bioaccumulator, meaning that it readily sucks up contaminants out of the soil,” Johnson says. “Look for products grown organically and in the United States.” Johnson is an affiliate partner of Healer, founded by Mainebased Doctor of Osteopath Dustin Sulak, a renowned endocannabinoid doctor in the cannabis space.

Because there is no standard dosage for hemp-derived products, Johnson notes users have to do some math when calculating effective dosages for their individual needs and goals. Trusted cannabis experts can help guide users toward that “Goldilocks zone” to get the most effective results from their hemp products.

“Your money will go a lot farther on a product if you know how to use it,” Beine concludes.

For more information, visit zuzasway.com, yourkushcoach.com.

JANUARY 2023 | 63
Sheila Julson writes the Eat/Drink column as well as articles on cannabis issues for shepherdexpress.com.

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Irritating You? Could It Be SIBO?

Why do people get SIBO? There are many underlying causes including:

• Damaged nerves or muscle in gut wall from diabetes, connective tissue disease or autoimmunity,

• Prior food poisoning or GI infection.

• Physical obstructions such as scarring from prior surgeries.

• Medications such as acid blocking agents, antibiotics and steroids

• Diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates or alcohol

• Chronic conditions like mold toxicity or Lyme disease

Greta was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) years ago. She had flares of prominent bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea alternating with constipation. Greta pursued medical care, including a trip to Mayo Clinic, but was disappointed with advice on “learning to live with it” and medication to help control her symptoms. Was something else going on?

The term “syndrome” is applied to a set of medical signs and symptoms often used when the underlying mechanism is poorly understood—like IBS. Yet, in Functional Medicine, we have come to recognize that a significant portion of people with IBS have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

The last two True Health columns reviewed the importance of gut health and a balanced microbiome. SIBO is an example of a malady that can occur with a dysregulated microbiome.

Here is what happens. Compared to the colon where most of our microbiome resides, the small intestine normally has far few organisms with bacteria “swept” through daily by a mechanism known as the migrating motor complex. With SIBO, there are significantly increased organisms in the small intestines. When gut bacteria ferment food, they often produce gas. In the setting of SIBO, the excess bacteria produce a lot of excess gas resulting in bloating, abdominal pain, deranged bowel movements and other symptoms. That is why, often individuals with SIBO feel OK until they eat. What’s worse, symptoms can go beyond the above to include leaky gut resulting in systemic inflammation and malabsorption leading to nutrient deficiencies. SIBO has also been linked with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia and skin maladies like rosacea.

To help make the diagnosis of SIBO, we use a breath test that is able to measure the production of gas produced by the errant gut bacteria. It can also be helpful to do a stool test for key information about potential stealth infections, microbiome balance and digestive function. There is also a test that looks for autoantibodies affecting nerves that are in the muscle wall of the gut. These destructive antibodies can occur after an episode of food poisoning.

We treat SIBO by eliminating the excess bacteria using antibiotics and/or antimicrobial botanicals, while simultaneously supporting gut healing. “Starving” the bacteria by using a liquid elemental diet is also a strategy, though quite challenging. Rifaximin, an especially effective antibiotic is attractive because it is largely limited to the small intestine. It doesn’t impact colon microbiome, doesn’t absorb into the blood stream and has anti-inflammatory properties. Special diets like FODMAP can help control symptoms, but alone will not likely cure SIBO.

Treatment approaches and length of time are influenced by the amounts and types of gas seen with testing. It is estimated that about one-third of people with SIBO will respond very well to treatment with no recurrence. About two-thirds will respond to varying degrees but then recur. That’s when we need to dig further into underlying causes.

Greta’s breath test confirmed that she had significant aberrant gas production. Her stool test showed microbiome imbalances with very poor digestive markers. Greta underwent two rounds of treatment along with other gut health support and responded very well. “I feel like I got my life back” she says.

Katherine Bayliss, MD, a Milwaukee native, practiced in conventional medicine as a pathologist for 25 years. She now lives her passion, helping others through the more holistic Functional Medicine model.

Illustration by Michael Burmesch. 64 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL HEALTH & WELLNESS TRUE HEALTH

When Bodies Defy Boxes:

RETHINKING HOW WE CATEGORIZE SEX

Decades ago in college, I had a lively discussion with friends about the “Four Food Groups,” a food classification system we had all grown up with in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The so-called “Basic Four” (defined as meats, dairy, fruits/vegetables, and grains) was just one in a series of ever-evolving teaching tools created by the USDA to nudge Americans toward healthier eating habits.

One friend was earnestly critiquing the system. “The Basic Four reflects the outsized influence of the meat and dairy industries,” she said, going on

about structures of power in government agencies. “The whole system is wrong,” she exclaimed. “When you look at food in nature, there are actually 12 food groups.”

Another friend sighed. “In nature,” she asserted, “there are no food groups.” Food groups are made-up categorization systems we apply to edible stuff because we find it useful. There are infinite ways we can create food groups (by color, flavor, growing region, plant/ animal source, vitamin content, etc.). There could be four, 40, or 400 categories, depending on our goals.

In other words, food groups shouldn’t be mistaken for telling unwavering “truth” about food. They are just convenient systems we use to make meaning from our world. And it doesn’t hurt here to note that the way we choose to group anything usually reflects certain underlying values and assumptions.

CATEGORIZING SEX

Now let’s consider the concept of “sex.” For our purposes, I’m not talking about “sex” as an activity we can enjoy. Rather, I am talking about “sex” as a system that we use to categorize bodies.

Photo by Kasezo.
66 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL HEALTH & WELLNESS SEXPRESS

In most of our cultural and scientific language, when we refer to the “sex” of humans, we’re usually offered two options, female or male. When we’re taught about sexual anatomy and reproduction in our sex ed classes, we are presented with two sets of drawings to represent genitals and reproductive organs.

This binary female/male framework is reinforced in countless systems that we interact with daily, from “F” or “M” checkboxes on our birth certificates and government-issued IDs, to our health insurance paperwork, to organized sports, to name a few. It all appears so simple.

The trouble with this system is that the observed reality of natural variations in human bodies isn’t that simple. Yes, we most often observe people who fit common patterns of “male” and “female” in terms of their gonads, genitals, chromosomes, and hormonal levels. But intersex people, who make up about 1.7% of the population, have sex traits or reproductive anatomy that varies from those typical definitions of male or female.

There is no single way to be intersex; it is an umbrella term encompassing a variety of differences in genitalia, hormones, internal anatomy, or chromosomes. Some intersex characteristics can be seen at birth, while others become evident at puberty, when trying to conceive a child, or through genetic testing. There are over 40 known intersex variations, and we’re still learning. The science of sex has become more nuanced in recent decades. Human sexual development is a complex

process that involves multiple stages and a cascade of biological processes.

Is it really a surprise that folks in our communities reflect natural variations beyond two strict outcomes?

There is no doubt that the categories of female and male can at times be useful. But there are also times when insisting on the rigidity of those categories is limiting and damaging. Serious trouble creeps in when folks insist that female and male are the “only,” “true,” or “natural” options. Our politics is currently rife with such essentialist language, reinforcing the erasure, stigma, and harm that intersex folks are often subjected to in our society.

UNNECESSARY SURGERIES ON INTERSEX YOUTH

One form of injustice that intersex people have faced for decades is the imposition of binary sex norms by the medical establishment in the form of “normalizing” surgeries. These are non-lifesaving procedures that aim to change natural variations in genital appearance based on ideas about what a “normal” body looks like. Most of these surgeries are done when a child is under 2 years old, denying people important choices about their own bodies—choices that can affect fertility, sexual function, and emotional well-being.

Across the U.S. (including Wisconsin), embedded within the text of 25 anti-transgender bills that would deny trans youth access to gender-affirming medical care, there is also specific language included that allows the continuation of surgical procedures on intersex kids—without their con -

sent. You read that correctly: legislators who want to ban trans teens from getting medical procedures that they have consented to are perfectly okay with supporting non-consensual “normalizing” genital surgeries on intersex infants, despite intersex advocacy groups, human rights organizations, and three former U.S. Surgeons General recommending such surgeries be halted. Weaponizing a strict binary of sex appears to be more important to these legislators than the bodily autonomy and rights of trans and intersex youth.

We’re at an inflection point in our culture, one in which we can rethink whether a rigid binary system of sex is truly serving the diversity and dignity of all people in our communities. If it is not, what values are served by those who double down on this system? The science of sex is nuanced, as is the reality of human bodies and lived experience. Rhetoric and policies that insist on oversimplifying those complexities come at a high cost to real people. It is time we begin prioritizing the hospitality of nuance over the damages of exclusion.

Hudson Nummerdor is a sexuality educator at The Tool Shed, Milwaukee’s mission-driven, education-based sexuality boutique. He has completed the University of Michigan’s Sexual Health Certificate Program in Sexuality Education.

JANUARY 2023 | 67

When Bad Things Happen

It’s a new year, and many of us are hoping it won’t resemble the last one, at least in terms of the world in general. Lots of tough stuff in 2022, including the ongoing pandemic, natural disasters aplenty, an intensifying climate crisis, escalating gun violence, social media overflowing with hate, the war in Ukraine . . . it’s a long list. All of which reinforces a stark reality that many of us would rather ignore—really bad stuff happens, often randomly, unfairly and unpredictably. And this fact, one increasingly rammed into our daily lives, tests more than our physical and psychological survival skills. It challenges our attitude toward life.

The cumulative mental weight of these risks and disasters, as well as the suffering they inflict, can shape one’s philosophy toward living as well as one’s view toward a supreme being. When catastrophically bad things descend upon our collective heads, or when we endure an individual tragedy that falls randomly and without warning, we often turn to God or fate and ask, “Why?” How we answer this question informs our attitudes toward life and how we intend to live it. In this respect, most of us fall into one of a few schools of thought.

First is the “God’s will” group. To them, disasters and tragedies are the bidding of a deity that pursues far larger purposes than we can comprehend. They regard epic calamities and individual suffering as the Lord “working in mysterious ways,” and leave it at that. Faced with the vagaries and cruelties of existence, some find this

sort of blind faith comforting. After all, suffering without purpose or meaning is the worst kind, so thinking that one’s adversity fits into a divine plan offers some solace. However, this mindset encourages passivity.

OUR FAULT?

Then come the “hellfire” types. As they see it, if some awful thing befalls us, well, it’s our own damn fault. To them, pestilence and mayhem are well-deserved punishment for our sins against God, not unlike the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. These are the same folks who concocted the patently absurd idea that AIDS is divine retribution for what they view as the “sin” of homosexuality. They conveniently overlook that this disease primarily afflicts and is transmitted by heterosexuals. This mindset encourages the blame game.

Next is the “whatever” group. For them, bad stuff just happens and has no particular significance. Calamities are simply there, and the universe is indifferent to our existence. As they see it, we humans project our interpretations on these destructive happenings when, in fact, they have no inherent meaning. Our error, they maintain, is that when all hell breaks loose, we desperately try to make sense out of what is basically nonsense. This mindset fosters cynicism.

Perhaps closely related is the “what, me worry?” bunch. They figure there is nothing one can do about global mayhem, whatever its cosmic significance or lack thereof, so why fret about it? Often, they assume a stoic

posture toward individual risks as well, and they have a point. Random mass shootings, for example, can happen anywhere, anytime and anyhow. The mindset here is apathy.

Finally, there are the “victims.” These folks view crises and suffering as proof that life is out to get them, that the universe is a conspiracy to undermine their well-being. To them, disasters, both individual and collective, demonstrate that life is rigged against us. This “resistance is futile” mindset fosters despair.

Psychological research suggests the most helpful attitude in the face of life’s cruelties and tribulations involves focusing on one’s efforts more than outcomes. Rarely can we entirely control how things turn out, but we can control where we put our mental focus, time and energy when things go to hell in a handbasket. Doing our best—acts of kindness, supporting others, practicing self-care, being a force for good—is where we can make a difference, even if only a small one.

This approach transforms that existential “Why did this happen?” into “How best can I respond?” That matters much, because spending too much time asking “Why?” usually leads to more suffering, not less.

Philip Chard is a psychotherapist and author with a focus on lasting behavior change, emotional healing and adaptation to health challenges. For more, visit philipchard.com.

Images.
Background photo by Natalya Bosyak/Getty
68 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL HEALTH & WELLNESS OUT OF MY MIND
JANUARY 2023 | 69

Experience Winter Magic in Idyllic Lake Geneva

After spending a crisp morning traipsing through the streets of downtown Lake Geneva, I make my way to Joni’s Diner, where I meet with Mayor Charlene Klein to talk about this picturesque town. Joni’s Diner, at 111 Wells Street, is one of the few authentic 1950s diners left in the country, and its quaint nature makes it perfect for talking about what makes Lake Geneva so special. Mayor Klein beams with pride as she talks about Lake Geneva, making recommendations and sharing fun facts, including that she is the first woman elected as the city’s mayor. From cross country skiing to castles made of ice, to its world-renowned bars, restaurants and coffee shops, to its marvelous resorts, opportunities for winter hiking, and even ice boating, a trip to Lake Geneva is an absolute must for anyone’s travel plans this winter season.

ABOUT LAKE GENEVA

Lake Geneva is an idyllic town nestled on Geneva Lake, a quick scenic drive from Milwaukee, Madison, or Chicago. With year-round resorts, an extensive downhill and cross country skiing scene, unique cafes and restaurants to be found in the gorgeous downtown area, and special winter events including The Ice Castles, Winterfest, and the Ice Sculpture Walk, there are endless experiences to be had in Lake Geneva this January. “People in Milwaukee are discovering Lake Geneva more and more,” says Mayor Klein. “Tell everybody in Milwaukee to come on down!”

ICE SCULPTURE WALK

Throughout the course of Lake Geneva’s winter, many businesses feature professional ice sculptures for the winter

Photo by AJ Mellor. Courtesy of Melissa Smuzynski/Ice Castles LLC.
70 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL DAY TRIPS

months. These sculptures are professionally carved, and with the intricacy of the pieces growing each year, downtown Lake Geneva is home to a spectacular winter art gallery. The displays are on view for free during the winter season. “The sculptors come from all over the United States,” Klein exclaims. “They’re a lot of fun and very courageous to brave the cold and the wind.”

AVANT CYCLE CAFE

A cafe and bike shop all conveniently in one business, Avant Cycle Cafe is located at 234 Broad Street in downtown Lake Geneva. With delicious coffee, hot chocolate, tea and pastries, as well as everything any bike enthusiast could hope for, this charming cafe is only a short walk from the beach, as well as many of the resorts, which makes Avant Cycle Cafe more than worth the stop on your trip.

RESORTS

Grand Geneva

Lake Geneva’s majestic views are at the forefront of Grand Geneva’s premier location. With family-friendly ski hills, ice skating, sledding, as well as innovative igloo dining and an all-inclusive spa, Grand Geneva is the perfect setting for a family weekend getaway. Located at 7036 Grand Geneva Way, the Grand Geneva Resort is the place to host all your winter adventures.

Alpine Valley Ski Resort

With 90 acres of ski hills, Alpine Valley Ski Resort offers skiing for beginners to experts, and everyone in between. With a full featured terrain park, 20 runs, and a steep vertical drop, there’s no shortage of exhilarating winter sport opportunities to be found at Alpine Valley. The resort is located at W2501 County Road D, in Sugar Creek Valley.

HIKING

Lake Geneva has many opportunities for winter hiking featuring the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings. The town has several natural conservatories for sightseeing, including the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy, Linn Nature Park, Four Seasons Nature Park and Big Foot Beach State Park. There is also a public access trail that encircles the entirety of the lake, and cuts through the backyards of some of the state’s most beautiful, historic houses. The trail is completely free to hike, and the sights are remarkable. “We come into Lake Geneva and we just breathe a sigh of relief,” Klein remarks. “It’s very relaxing.”

ICE CASTLES

The Lake Geneva Ice Castles are a pop-up attraction that are packed full of winter magic. Creating the castles takes months, and this year will feature a completely reimagined horse-drawn sleigh trail, new lighting, new winter characters to greet visitors, and an ice slide.

“There are so many things we're excited for people to experience this winter. We love seeing adults get on their hands and knees and navigate a crawl tunnel with their children. We adore seeing couples get engaged at Ice Castles, and it is so heartwarming to see children's eyes light up with glee as they zip down an ice slide,” says Melissa Smuzynski, spokesperson for the Ice Castles. “It truly is a place where your imagination guides you through the experience.” The Ice Castles, located at 1221 Geneva National Ave., will be open from January 27 through February 12. This highly unique attraction will delight visitors of all ages.

In the winter months, Lake Geneva is a magical, stunning place with a charm unlike anywhere else. There’s something for everyone, and the short drive is well worth the journey for all the town has to offer. “Lake Geneva is beautiful in every season,” says Mayor Klein. “You can really come here and make a weekend out of it. The whole town is magical during the winter months.”

Photo courtesy of VISIT Lake Geneva. Photo by AJ Mellor. Courtesy of Melissa Smuzynski/Ice Castles LLC. Photo courtesy of VISIT Lake Geneva.
JANUARY 2023 | 71
Elizabeth Lintonen is a regular contributor to shepherdexpress.com.

WINTER ARTS GUIDE

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023

Edward Albee’s ‘WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?’

George and Martha are among theater’s—and literature’s—most infamous bickering, old married couple. Their peculiar acrimony drove the success of Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winner, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And yet, even while their relationship is peculiar, their bickering speaks to something universal. In any long relationship, dreams can sour like last week’s milk and the taste of bitterness can be palpable.

Most of us know George and Martha and their two-hour argument through Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal in the 1966 film by Mike Nichols and Ernest Lehman. It’s a treat to see the couple back on stage with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, January 20-February 12.

George is a history professor whose brilliant career never materialized. Martha is the daughter of the college’s long-sitting president, a fact she wields like a switchblade. She is alpha, he is beta, but soon enough her stream of belittlement triggers a belligerent response at the far end of an especially drunken night. Albee’s astringent play takes a turn when Martha reminds George, “We have guests”—a young biology professor and his wife, carelessly invited to stop by after a boozy faculty party.

Albee’s play is about raw emotion and slippage—the slippage of language when lubricated by too much alcohol, the slippage of manners, of social boundaries. And for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie or the play, there is suspense in wondering how deep will be the wounds, how far will George and Martha go?

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production stars Laura Gordon, Casey Hoekstra, James Ridge and Kate Romond, directed by Kiera Fromm.

Photo by Nicole Acosta. Courtesy of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
and background
72 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS SPECIAL WINTER ARTS GUIDE SPONSORED BY SAINT KATE - THE ARTS HOTEL
Illustrations
by Ali Bachmann.

53212 PRESENTS 53212presents.org

5 POINTS ART GALLERY 5ptsartgallery.com

“Tlacuilo” and “Eden Parq,” through Jan. 8

ACACIA THEATRE COMPANY acaciatheatre.com “We Will Not Be Silent,” March 10 – 26

ALFONS GALLERY alfonsgallery.org Closed until further notice

THE ALICE WILDS thealicewilds.com “Tyanna J. Buie: IMPROVISATIONS,” through Jan. 28

ALL IN PRODUCTIONS allin-mke.com

AMERICAN PLAYERS THEATRE (APT) americanplayers.org

APERI ANIMAM aperianimam.com

ARTS @ LARGE artsatlargeinc.org

BACH CHAMBER CHOIR bachchoirmilwaukee.com

A Light Shines featuring Vivaldi's “Gloria,” with chamber orchestra, Jan. 8

BEL CANTO CHORUS belcanto.org

BLACK ARTS MKE marcuscenter.org/ series/black-arts-mke

BLACK HOLOCAUST MUSEUM abhmuseum.org

BOERNER BOTANICAL GARDENS boernerbotanicalgardens.org

BOMBSHELL THEATRE CO. bombshelltheatre.org

CARROLL PLAYERS carrollplayers.weebly.com

The Thanksgiving Play, Feb. 24-25

CARTHAGE COLLEGE THEATRE carthage.edu/fine-arts

FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life, Feb.24-26, March 2-4

CATEY OTT DANCE COLLECTIVE cateyott.com

CEDARBURG ART MUSEUM cedarburtartmuseum.org

“The American Scene through the Eyes of Gerrit V. Sinclair,” through Jan. 8, 2023

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Jan. 6-15, Sunset Playhouse

Robbyn Wilks plays brothel proprietor Mona Stangley in Bombshell’s production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The late 1970s country musical makes its way to Sunset Playhouse’s Marla Eichmann Studio Theater in Elm Grove. The warm, small town Texas atmosphere of the beloved musical should have no trouble filling the intimate, little studio theater space in a production that features classy vintage ’70s costuming. (Russ Bickerstaff)

BOULEVARD THEATRE milwaukeeboulevardtheatre.com

BRONZEVILLE ARTS ENSEMBLE facebook.com/ BronzevilleArtsEnsemble

CABARET MILWAUKEE facebook.com/cabmke

CARROLL COLLEGE THEATRE carroll.edu

Gerrit V. Sinclair (1880-1950) was a Milwaukee painter and art instructor associated with American Regionalism, a movement that applied the simplified lines of modernism to representations of everyday life—a truck rolling past red barns on a country road as twilight descends. Sinclair’s paintings were unusual among the Regionalists for being softly lit, endowing his scenes with atmosphere. (David Luhrssen)

“Judith Friebert: Pastel Pastures,” through Jan. 8, 2023

“Art of Charles Porteus,” Jan. 26-April 16

CEDARBURG CULTURAL CENTER cedarburgculturalcenter.org

Finally Friday: Off Brand, Jan. 6

Finally Friday: The Wanna Be’s, Feb. 3

“The Little Show: CCC’s Annual Juried Exhibit,” through February

CEDARBURG PERFORMING ARTS CENTER cedarburgpac.com

Six Appeal, Feb. 24

CHANT CLAIRE CHAMBER CHOIR chantclaire.org

Requiem, music by Paula Foley Tillen , Jan. 29

Illustrations and background by Ali Bachmann.
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CHARLES ALLIS ART MUSEUM charlesallis.org

“Connecting Galleries: Contemporary + Experimental,” through Jan. 29

THE CONSTRUCTIVISTS theconstructivists.org

CONCORD CHAMBER ORCHESTRA concordorchestra.org

“The Spice of Life,” Jan. 29, North Shore Congregational Church

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY cuw.edu

COVERED BRIDGE ART STUDIO TOUR cedarburgartistsguild.com

DANCECIRCUS dancecircus.org

DANCEWORKS PERFORMANCE MKE

danceworksmke.org

Rusalka, Feb. 9-12

DAVID BARNETT GALLERY davidbarnettgallery.com

“Innovative Artists Portfolios,” through Jan. 14

DEAD MAN’S CARNIVAL facebook.com/Dead-Mans-Carnival

EARLY MUSIC NOW earlymusicnow.org

Sequentia: “Charms, Riddles and Elegies of the Medieval Northlands”, Feb. 4

EX FABULA exfabula.org

FALLS PATIO PLAYERS fallspatioplayers.com

On Golden Pond, Feb. 3-12

FESTIVAL CITY SYMPHONY festivalcitysymphony.org

Beethoven’s Debut: with Pianist Jeannie Yu, Jan. 28

FIRST STAGE firststage.org

Carmella Full of Wishes, Jan. 20-Feb. 12

FLORENTINE OPERA florentineopera.org

Covers , Co-curated by Immortal Girlfriend, Feb 9-10

FORTE THEATRE COMPANY fortetheatrecompany.org

The Music Man Jr., January 27-29

FRANK JUAREZ GALLERY fjgmke.com

FRANKLY MUSIC franklymusic.org

GALLERY 218 gallery218.com

GHS DRAMATIC IMPACT

Steel Magnolias, Feb. 3-5, Germantown Performing Arts Center

Playwright Robert Harling’s 1989 story of close friendship gets an intriguing staging this winter with Steel Magnolias. An ensemble entirely consisting of very young actors play women dealing with a great many stresses set in a beauty parlor in Louisiana. The powerful immediacy of the drama is amplified with audiences seated directly onstage at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. (Russ Bickerstaff)

GREENDALE COMMUNITY THEATRE greendaletheatre.org

Greendale Community Theatre’s 20 Year Reunion , Jan. 7

Image courtesy of First Stage.

The Hobbit, Feb. 3-March 5, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center

The engaging drama of Tolkien’s classic fantasy comes to life in a brisk 90-minute program as director Jeff Frank presents First Stage’s production of The Hobbit. The magic of Middle Earth fuses with the wonder of live theater. Frank has a talent for conjuring big adventure to small stage environments in one of the best children’s theatre programs in the country. (Russ Bickerstaff)

GROHMANN MUSEUM msoe.edu/grohmann-museum

“A Time of Toil and Triumph: Selections from the Shogren-Meyer Collection of American Art,” through Feb. 26

GROVE GALLERY gallerygrove.com

HAGGERTY MUSEUM OF ART marquette.edu/haggerty-museum

“Tomas Saraceno: Entangled Air,” Jan. 20-May 21

Illustrations and background by Ali Bachmann.
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HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM harley-davidson.com

“Off-Road Harley-Davidson,” continuing

Building a Milwaukee Icon: HD’s Juneau Ave. Factory, continuing Tsunami Motorcycle Display, continuing

H. F. JOHNSON GALLERY OF ART carthage.edu/art-gallery

HOVER CRAFT hovercraftmke.com

HYPERLOCAL MKE hyperlocalmke.com

INSPIRATION STUDIOS

ART GALLERY inspirationstudiosgallery.com

The Rogues Artists, “Zodiac,” February

Voices Found Repertory, The Tempest, February 10-19

IRISH CULTURAL AND HERITAGE CENTER ichc.net

JAZZ GALLERY CENTER FOR THE ARTS jazzgallerycenterforarts.org

JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE jewishmuseummilwaukee.org

“Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit,” through Feb. 5, 2023

From the lunar calendar that de termines the dates of the holy days through … Spaceballs? The exhibition on Jews and the art, faith, science and entertainment of space will circle through the centuries for material in this traveling exhibit assembled by the Center for Jewish History & the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (David Luhrssen)

JOHN MICHAEL KOHLER ARTS CENTER jmkac.org/home.html

“Angela U. Drakeford: In bloom at the end of the world,” through April 16

KACM THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS kacmtheatrical.weebly.com

KETTLE MORAINE SYMPHONY kmsymphony.org

KO-THI DANCE COMPANY ko-thi.org

Performance at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Feb. 3

LAKE ARTS PROJECT lakeartsproject.com

LATINO ARTS, INC. latinoartsinc.org

Tenth Annual Guitar Festival Concert , Feb. 4

“Between Yesterday and Where, The Magic of Macondo,” through Feb. 17

LILY PAD GALLERY WEST lilypadgallery.com

LYNDEN SCULPTURE GARDEN lyndensculpturegarden.org

MARCUS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER marcuscenter.org

My Fair Lady, Jan 3-8

Most of us think of Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle, the lower-class Londoner molded into a lady by Prof. Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison). But the genesis of the screenplay circulated well before the 1964 film, starting with George Bernard Shaw’s stage play Pygmalion, the inspiration for the 1956 Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady. Milwaukeeans will have a chance to catch the popular Broadway revival. (David Luhrssen)

Champions Of Magic , Jan. 13-14

39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration, Jan. 16

Step Afrika! , Jan 19

Carmela Full Of Wishes, Jan 20-Feb 12

MARN ART + CULTURE HUB marnarts.org

“The Further We Reach, The Closer We See,” through Jan. 22

Exhibit features work by 30 visual artists in many media from Southeast Wisconsin responding to the challenge of visualizing “a greater understanding of our lived reality, memory, human history and environment by indexing the past, present and future.” (Frank Grey)

MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY THEATRE marquette.edu/communication/ theatre-arts.php

MASTER SINGERS OF MILWAUKEE

mastersingersofmilwaukee.org

“Take My Hand,” Feb. 26, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

MATERIAL STUDIOS + GALLERY materialstudiosandgallery.com

MEMORIES DINNER THEATRE memoriesballroom.com

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MENOMONEE FALLS

www.mfso.net

SYMPHONY

MILWAUKEE BALLET milwaukeeballet.org

“Originals,” Feb. 9-12, Pabst Theatre

MILWAUKEE FESTIVAL BRASS mfbrass.org

Winter Concert , Feb. 25

MILWAUKEE

ART MUSEUM mam.org

“James Benning and Sharon Lockhart: Over Time, Chapter II,” through Jan. 1

“On Repeat: Serial Photography,” through Jan. 1

“David Claerbout: The Close,” through Jan. 8

“After Ashcan: The 14th Street School,” through March 26, 2023

“Playing Favorites: Spotlight on the Petullo Collection,” through April 2, 2023

“A Very Strong Likeness of Her: Portraiture and Identity in the British Colonial World,” through April 9, 2023

“The Ashcan School and the Eight: Creating a National Art,” through Feb. 19, 2023

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s “The Ashcan School and The Eight: Creating a National Art” allows us to see America in the early 20th century, a time of great cultural upheaval, a nation shapeshifting in its peculiar genius— troubled, compulsively creative, proud, and quotidian. It was also struggling through World War I. Yet immigrants poured in, adding diversity, labor energy, and societal tension. Perhaps more than anything, modernism’s post-industrial revolution had shackled and inspired America. (Kevin Lynch)

Each choreographer for this season’s contemporary ballet showcase won first place in “Genesis,” the international choreographic competition created in 2005 by Michael Pink, who’s celebrating his 29th year as the Ballet’s artistic director. First place includes the opportunity to create a second world premiere with dancers the winner now knows; thus, the young socially conscious 2022 winner Price Suddarth can delve even deeper. Timothy O’Donnell, the 2009 winner and now decade-long, ever-surprising resident artist will stage his sixth company premiere; and 2007 winner Nelly van Bommel will restage her 2008 hit Gelem, Gelem, an emotional journey named for the Romani people’s “national anthem.” (John Schneider)

MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATER milwaukeechambertheatre.org

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Jan. 20-Feb.12

MILWAUKEE CHILDREN'S CHOIR milwaukeechildrenschoir.org

All Choir Concert featuring Milwaukee Youth Chorale, Lyric Chorale, Preparatory Choir & Introductory Choir, Feb. 25

MILWAUKEE COMEDY milwaukeecomedy.com

MILWAUKEE INSTITUTE OF ART & DESIGN miad.edu

“Art Against the Odds: Wisconsin Prison Art Exhibition,” opens Jan. 19

MILWAUKEE MAKERS MARKET milwaukeemakersmarket.com

MILWAUKEE MUSAIK milwaukeemusaik.org

“It’s About Time!” Feb. 7, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

MILWAUKEE OPERA THEATRE

milwaukeeoperatheatre.org Requiem, Jan. 29, Plymouth Church

Rusalka, Feb. 9-12, Danceworks Studio Theatre

The hour-long adaptation of the Dvorak opera features English dialogue and narration by Jason Powell with sung passages in Czech. “This is our seventh collaboration with Danceworks in which dance and opera will be woven together throughout,” says MOT’s artistic director Jill Anna Ponasik. “Our ‘orchestra’ will be piano and harp, and the piece will be performed in the intimate Danceworks studio, with the audience inches from the performers.” (David Luhrssen)

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MILWAUKEE REPERTORY THEATER milwaukeerep.com

Beehive: the 60s Musical, through Jan. 15, Stackner Cabaret Beehive is a trip of a trip down memory lane for those old enough to remember The Mashed Potato (dance move) and “I Sold My Heart to the Junkman” (not literally, just a song title). Call it familiar, nostalgic, even “comfort food for the ears.” But how sweet it is to be reminded of moments in time hearing these classic tunes. (Harry Cherkinian)

Much Ado About Nothing, Jan. 10-Feb. 12, Quadracci Powerhouse

Shakespeare’s best plays have often been transposed to settings unimaginable in his lifetime. The Rep’s Associate Artistic Director Laura Braza sets Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing in the 1990s—an era many of us have begun to look back on with wistful nostalgia. Beatrice and Benedick, Hero and Claudio are bound to entertain in whatever period costumes they may wear. (David Luhrssen)

“Dino! An Evening with Dean Martin,” Jan. 20-March 19; Stackner Cabaret

The Heart Sellers, Feb. 7-March 19, Stiemke Studio

MILWAUKEE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

mso.org

Ghostbusters, film with orchestra, Jan. 1

“Water Festival,” Jan. 20-Feb. 4, Bradley Symphony Center Milwaukee is a city built on water, so why not a Water Festival from the city’s symphony orchestra? The three-week program begins with the percussive Water Concerto by contemporary composer Tan Dunn along with Smetana’s The Moldau, Adolphus Hailstork’s American Port of Call and Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes (Jan. 2021). The music is varied but the common theme is apparent. The following weeks bring “Neptune & Water” (Jan. 27-29) featuring Rameau, Vivaldi and (you guessed it) Handel’s Water Music ; and the time-traveling, globe-spinning “Toward the Sea” (Feb. 3-4) with Mendelssohn, Takemitsu, David Ludwig, Helene Grime and—of course— Debussy’s Le mer. (David Luhrssen)

Salon Series With Matthew Ernst And MSO Brass, Feb. 2

MILWAUKEE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA myso.org

BEEHIVE: THE 60'S MUSICAL

MILWAUKEE YOUTH THEATRE milwaukeeyouththeatre.org

Rhythmic Revolution , Jan. 2

Prelude Wind Ensemble Winter Concert , Feb. 2

MORNING STAR PRODUCTIONS morningstarproductions.org

The Resurrection of Father Brown, Feb.-March

MUSEUM OF WISCONSIN ART wisconsinart.org

MOWA | DTN (SAINT KATE-THE ARTS HOTEL)

“Strange Lands: The Works of Sky Hopinka, Chris Cornelius, and Tom Antell,” through Jan. 8, 2023

The exhibition showcases work by three Indigenous Americans. “I was drawn to the ambiguity of these artists’ work—these artworks offer a tangential experience, grounded as much in a realm of dream as the history of the known world,” said the exhibit’s guest curator Rafael Francisco Salas. (Frank Grey)

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Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents Beehive: The 60s Musical in the Stackner Cabaret November 11, 2022 – January 15, 2023. Pictured: Jamie Mercado, Tess Marshall, Amaya White and Sarah Lynn Marion. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
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MOWA ON THE LAKE (ST. JOHN’S ON THE LAKE)

NEXT ACT THEATRE nextact.org

There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, Feb. 23-March 18

Mickle Maher’s There Is a Happiness That Morning Is resides in romance and balance. Talented director Mary MacDonald Kerr brings a comedy in rhyming verse to Next Act Theatre. The magnetic Cassandra Bissell is Ellen: a college lecturer delivering a presentation that is preceded by a similar lecture by Neil Brookshire in the role of Bernard. Ellen and Bernard have had relations beyond the classroom which they explain in rhyme. (Russ Bickerstaff)

NŌ STUDIOS nostudios.com

NORTH SHORE ACADEMY OF THE ARTS facebook.com/ northshoreacademyofthearts

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Jan. 3-27

NORTHERN SKY THEATER northernskytheater.com

OCONOMOWOC ARTS CENTER oasd.k12.wi.us

“The Hunker-up with Michael Perry,” Jan. 6-7

Jason Gillette and The Showtime Big , Jan. 26-28 , Feb. 9-11

Disney’s The New Little Mermaid Jr.,

PORTRAIT SOCIETY GALLERY portraitsocietygallery.com

“Butterfly Queens: Rosemary Ollison and Della Wells,” through Jan. 12

PRESENT MUSIC presentmusic.org

“Future Folk Machine” Feb. 17-18, Jan Serr Studio

“This is a direct reference to the inscription on Pete Seeger's banjo,” says Present Music’s Co-Artistic Director Eric Segnitz. Because of cancellations, PM’s originally scheduled February concert was replaced by a different program featuring diverse composers including Gyorgy Ligeti, Morris Kliphuis & Lucky Fonz III. Segnitz describes Unsuk Chin’s “Gougalon” as “a childhood recollection of scenes from a street theatre in her native South Korea. An ‘imaginary folk music’ of grinning fortune-tellers, fake magicians and snake-oil salesmen, it blends the grotesque with an Asiatic sound world.” (David Luhrssen)

QUASIMONDO PHYSICAL THEATRE quasimondo.org

Giraffe on Fire: Director's Cut, streaming, Feb. 4-27

RACINE ART MUSEUM ramart.org

facebook.com/outskirtstheatre , Jan. 6-8, Jan. 13-14, Waukesha Civic Theatre

OVER OUR HEAD PLAYERS overourheadplayers.org

“Snowdance: 10 Minute Comedy Jan.27-Feb.26

“Collection Focus: Randall Darwall,” through Jan. 7

“Quiet Elegance: The Jewelry of Eleanor Moty,” through Jan. 28

“Ram Showcase: Russel T. Gordon and James Tanner,” through Feb. 11

“David R. Harper: Zodiac,” through Feb. 11

“Dynamic Duos: Collaborative Glass Artists,” through Feb. 11

“RAM Showcase: Focus on Glass,” through May 27

“On Fire: Surveying Women in Glass,” through July

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RACINE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA racinesymphony.org

Musical Flights, Feb. 10

RACINE THEATRE GUILD racinetheatre.org

Perfect Wedding, Jan. 13-29

The Tin Woman, Feb. 24-March 12

REAL TINSEL GALLERY (1013-1015 W. HISTORIC MITCHELL ST.)

RENAISSANCE THEATERWORKS r-t-w.com

Cost Of Living, Jan. 20-Feb. 12

SACRA NOVA CHORALE sacranovacathedrale.com

SAINT KATE - THE ARTS HOTEL saintkatearts.com

SEAT OF OUR PANTS READER THEATRE mkereaderstheatre.com

SHARON LYNNE WILSON CENTER FOR THE ARTS wilson-center.com

Katie Dahl, Jan. 20

Ana Vidovic , Feb. 11

Elmbrook 3-Minute Film Festival, Feb. 12

Michael Shynes, Feb. 17

Anthony Nunziata, Feb. 22

SHEBOYGAN THEATER COMPANY stcshows.org

Brighton Beach Memoirs, Feb. 17-25

SKYLIGHT MUSIC THEATRE skylightmusictheatre.org

Evita, Feb. 3-19

Some critics snickered when Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice released Evita as a rock opera in 1976. But after it migrated to London’s West End by 1978, Evita began its ascent into the popular musical pantheon, complete with seven Tony awards and a film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas. The Milwaukee show will be directed and choreographed by Gustavo Zajac with Rána Roman as Eva Perón and Andrew Varela as Juan Perón. (David Luhrssen)

SOUTH MILWAUKEE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER southmilwaukeepac.org

“The World of Musicals,” Feb. 2

SUNSET PLAYHOUSE sunsetplayhouse.com

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Jan. 6-15, Bombshell Theatre

Love, Sex, And the I.R.S., Jan. 19-Feb. 5

“Broadway’s Best: Schwartz & Sondheim,” Jan. 23-24

“Best of Bacharach,” Feb. 9-12

Mostly Monsterly, Feb. 22-25

SUNSTONE STUDIOS sunstonestudios.mke

Gidion's Knot, Jan. 13-28

THEATRE GIGANTE theatregigante.org

THEATRICAL TENDENCIES theatricaltendencies.com

THIRD AVENUE PLAYHOUSE, STURGEON BAY thirdavenueplayworks.org

THRASHER OPERA HOUSE, GREEN LAKE thrasheroperahouse.com

Charlie Parr, Jan. 6

Missoula Children’s Theatre, The Frog Prince, Jan. 21

TORY FOLLIARD GALLERY toryfolliard.com

“Guzzo Pinc: Nomos,” Jan. 6-Feb. 25

UW-PARKSIDE THEATRE uwp.edu/the rita/ theatreperformances.cfm

UW-MILWAUKEE PECK SCHOOL OF THE ARTS uwm.edu/arts/events

“Winterdances,” Feb. 2-5, Mainstage Theatre

“Fiber//Form 2023,” Feb. 3-17, Kenilworth Square East

Jazz Ensemble, Feb. 9, Jan Serr Studio

Miscast, Feb. 11, Music Recital Hall

Elena Abend and Melinda Lee Masur, Music Recital Hall, Feb. 16, Music Recital Hall

Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band, Feb. 17, Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

UWM UNION ART GALLERY agallery@studentinvolvement.uwm.edu

UW-WHITEWATER CROSSMAN GALLERY uww.edu

UW-WHITEWATER THEATRE uww.edu

VAR GALLERY & STUDIOS vargallery.com

Noah Derksen, Jan. 21

Brennan Wedl, Jan. 26

Tom West , Jan. 28

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VILLA TERRACE DECORATIVE ARTS MUSEUM villaterrace.org

“Grounded,” through March 5

VILLAGE PLAYHOUSE villageplayhouse.org

VOICES FOUND REPERTORY voicesfoundrep.com

The Tempest, Feb. 10-19

WALKER'S POINT CENTER FOR THE ARTS wpca-milwaukee.org

WAREHOUSE ART MUSEUM thewarehousemke.org

“Rediscover Ruth Grothenrath: All Things Belong to this Earth,” opens Jan. 13

WATER STREET DANCE MILWAUKEE waterstreetdancemke.com

Fragmented, Jan. 20-29

WAUKESHA CIVIC THEATRE waukeshacivictheatre.org

Heathers the Musical, Jan. 6-15

Always a Bridesmaid, Feb. 3-19

WEST ALLIS PLAYERS westallisplayers.org

WEST BEND THEATRE COMPANY westbendtheatreco.com

WEST PERFORMING ARTS CENTER nbexcellence.org/ community/westpac.cfm

WILD SPACE DANCE COMPANY wildspacedance.org

WINDFALL THEATRE windfalltheatre.com

WISCONSIN CENTER wisconsincenter.com

“Beyond Monet,” through Jan. 8

The immersive art experience is a breathtaking testament to the work of Impressionist artist Claude Monet. Complete with 400 of Monet’s works and accompanied by an original score, “Beyond Monet” is a tribute to the struggles, depths, life and work of an artist who deeply believed in the message of his art. (Elizabeth Lintonen)

WISCONSIN CRAFT wisconsincraft.org

WISCONSIN LUTHERAN COLLEGE CENTER FOR ARTS AND PERFORMANCE wlc.edu

WLC Jazz Festival Concert , Jan. 21

Ko-Thi Dance Company, Feb. 3

Piano Celebrations Series, Feb. 11

WLC Theater, Eleven Stations of Shakespeare, Feb. 16-19

Philomusica String Quartet , Feb. 20

WISCONSIN MUSEUM OF QUILTS & FIBER ART wiquiltmuseum.com

“Fifth Fiber Arts Biennial: Hide + Seek,” through January

“Winter Quilts Show: Hearts All Around,” Feb. 11

WISCONSIN PHILHARMONIC wisphil.org

“Carnival of the Animals,” Jan. 22

WOODLAND PATTERN BOOK CENTER woodlandpattern.org

WUSTUM MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS ramart.org

“Focus on Glass,” through May 2023

The exhibition is a celebration of four unique glass artists from diverse backgrounds: Jose Chardiet, Brett Kee Young, Acquaetta Williams and Etsuko Nishi. According to museum organizer Lena Vigna, the exhibit aims to not only “reflect the variety of artists making contemporary work” but also display the “different components of working with the material and how artists appreciate it.” (Jenny Maurer)

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Photo courtesy of Paquin. "BEYOND MONET"
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Nō Studios Builds Community Among Milwaukee’s Creative Class

One of the most significant additions to Milwaukee’s cultural landscape over the past five years was the 2018 opening of Nō Studios in the Historic Pabst Brewery District. The brainchild of Milwaukee native and Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley, the space immediately became a destination for both filmmakers and film lovers. Yet what made Nō Studios truly unique was the way the building also sought to build a sense of community among the city’s creative class. In addition to screening rooms, Nō Studios also featured co-working spaces, a café bar, a performance stage, and a rooftop lounge and deck.

Such spaces were meant to encourage in-person collaboration. But what happens when a global pandemic makes such arrangements untenable? As Lisa Caesar, Nō Studios’ chief operating officer, explains, “We did a pretty significant pivot during COVID.” For Caesar, this meant that Nō Studios had to embrace “new tools” as they “sought to serve a community of creatives and a community of activists and

organizations that are mission-based.” Caesar understood that the pandemic did not stop such individuals from working; indeed, in some cases it made their work even more important. Throughout the pandemic, Nō Studios was able to utilize such “tools” as Zoom and other streaming platforms to make sure important voices continued to be heard.

As the pandemic (hopefully) comes to end, Caesar admits that Nō Studios is “still trying to navigate the post-COVID environment.” In very real ways, though, the organization is trying to take what it learned during that past two years to expand their offerings. Artists and creatives, as Caesar notes, “want to be seen.” In-person events that are also simultaneously live-streamed allow for greater exposure for artists. Nō Studios has taken a similar post-pandemic hybrid approach for other types of programming. A recent workshop on website design, for example, featured both an in-person option and a virtual option. “That wouldn’t have occurred to us in 2019,” notes Caesar. For Caesar, such a

Photos courtesy of Nō Studios. Background by Egor Suvorov/Getty Images.
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strategy will allow Nō Studios to better adapt to life in a small market (Milwaukee), in a section of that market that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic (the Historic Pabst Brewery District). “How do you serve community when folks are having to travel to see us?”, asks Caesar. For Nō Studios, the answer to this question is starting to come into focus.

CONTENT CREATION

Yet perhaps the most exciting component of Nō Studios’ response to COVID-19 has been their transformation into an actual content creator. As their physical space sat underutilized, the organization’s leadership team realized they could utilize the building itself as a production facility. During the pandemic, Nō Studios begin creating content for WISN 12; that relationship has continued post-pandemic. Nō Studios is now also providing content for Milwaukee magazine. Caesar sees these burgeoning media relationships as synergistic, as such outlets provide new ways for Milwaukee artists to be seen by as any people as possible. “We want to be disruptive,” concludes Caesar, “but we don’t want to displace.”

Ultimately, Nō Studios’ post-pandemic philosophy is rooted in an evolving concept of accessibility. And accessibility, while important on its own, is also necessary to grow community. Virtual programming allows for greater access to content, while in-house production facilities allow for greater access to the tools that create content. And all of these tools bring more and more people together, both in the building and in cyberspace. “What we are doing,” suggests Caesar, “is a twenty-first century version of community building, using all of these tools.” It is an intriguing proposition, and one hopes that Caesar is right. For Milwaukee circa late 2022, any efforts that work to build community should not only be noted—they should be championed.

Michael Carriere is an associate professor in MSOE’s Humanities, Social Science and Communication Department and coauthor of The City Creative: The Rise of Urban Placemaking in Contemporary America.

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Photo by Basi.

SEVEN THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY This Month in Milwaukee SEVEN THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

JANUARY 6

Lynden by Night: A Walk with

Orjuela Lynden Sculpture Garden

Walk the grounds with environmental educator Claudia Orjuela, who will introduce you to the mysteries and unique features of outdoor life after dark. Discover the sights and sounds of the night in Lynden’s back acres and observe the monumental sculptures beneath the light of the full wolf moon. A bonfire and treats await at the end. Register in advance at lyndensculpturegarden.org.

JANUARY 9

Jonathan Gillard Daly u Boswell Book Company

Milwaukee actor and playwright Jonathan Gillard Daley has seen a lot in his career. From an introverted young boy to a stage professional for over 20 years, Daley’s experience is full of backstage drama, onstage mishaps, triumphs and failures and tons of theater magic. On Monday, January 9 at 6:30 p.m., Daley will present his memoir Rough Magic: Scenes from an Actor’s Life, at Boswell Books. Join Daley on his journeyof self-discovery.

JANUARY 14

Stand Up/Fight Back X-Ray Arcade

Milwaukee’s heavy rock and metal scenes will come together at Cudahy’s X-Ray Arcade for the first edition of Stand Up/Fight Back, a benefit show for Reproductive Justice Action Milwaukee. The sevenband bill will include Mind Harvester, Closet Witch, Snag, It Is Dead, Hex Tripper, Murder Generation and Algid Funeral, with all proceeds going to the reproductive rights organization. Mosh for a good cause in Cudahy this month.

JANUARY 20

Bonny Doon, Bnny Cactus Club

Detroit indie rockers Bonny Doon and Chicago’s Bnny will converge at Cactus Club for a night showcasing emerging talent. Both Midwest acts have only released singles as of late but have extended bodies of acoustic-driven tracks that will make the night feel particularly hip. Discover some new music at the Bay View club, as both offer a glimpse of the future of the genre with their respective sounds.

Claudia
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Illustration by JuliaBabii/Getty Images. Snowflakes by nidwlw/Getty

JANUARY 21

Scam Likely, Scarlet Demore, Diet Lite p The Back Room at Colectivo

The East Side indie rock scene is bubbling as of recent years, and the Pabst Theater Group has done a solid job of bringing bands from that sect out of DIY basement and attic shows into their Back Room at Colectivo Coffee. On January 21, it will be Scam Likely’s turn to headline a solid bill, joined by Chicago’s Scarlet Demore and Milwaukee manic rockers Diet Lite, fresh off of the release of their Dumb Bird EP. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate Milwaukee music in a room that is sure to fill up fast.

JANUARY 28

Dirt Monkey, Jantsen The Miramar Theatre

The bass will be heavy and the beats will drop often when EDM veterans Dirt Monkey and Jantsen take to the tables at The Miramar Theatre. The Full Circle Tour will be moving bodies from wall to wall inside the East Side club, with a host of local support joining the headlining duo in the latest production from Brew City Bass and Lex Martin. Tickets are on sale now via the Miramar Theatre website.

JANUARY 28

Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound u Shank Hall

In his early years Cebar emulated the uptempo fervor of ‘40s R&B but has long since evolved a distinctive sound that blends rock energy with Latin rhythms and classic ‘60s soul in songs that amplify his love of succinct, vivid language. The Tomorrow Sound name captures the idea that while historically rooted, the music is striding towards the future. Altogether, Cebar has released a dozen albums, several of them for niche labels with national recognition.

LIKELY
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Photo by Maddie Walczak. Photo by Paula A. White. Courtesy of Paul Cebar.
JANUARY 2023 | 93
PAUL CEBAR

EXASPERATED BY INTOLERANCE

DEAR RUTHIE,

I felt like I had to vent to someone and realized you were going to be the recipient. Hope you don’t mind, Miss Ruthie.

My thing is this: What is going on in our country? Are we ever going to all get along? Are we ever going to end racism, homophobia and xenophobia? It seems that racism is OK now—it is not! As a society, we shouldn’t stand for such things.

I’ve had it with the attitudes in this country. I’m angry and fed up. Does anyone else feel this way? What can we do as a society to love one another?

THOUGHTS?

Fed Up Francis

DEAR FED UP,

We hear you! I think far more of us share your frustration than you realize. It’s good to vent, but it’s even better to get involved. Help campaign and raise funds for elected officials who represent your values. Get involved in political and social programs that help ensure equality. Seek out ways you can make this city and the country a happier place, ensuring equality for all. You may find that such volunteer opportunities not only reduce your anxiety but are actually enjoyable.

Try focusing on the good…and there is, indeed, a lot of good. Seek out random acts of kindness (and perform them yourself). Find the good in people, and you’ll likely discover that more of us are intolerant of racism than you might think. Turn off the news if you have to and tune into the healthy environment of love and acceptance that surrounds you.

Emotions stem from two sources: Love and fear. Hatred stems from fear. I truly believe that together we will overcome those filled with fear by focusing on the love within our community, city, state and nation.

XXOO

Ruthie

HEAR ME OUT DEAR RUTHIE | SPONSORED BY UW CREDIT UNION 94 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
Have a question for Ruthie? Want to share an event with her? Contact Ruthie at dearruthie@shepex.com. Follow her on social media, too! Facebook: Dear Ruthie | Instagram: RuthieKeester | Twitter: @DearRuthie

Ruthie's Social Calendar

JANUARY 1

NEW YEAR’S DAY HANGOVER BRUNCH AT HARBOR ROOM (117 E. GREENFIELD AVE.): Kick off 2023 with a stop at this friendly bar. Take in the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. brunch buffet in addition to $5 mimosas, Bloody Marys and Black Widows.

JANUARY 7

THE GOBLIN KING MASQUERADE BALL AT TURNER HALL BALLROOM (1040 VEL R. PHILLIPS AVE.): This extravagant masquerade serves up the ultimate in pure enchantment. Hosted by Awkward Nerd Events, the 18+ event features music, dancing, cash bars and performances by The Goblin King Performers. See www.pabsttheatergroup.com for tickets to the 8 p.m. bash.

JANUARY 10

POETRY TUESDAYS: FOOD FOR THOUGHT AT THE Q (2730 N. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DRIVE): Mix up your workweek with an open mic night at one of the city’s favorite soul food restaurants. Sign up to read your written work at 7 p.m. or arrive at 8 p.m. to enjoy the poetry.

JANUARY 15

CLOSING NIGHT THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS AT SUNSET PLAYHOUSE (700 WALL ST.): There’s nothing dirty going on during this tongue-in-cheek musical from Bombshell Theatre. The smile-fetching show promises to get a rise out of everyone in the seats. The show opens on January 7, giving you time to order tickets at www.bombshelltheatre.org.

JANUARY 24

LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL AT MARCUS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (929 N. WATER ST.): Check out this noon to 4 p.m. afternoon where local artists, makers, crafters and vendors line Brady Street, selling their best. Grab a meal or a drink at one of area’s restaurants or bars and relish the last bit of summer.

JANUARY 27

BARRACUDA AND 52ND STREET AT THE PABST THEATER (144 E. WELLS ST.): Two of the country’s top tribute bands hit Milwaukee to pay homage to Heart and Billy Joel. You won’t believe your ears when these bands and vocalists bring the house down with their sound-alike styles. Swing by www.pabsttheatergroup.com for tickets to the 7: 30 p.m. concert.

JANUARY 29

BRUNCH WITH THE BRUNCHETTES AT HAMBURGER MARY’S (730 S. FIFTH ST.): I’m dishing out bacon and eggs alongside two fast and funny drag shows! Join me for an 11:30 a.m. sitting or take in my 2 p.m. show instead. Just be sure to hold a table with a reservation via www.hamburgermarys.com/mke.

DEAR RUTHIE BROUGHT TO YOU BY JANUARY 2023 | 95

2022 Marked Changes in Milwaukee's LGBTQ Leadership Landscape

2022 Marked Changes in Milwaukee's LGBTQ Leadership Landscape

2022 brought major changes in Milwaukee’s LGBTQ leadership. The city’s two social service and public health organizations, the LGBT Community Center and Diverse and Resilient, both hired new directors. The year also saw the creation of a new Milwaukee LGBTQ liaison in the Mayor’s Office.

In May 2022 after a nationwide search, the LGBT Community Center announced the historic hire of its new executive director, Kevin Turner-Espinoza. He served as the center’s interim director since November 2021 and is now the first Black gay cis-man to hold the position of executive director and the first male to lead the organization in nearly two decades. He is also one of few people of color nationally to head an LGBTQ organization. The hire comes in the center’s 25th anniversary year and just a year after its return to its former location on West Court Street. Upon announcing Turner-Espinoza’s takeover as executive director, the center’s board chair Marco Briceno cited his experience of over 25 years in organizational development and non-profit management as well as his progressive vision. Turner-Espinoza was quoted in the announcement of his hiring, saying “as a gay Black man, I directly see the issues of race, gender, economic and health inequality we face every day. I am unwavering in our mission and will ensure our voices are heard and our people are seen, protected, and at the table.”

LIAISON IN CITY HALL

Then, in November, Mayor Cavalier Johnson named Jonathan Fera as the city’s new LGBTQ+ liaison in the mayor’s office. Fera had previously served as deputy press secretary to Senator Tammy Baldwin and most recently as the City of Milwaukee’s communications and marketing director. Johnson, a well-established and recognized advocate of Milwaukee’s LGBTQ community created the position to partner with the three LGBTQ liaisons within the Milwaukee Police Department. When announcing Fera’s appointment, the

Illustration by Michael Burmesch. KEVIN TURNER-ESPINOZA Photo courtesy of Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.
HEAR ME OUT | SPONSORED BY UW CREDIT UNION 96 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS

mayor recognized the remaining challenges facing the city’s effort towards achieving inclusivity, noting violence against transgender women in particular. During 2022 three transgender women, Regina Mya Allen, Brazil Johnson and Toi Davis, were murdered. That tragic reality underscores Mayor Johnson’s statement making the issue of safety a priority.

Not surprisingly, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker and popcorn magnate Robin Vos made a thinly veiled attack on the new LGBTQ+ liaison when addressing Milwaukee’s state funding requests, criticizing the “goofy positions they create inside government as they do all this DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) mumbo jumbo.” Vos’ remark certainly gives significance to Fera’s message upon being named liaison. “We know there’s more work to do in the march for full equality, equity and justice for all,” Fera said.

DIVERSE AND RESILIENT

In November, the Diverse and Resilient (D&R) board announced its newly selected president/CEO, Christopher Allen. He is the first person of color to head the organization. Founded by Gary Hollander in 1995, the organization remained under his leadership until 2015 when outgoing president/CEO Gerry Coon took the reins for the next 7 and a half years. In a conversation I had with Coon some years ago, he acknowledged the incongruity of Diverse and Resilient’s mission of service to BIPOC populations while being led by a white director. He indicated a change to address that situation was in the offing. Now that change has finally taken place.

A Milwaukee native, Allen’s identity as an LGBTQ person of color provides him unique and specific experience in the community he is now serving. He also has a long association with D&R, joining the organization as a youth advisor in 2002 and becoming its manager of Milwaukee Programs in 2015. Since then, he has served in various roles addressing community health disparities as well as HIV prevention and care at the University of Texas Austin, and, most recently, as manager of diversity, equity, inclusion and engagement for Goodwill Central Texas.

The newly minted trio of leaders faces a broad range of challenges. Under the best of circumstances each position has its particular demands. However, the current political climate of national division has predicated an unprecedented increase in racism and anti-LGBTQ discrimination making leadership in this realm especially difficult. A recent FBI report cited 7,000 hate crimes in 2022. As Mayor Johnson indicated, the community’s safety is a major priority. Beyond physical safety, there will also be increased mental health and other issues facing LGBTQ Milwaukeeans, especially those in the transgender community. Given the skill sets and extensive experience of each of these leaders, one can feel a certain optimism that the community remains in good hands.

Paul Masterson is an LGBTQ activist and writer and has served on the boards of the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, Milwaukee Pride, GAMMA and other organizations.

CHRIS ALLEN Photo courtesy of Diverse & Resilient. JONATHAN FERA
JANUARY 2023 | 97
Photo courtesy of City of Milwaukee.

From The City That Always Sweeps

And now, without further ado, my “Look Back/Watch Out Ahead” essay, and remember that pithiness is the soul of brevity; so here it is for you to pith on:

The Year 2021: Sucked, jeez louise, I’m telling you, and now we got the inflation while millions of yahoo wannabe fascists still turn down the vaccine???

2022: Will suck humongously when/if these knobshine Republicans regain top-dog control of Congress.

1994: Will suck

And let’s go back to Dec. 30, 2004, when I opined:

The Year 2004: Sucked.

A Look Ahead, 2005: Will suck, even more.

And what about January 2017? Here: The Year 2016: Sucked, but good.

I

’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So how’s this new year been treating you’s so far? I don’t know if it’s just me but to be honest, I don’t notice a dime’s worth of difference from the previous crappy year, what the fock.

But I hear it’s a “new” year that experts are calling 2023, good lord, and I’m thinking the less said about the now dead year 2022 the better.

Yeah yeah, it’s that time of year when we’re up to our eyeballs with all kind of “prediction” malarkey, when all these so-called soothsayers come crawling out of the knobwork. “Soothsayer.” Look it up in the dictionary some time, why don’t you. I’ll bet you a buck two-eighty it says this: “ Soothsayer Bullshit artist of ancient times.”

And I’ll tell you’s, I recall that at the beginning of the last year, I looked back at 2021 and said it had sucked, and my crystal ball told me to say that the future-2022 would also suck, but even more. Cripes, I should’ve put my money where my mouth was ’cause if I had, I’d be living the luxury life on Easy Street and lighting my Pall Malls with $100-dollar bills, what the fock.

Anyways, I ask you this: Do I dare offer my decades-long traditional top-ofthe-year Look Back/Watch Out Ahead gala essay, once again?

Hey, I’ll provide the answer for you’s: Why the fock not.

Now to refresh the memories of you constant, if not always gentle, readers, (and to create new memories for the non-constant reader or never-been reader) to wit: In early January 2022, I wrote:

No sir, retrospectively not hard to believe at all and so not possible to argue that kind of accuracy, I kid you not. And just so you know, I’ve been putting out these kind of essays for more than 30 years and dag-fockingnabit if I’ve ever been off the mark. For example, here from Dec. 30, 1993:

1993: Sucked.

Watch Out Ahead, 2017: Will suck, even more. Can you believe it? And the only surefire thing I predict is that there will be a sucker born at least every minute.

And:

The Year 2020: Sucked, but good, major big-time.

Watch Out Ahead, 2021: Will suck, even more. Hard to believe, ain’a?

There you go. Clean, economical and near-elegant with the pith, ain’a? And that’s all I’ve got to say about that ’cause I’d like to break this off right here, right now, and do something nice for myself like crank up the thermostat and mix another hot focking toddy, after all, it’s focking January ain’a?

But over the holidays I received a very nice and much appreciated card from a faithful reader, which caused me to reflect on what a very lucky fellow I am after all. We’re into January and the “holiday season” is much considered to be done and done, except by me. No sir. As I’ve said many times, many ways, every day’s just another focking holiday to a guy like me, you betcha. Yes sir, you name the day, and it’s sure-as-hell bound to be some kind of a focking holiday for Mr. Art Kumbalek. Nothing but seashells, balloons, topped with a generous dollop of you got to be jerking my beefaroni!!

So, as always, I wish that you’s all have a happy, at least relatively comfortable, new year and make a resolution that we may yet, lo, these days of age and rage, to believe that one of these days “We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet / For the sake of auld lang syne ”—hey, at my age I still like to think anything’s possible, what the fock, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

jgroup/Getty Images. ART FOR ART'S SAKE 98 | SHEPHERD EXPRESS
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