Shepherd Express - July 2024

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06 Milwaukee Looks to Put its Bad Driver Reputation in Reverse 11 This Modern World

12 Baldwin’s Political Strengths Boost Biden’s Election — Taking Liberties

14 Achieving Racial Equity and Queer Inclusion in Milwaukee Real Estate — Hero of the Month

16 Jeff Snell, Leading the Greater Milwaukee Boys & Girls Clubs through a Youth Development Revolution. — MKE SPEAKS: Conversations with Milwaukeeans


20 Best of Milwaukee 2023 Dining Winners

28 Chicken Curry, Island Style — Flash in the Pan


30 Milwaukee City Guide

52 Best of Milwaukee Winners Circle

60 New Popular Weight Loss Drugs: What’s the Skinny? — Health & Wellness

62 It's Not Mind and Body, It's BodyMind — Out of My Mind

64 Cannabis-Infused Delights At Third Wards Sweetly Baked Cafe — Cannabis

66 A Temple of Wine and Food — Beverages

68 1 2 Great Places on a Hot Summer Night— Summer Drink

70 Your Brain on Animals— Pets 72 O utdoor Dining Guide

78 Remembering Lloyd Barbee

84 Dear Concerned Mom — Ask Ally

86 Summer Soiree's Get Heated

Dear Ruthie

88 The House of History: Milwaukee’s Black LGBTQ+ History Website Launched, Filling a Gap in Local Queer Lore


90 From the City that Always Sweeps

COVER: Overhead Hoan Bridge photo by Nicholas


MANAGING EDITOR: David Luhrssen (



EVENT COORDINATOR: Jourdain LaFrombois (


SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS: Bridgette Ard ( Chuck Hill (



WEBMASTER: Barry Houlehen (




INTERN: Julia Watt

Layout and design by Timothy Czerniakowski

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Milwaukee Looks to Put its Bad Driver Reputation in Reverse

When Michael Giorgio of Waukesha left work at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Downtown Milwaukee on January 17, he began walking to his bus stop, just as he always did at the end of his workday. He reached the corner of Sixth and State and waited for the crosswalk signal. When it turned to WALK, he looked left, then right and left again before stepping off the curb into the street. Those few steps on what was a below zero winter day would be the last he would take for seven weeks.

According to police reports, eyewitness accounts and surveillance video from a nearby building, Giorgio was struck by a 2008 Toyota Sienna minivan driven by a 76-year-old man who failed to stop or even slow down for a red light as he turned left into the intersection.

It’s a story all too familiar in Milwaukee in recent years because of increasing numbers of motorists speeding, ignoring traffic signals and signs and otherwise driving recklessly. It’s an epidemic that city officials are working to change. It’s yet another story about the human toll that accompanies the kind of dangerous driving for which the city has gained an unwanted reputation.

One of the witnesses to the crash was Ken Hanrahan of Menomonee Falls. “I saw the minivan hit the pedestrian,” Hanrahan told Shepherd Express. “It threw him up onto the hood and then he hit the windshield so hard that it cracked. Then the man fell off the minivan to the ground in front of it and the minivan stopped. I said to my daughter, ‘Oh my

God, that guy just got hit,’ and I started running toward him. That’s when I saw the minivan driver hit the gas pedal and [they] ran over the pedestrian, too. Both the front tire and the back tires ran him over. My first instinct was that this was going to be a hit and run, and I didn’t want to let that minivan leave the scene. So, I ran after it and grabbed the door handle and pounded on the window until the driver stopped. I opened the door and yelled at him to get out because he had just hit a pedestrian.”

Police say video evidence indicates the driver who struck Giorgio was going at least 30 mph when he ran the red light. Giorgio suffered multiple skull fractures, a fractured vertebrae, a broken leg and traumatic brain injuries. Hanrahan, a former military rescue diver, said Giorgio wasn’t breathing when he first got to him. “I thought I would have to do CPR. He wasn’t conscious but I still said to him, ‘We’ve called 911, an ambulance is on the way, we’ve got the guy who hit you and God is with you.’ That’s when suddenly his eyes opened, he gasped and took a breath.”

The accident left Giorgio unable to walk and incapable of sitting at more than a 30-degree angle without a cumbersome back brace. He was in a hospital for six weeks before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility. It was more than a month and half after the accident before he was finally able to take a few steps with assistance. It would be still another month before Giorgio was able to return home.

Photo by RobertCrum/Getty Images

Immediately after sustaining the injuries, Giorgio had difficulty talking, reading and remembering things. “For a while there his memory was totally messed up,” his wife Kathie said. “He wasn’t living in current times in his head. He was living in a time 20 or 30 years ago.” While he has made progress in those regards, her husband still has large gaps in recollection. “He’s at least back in the present now. He knows what happened to him, but he doesn’t remember exactly what occurred that day or during the several months before it. He doesn’t even remember Christmas,” she said. While the couple expects that Giorgio will eventually be able to return to work, it isn’t a certainty. “The doctors haven’t given us any clear indication as to what Michael’s future is,” she said. “This is devastating.”


Several national studies in recent years have ranked Milwaukee as one of the worst cities in the nation for speeding and reckless driving. It also has three times the rate of hit and run crashes when compared to the rest of Wisconsin. The state as a whole saw a 36% decline in annual traffic related fatalities from 2002 to 2022. But Milwaukee County saw traffic deaths increase by more than 113% during the same period, most of them occurring in the city itself.

City officials say many, if not most, of its serious accidents are the result of reckless driving, especially speeding. Crash data shows that incidents involving death or injury

were decreasing prior to 2015 but then began rising again, spiking further in 2020 and 2021. Milwaukee City Engineer Kevin Muhs said pandemic restrictions on public movement resulted in less traffic congestion and that may have encouraged more speeding because there was more room on the road. “Some of those bad habits seem to have lingered,” he said.

Jessica Wineberg, the city’s public policy director for Vision Zero, a city government-wide effort which began in 2022 and is aimed at reducing annual traffic deaths in Milwaukee to zero by 2037, agrees that the social isolation which accompanied the pandemic exacerbated the problem of dangerous driving. “I think lots of people felt more alienated and disconnected from each other and we retreated into our own little comforts. In a way, we kind of shut out what was going on around us and that translated to our driving.”

Localized data shows that the increase in traffic accidents resulting in injury or death has inordinately impacted predominantly minority neighborhoods where pedestrian traffic tends to be higher. A 2022 analysis by the city created a “High Injury Network” map which identified the most dangerous areas of Milwaukee for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. The study showed that the majority of the high injury areas are located immediately north of I-94 with fewer located south of the interstate. A separate crash study commissioned by Milwaukee County also

identified specific areas of concern. “That study found that 58% of the serious and fatal crashes occurred on only 10% of our road miles,” Wineberg said. Those are the traffic corridors where the city is focusing most of its efforts to curtail speeding and other reckless driving.


The Department of Public Works is employing many different types of street infrastructure improvements aimed at reducing speeds. “We’re trying to make it more difficult to exceed speed limits, especially in regard to drivers who go much faster than the limit,” Muhs said. “One way we do that is by adding curb bump-outs which create islands on the right side of streets near intersections. They discourage people from passing on the right, or what’s known around here as the ‘Milwaukee slide.’ It also makes crossing distances shorter for pedestrians and forces drivers to make slower right hand turns through intersections. We have really accelerated implementation of those in the last two years.”

Other strategies include speed humps and traffic circles on residential streets as well as flat-topped speed humps known as “speed tables” on more heavily traveled streets. Muhs said the city is also looking to reduce the number of lanes on some major thoroughfares. “Fewer traffic lanes give drivers fewer opportunities to drive above the speed limit,” he said.

Redesigning streets comes at a cost, of course. The city has committed close to $90 million toward the traffic safety improvements at a time when Milwaukee is facing daunting and well-publicized fiscal struggles. “But there’s a heavy price for not doing these things, too, if people don’t feel safe when they walk around, ride a bike or drive on city streets,” Muhs said.

Although a comprehensive study of the effectiveness of the traffic interventions won’t be completed for several years, Muhs said preliminary data suggests that they are already having a positive impact. Monitoring shows that average speeds have dropped where the new street designs have been completed.

“We know that the frequency of crashes which cause lifechanging injuries or death are directly tied to speeds, so we focus on that,” he said. “We realize that there will always be accidents, but survivability depends on speed. You have only a 10 to 20% chance of death if you are hit by a car going 20 mph, but it rises to something like an 80 or 90% likelihood of death if the car is going 35 or 40 mph.”


Wineberg said the Vision Zero project employs a comprehensive approach to reducing crashes. It not only includes systematic safety improvements in road design but also efforts to change attitudes and perceptions about driving, especially in regard to speeding.

“You don’t have to speed. That’s a choice,” she said. “There are lots of stop lights in the city so racing between them doesn’t get you anywhere much faster anyway. All that speeding does is endanger yourself and others. It’s absolutely fundamental for us to rethink our own driving habits because crashes hurt and kill people. We could be the one hurt or killed or be the one who hurts or kills someone else. Going slower is the easiest way to prevent that from happening.”

Wineberg also encourages residents to use public transit because “it’s by far the safest way to travel through the city.” She said the same Milwaukee County traffic crash study which identified its most dangerous corridors also found a directly inverse pattern in which areas with the highest increases in public transit use also had lower serious crash rates. Conversely, in areas where bus ridership fell, crash rates increased.

Wineberg said Vision Zero will be launching an antispeeding campaign this summer which she hopes will help to drive home to the public a message that having safer streets requires everyone’s participation.

“Street design and construction that makes drivers slow down work, but we are also asking individual Milwaukeeans to be safe drivers who follow speed limits, to yield to pedestrians at both marked and unmarked crossings and to be aware of their surroundings,” she said.

“Because we have some severely reckless driving, it’s easy to picture ourselves as being the good driver while it’s everyone else who is bad. But realistically, many of us are going five or 10 mph over the speed limit and that really impacts average speeds. It makes it more difficult for pedestrians to cross the street. The government is working to build in self-enforcing infrastructure to slow us down, but with Vision Zero we also hope to give residents a sense of empowerment because we all can make a difference. Every time you obey the speed limit or yield at a crosswalk, you’re helping to change the norm.”

For Michael and Kathie Giorgio, however, their “norm” has already been changed forever. It changed the instant a speeding driver ran a red light on that bitterly cold Milwaukee evening. They are left to work through what could be several more months of recovery from injuries for Michael along with a mountain of new financial difficulties and obligations.

“I’m angry because we can’t force the man who hit Michael to pay for the suffering he caused,” Kathie said. “I’m angry because his insurance only paid $50,000 and, even though we had an underinsured motorist policy for up to $50,000, our insurance won’t pay us anything because they subtract what we got from the driver. Even though he was 100% at fault. We are considering a civil lawsuit, but all the guy owns is his old minivan and his house. By law he can’t be forced to sell his house so there’s really nothing to sue for. It’s not right because we might have to sell ours.”

“I can’t even call what happened an accident,” Kathie said. “I know the man didn’t run over Michael deliberately, but this feels so much bigger than an accident. I keep calling it a disaster or a catastrophe. It has affected everything we do now. We have all new worries and all new practicalities. I’m always trying to look ahead but now I just don’t know how to figure out what we’re going to do. Please, slow down.”

Len Nelson was a radio broadcaster for four decades. He enjoys writing, politics, performing music and traveling Wisconsin.

Baldwin’s Political Strengths Boost Biden’s Election

Running for reelection in one of the crucial battleground states that could decide the presidential election, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin has been a national leader in fighting former President Trump’s criminal assault on American democracy throughout his presidency and ever since.

In a closely divided state in which most elections statewide are rarely won by more than a few percentage points, Baldwin soundly defeated four-time elected Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson in 2012 by six points and defeated a lesser-known state legislator six years later by eleven.

Here’s what may surprise anyone around the country who only knows Baldwin was the first openly gay U.S. senator ever to win election. One of the reasons for Baldwin’s big election victories is she attracts far more support from small towns and rural areas of the state than many other Democrats do.


That’s right. Rural Wisconsin voters, the most devoted, ruby red, extreme rightwing Republicans who are most likely to believe Trump’s endless stream of lies accusing Democrats of vote fraud and every other crime he’s ever committed, are twice as likely to vote for Baldwin than for other state Democrats.

I’ll explain that in a minute, but Baldwin’s remarkable political strengths are clearly valuable assets this year in reaching otherwise unreachable voters with the unified campaign messages of Baldwin and Biden about the terrifying consequences of Trump being allowed to carry out his explicit threats to overthrow democracy and the criminal justice system that has convicted him of 34 felonies.

The other reason Baldwin, Biden and democracy have a political advantage in the state is the only other doubledigit Wisconsin election victories in recent decades other than Baldwin’s in 2018 were the elections of three progressive state Supreme Court justices in 2018, 2020 and 2023 defeating rightwing candidates to throw out a corrupt Trumped-up Republican court majority. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but that sure looks like a positive political trend favoring Democrats.


Marquette University Law School’s statewide polling operation, documented what has made Baldwin such a dominant political force.

Baldwin may not ever win a majority of rural voters, but she greatly reduces the opposition vote for Democrats in the most Republican areas of the state. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, an extreme rightwing election denier and Putin propagandist, defeated Democratic opponents in rural Wisconsin by 23 percentage points in 2010 and 25 points in 2016. Two years after each election, Baldwin’s losing margin was half that in those same rural areas—11 points in 2012 and 12 points in 2018.


That’s because Baldwin supports farming communities with rational economic policies helping small businesses and family farms rather than inflaming racial and religious bigotry like Trump and Johnson do. Patriotic small-town conservatives aren’t nearly as eager to blow up American democracy as Trump thinks. They like Fourth of July parades.

Baldwin already was leading a national movement to end Trump’s destruction of America’s legal system after his Supreme Court appointees abolished religious freedom by allowing politicians to impose their own religious beliefs about abortion on women living in each state.

Former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Washington political reporter Craig Gilbert, now an analyst for

Now restoring the constitutional rights of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies and lives that existed for a half-century will be the major issue in every national election until democracy returns.

But destruction of women’s rights aren’t the only rightwing policies creating serious problems in both rural and urban communities. Trump’s racist pledge to deport millions of immigrants would devastate Wisconsin’s dairy industry desperate for immigrant labor to replace all their departing farm kids.

After routing one of the most popular Republican governors in recent history in her first race, Baldwin has attracted far weaker challengers. Her latest is Eric Hovde, a multimillionaire banker with no other political qualifications who originally moved to Madison to spend millions to run against her in 2012. He was just another primary also-ran. Now Hovde’s back in town to try again.


Despite maintaining a state residence since, Hovde’s mostly lived in his $7 million mansion in Laguna Beach, Cal., overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He was named one of the most influential people in Orange County for three years running.

Hovde scrambled to catch up with all of Michael Gableman’s fraudulent election claims in Wisconsin by resurrecting one of the most absurd, that corrupt nursing home residents stole the 2020 election for Biden. “Almost nobody in a nursing home is at a point to vote,” Hovde said.

The elderly now join the long list of Americans Republicans want to prevent from voting. Trump would prefer simply to abolish democracy. After his multiple felony conviction, Trump denounced America’s legal system as rigged against him.


No argument there from Biden and Baldwin. That’s the way the American legal system is supposed to work in a democracy when you commit multiple felonies.

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. For more McNally, visit

Achieving Racial Equity and Queer Inclusion in Milwaukee Real Estate

Real estate agent Jess Annabelle is passionate about racial equity and queer inclusion when it comes to home ownership. As director of Brick & Banister Milwaukee, Annabelle loves their job because they spend the majority of their time working directly with people they deeply admire as they find their new homes.

Born in Detroit and raised in Milwaukee, Jess Annabelle attended college in the Twin Cities and worked for about a decade helping educators build better relationships with their students of color. They noticed over time that more and more students were homeless. “Whether or not your homework is done, if you don’t have a safe place indoors to eat and sleep, that feels like a first priority,” Annabelle says.

Having experienced unstable housing as a queer person themself, Annabelle found this to be their turning point, continuing, “Stability is what I could’ve used more as a kid, and I know that’s true for so many more Milwaukee kids.”

Annabelle acquired their real estate license in 2022. Aligning their vision with that of Milwaukee County’s, they see achieving racial equity in Milwaukee as a call to action for organizers and professionals alike. “We live in one of the most segregated cities in the country and have some of the greatest racial disparities in home ownership, incomes and wealth,” Annabelle elaborates. “By definition, being a real estate agent in Milwaukee to me means making equity and inclusion the core part of my practice. A healthy community enables each and every person to have the opportunity to do everything they dream of despite very real hardships.”


Clients have come to Annabelle saying that other realtors and loan officers told them they would never be able to buy a home. “I made a promise to myself that I’d never say that to someone,” Annabelle affirms. “I always say “here’s how” instead. That’s what being a talented real estate professional is all about.”

Sixty percent of Annabelle’s clientele in their first year of real estate included Black and Brown families while about 25 percent of families included trans people. They emphasize, “In our trans communities, safe and stable housing can still be a matter of life and death.”

Annabelle explains that the easiest way to build credit is to do so with cheap expenses. “Pick something like coffees or gas or visits to the bookstore. Only use your credit card for that and then pay it in full every single month. Then you’re not paying off more than what you’re making.”

Milwaukee faces two major housing challenges. Predatory out-of-state landlords are buying up homes and gentrifying neighborhoods, plus the housing market right now is less affordable than ever. “In terms of our home ownership gaps and disparities, there’s a tremendous responsibility for the entire real estate profession to look at our own businesses and see if they are reflective of our city’s demographics,” Annabelle reflects. “If not, we have to diversify our clientele and improve our service to our communities and our city - urgently.”

Photo by Glenda Mitchell @gm.creativephoto

An estimated 53 percent of Milwaukee residents are people of color. According to county data, Milwaukee needs over 32,000 more homeowners of color in order to achieve racial equity in home ownership. In terms of what they would like to see more of from fellow Milwaukee real estate offices, Annabelle wants to see racial equity in home ownership achieved in the next ten years. “That’s only seven or eight of the best teams in the city doing business as usual, but equitably,” they note. “Thirty-two thousand is not a big number in real estate at all. I am just one person, but together, a lot is possible. This is an achievable goal, and it needs to be pursued aggressively, ambitiously and collectively.”

Jess Annabelle shares a recent success story, “I was at Pride and ran into a queer couple I worked with this spring who called me because their landlord was giving them three weeks' notice to vacate. We looked into their buying options, and we were able to get them pre-approved for a mortgage, shopping for a home and buying one in under three weeks. That’s about as fast as it can be done. Last night, they told me about everything they’re planting in their garden and how the neighbors have been helping them get comfortable.”

Ben Slowey writes regularly for and the Wisconsin Muslim Journal.

Jeff Snell, Leading the Greater Milwaukee Boys & Girls Clubs through a Youth Development Revolution.

e are living in an era where technology and artificial intelligence are racing faster than human development. Reliant on social media, our youth are often confused about their place in the world. Social and emotional development play a leading role in the ability of youth to succeed in school, careers and life.

Enter the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM), which since 1887 has prepared young people to lead productive lives with positive self-esteem, school and learning engagement, and volunteering in their communities. BGCGM is among the largest and most prominent of 2,500 Boys & Girls chapters across the country.

With more than 50 locations in the city of Milwaukee, BGCGM provides youth ages 4-18 with after-school and summer programming including academic support, mentorship, athletics, arts training and wholesome meals. Programs include STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), organized sports leagues, college and career programs, health and wellness programs, and leadership and service. As the foundation of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, this curriculum strengthens academic performance, builds character, and encourages quality lifestyles.

How does this successful organization operate? For answers, I turned to Jeff Snell, the former CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in the early 2000s and currently the Interim CEO. We talked in the conference room in the expansive Mardak Building on Sixth Street near Downtown Milwaukee. A model of thoughtfulness through graceful, soft-spoken sincerity, Jeff Snell could be your dad if you could choose your dad.

Tell me a little about your background, where you grew up, your parents and your education. I was raised in Appleton, Wis., one of five children. While the five of us were growing up, my parents opened their home to foster care children. Through those years, my family hosted 327 foster children.

Jeff Snell, Leading the Greater Milwaukee Boys & Girls Clubs through a Youth Development Revolution.

For instance, I never knew who would show up at the dinner table. These kids generally had no luggage, instead, carried black plastic bags for their belongings. That is when I first encountered children who were nursing self-doubt and lack of hope.

What about you? What was your life like growing up?

I went to Appleton East High School. My parents had broken up, and I lived with my dad. Those were some hard times, but I developed empathy and a sense of humility. A long time later in 1997, when I first walked into the Milwaukee Boys & Girls Club, I saw a 10-year-old boy, head in his arms. He looked up at me sadly, and I thought, “I get you.” Like me in my youth, that boy was full of insecurities and disappointments. That experience motivated me to work at the clubs.

After Appleton East High School, where did you end up going to college?

North Central College, a Christian university in downtown Minneapolis. I worked full time through undergrad but racked up debt. Got my college degree in philosophy and theology. I went to graduate school on the East Coast and earned my master’s degree in social ethics. For a short time, I worked in the U.S. Senate for Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten. In the early 1990s, I moved back to Wisconsin and got my Ph.D. at Marquette in administration and policy in the education department.

I also acquainted myself with Jesuit teachings. Eventually, I started working in higher education and nonprofits and also in youth development, trying to help young people navigate through difficulties and self-doubt.

Take me through more of your career path. From my research, it seems like you’ve been involved in higher education, government, and nonprofit work. In 1997, I started working at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee as head of development.

Portrait photo by Tom Jenz

I got to know the preeminent stakeholders in Milwaukee including philanthropists Keith Mardak and Mary Vandenberg. With their help, we began a significant expansion and moved into the Mardak Building here on Sixth Street. The club grew from 8,500 members in 1997 to 25,000 in 2004. We became the largest Boys & Girls Club in the country. In 2001, I was promoted to CEO. In 2004, I left that job.

Why did you leave in 2004? Seems like you were doing great work, having expanded the membership. John Abele, father of former Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, asked me to be the COO of his private billiondollar Argosy Foundation. I was in that job for three years until the foundation was built up and functioning. After that, I became special advisor to the president of Marquette. I worked in social innovation and social entrepreneurship, and this process generated income that affected overall social impact for Marquette. I was on that job for seven years until 2014. Then, I got a job in social entrepreneur spaces in Santa Fe, N.M., working with artisans globally. In 2019, I moved to Madison where I was a professor at the University of Wisconsin, and I also helped UW build the first series of online undergraduate programs. I had just retired from that job when the Boys & Girls Clubs of Milwaukee asked me to come back to Milwaukee as Interim CEO.

What exactly is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and what services does it provide? I like to think we provide safety and support for the most critical hours for our kids.

During the school year, that means after 3 p.m. and then club activities over the summer including our camps. We also provide meals. We do core programming that helps kids with character development, career aspiration, and academic preparation. Our aim is to produce productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Life preparation, in other words.

Your reach covers a large section of the Milwaukee area, several counties.

Yes, we have five legacy big brick and mortar clubs, and we have a camp, Camp Whitcomb/Mason, in Waukesha County.

Many of our kids are from the inner city, and some haven’t even seen the Lake Michigan lakefront. For them, camp is a great experience.

Give me a brief history of the Boys & Girls Clubs. I believe it was started in 1887.

True. In 1887, Annabell Cook Whitcomb came to Milwaukee from the East Coast and transformed two basement rooms at Plymouth Church on Milwaukee’s East Side into a club for boys.

I view her as baptized in the social gospel, which was a big deal in the 1870s and 1880s, traveling tent shows with gospel preachers. Her goal was to create a boys club where boys can be busy, giving them something to do to keep them out of trouble. That was the beginning, and now look where we are today.

I read this on your website: “A youth development revolution is spreading, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee is proud to be at the forefront. Social and emotional development is a key factor in young people’s ability to succeed in school, careers and life. It is the very foundation of our work.”

Can you comment further on this?

Many kids come out of adolescence with insecurities, uncertainty and self-doubt. We are educating youth on how to navigate this journey and embrace this process as part of the human condition. We teach kids how to be in control of their own thoughts and emotions. We try to help them get out of the negative cycle of dependency where they struggle to enter adulthood.

They learn about accountability and about character development, being trustworthy and a good friend, and being active in school and in their communities. And also, that they have the power to manage their own lives and be in charge of their future. In other words, social and emotional development.

Do you recruit young people to join your clubs? Or do you recruit their parents?

We engage young people through many avenues, generally trying to cast a wide net to reach as much of the community as possible. That can be through day school connections, community events, and word of mouth. The parent and guardian connection is crucial. On any given day, we are actively helping about 3,500 youth involved in our programs. The more kids spend time with us, the better the outcomes, namely higher GPAs, less truancy.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the inner city and gotten to know residents, street leaders and the Black culture. One of the key factors I’ve noticed is the lack of hope among children and families. For a lot of families, there is little planning, as in, what will we do tomorrow, what are the plans for the near future, how do we make a long-term plan. Theirs is a day-to-day existence. Roughly, 80 percent of inner city families have only a mother as the head. And all this fuels a lack of hope. I’ve talked to teen boys who doubt they will live past 19.

If a youth does not have positive emotional and social development, he or she doesn’t see problems or trauma as solvable. And single mother families are arguably the greatest indicator of poverty. The good news is that our Black community residents are active in their churches, which provides hope.

From your website, it says: “Leadership & Service programming has been a primary focus of the Club’s mission.” How do you focus on leadership and service?

I am thinking of a few of our programs. One is the Torch Club, and one is called Keystone. These two clubs are designed for mid to late adolescent youth. The clubs concept puts the youth in charge of local club activities. The clubs have elected leaders.

The members learn how to create a vision and collaborate with others. At one time, we even had a functioning credit union run by kids. But there are many different kinds of clubs, from dance to sports to girls clubs.

How is the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee funded? What is the annual budget?

Our budget is about $37.3 million. In terms of funding support, we receive about 50 percent from government grants and United Way. Thirty-three percent comes from development and fundraising efforts. We also receive income from our endowment, private nonprofit contributions, and membership fees.

From the 2021 annual report, here is the breakdown of ages of your youth members: 23 percent 4-8 years old, 34 percent 9-12, 23 percent 13-15, and 20 percent 16+ years old. As for gender, 47 percent girls and 53 percent boys. And here is the ethnic breakdown: Asian two percent, Black or African American 51 percent, Hispanic or Latino 28 percent, white three percent.

Since you are mentoring mostly children of color, what are the challenges you perceive?

In the central city, there are many shared experiences, and many of them have to do with poverty. We try to understand the social dynamics of each neighborhood community, for instance, Latino and Black community members. We hire youth professionals to be savvy about the varying cultures and neighborhood dynamics.

In my observation, I think the Latino community is strong on holding the family together, and most Latinos are traditional Catholics.

The family concept in the Black community kind of fell apart after the manufacturing jobs went away in the 1990s, and drugs and underground crime took over the central city economy.

You are exactly right. At BGCGM, we look to the value propositions that are specific to each community, for instance the Catholic family bonding in the Latino community or Baptist influence in the Black community.

How many fulltime employees do you have? How many parttime and volunteers?

178 full time employees. 387 part time, 30 Americorps and roughly 100 volunteers. We have an incredible staff, I believe.

For more information, visit

Tom Jenz is a Milwaukee photographer and writer who contributes the Central City Stories column to








6832 W. Becher St., West Allis

Looking beyond sliced cheddar and processed cheese? West Allis Cheese & Sausage has a wide selection with many specialty items. Goat Gouda? You can find it here. The busy café adjacent to the Shoppe has great breakfasts, sandwiches and—look for it as the special du jour—cheese soup. (David Luhrssen)



203 N. Genesee St., Wittenberg

Nueske’s Bacon is beloved by true bacon connoisseurs everywhere. Made from a lean cut of pork that’s slowly smoked over applewood, yields a wonderfully meaty bacon loaded with a delicious smoky aroma.

When it’s cooked to crispy perfection, Nueske’s elevates everything it’s paired with, from humble breakfasts to mouthwatering burgers. (Susan Harpt Grimes)



6822 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

Crusty loaves of freshly baked bread, tantalizing pastries, croissants, cookies, and many more tasty delights await

you at Rocket Baby. They even make specialty dog biscuits to treat your four-legged friends! It is pretty hard to resist expertly made-from-scratch baked goods, and Rocket Baby does a beautiful job making theirs utterly irresistible. (Susan Harpt Grimes)


Multiple locations

If you can’t find it at Discount Liquor, it probably can’t be found in Milwaukee. They stock some 2,00 import, craft and domestic beers and more than 8,000 wines from many countries around the globe.

More than 4,000 varieties of spirits from national and local distillers line the shelves. (David Luhrssen)



1030 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

What would an outdoor gathering in Wisconsin be without a grill loaded down with brats and sausages? Thankfully, that is something we may never have to discover as Milwaukee is home to one of the best, longest operating, familyowned purveyors of bratwurst and sausages around. Since1880 the Usinger family sausage recipes have been an integral part of picnics, ball games, and festivals for generations of Milwaukeeans. (Susan Harpt Grimes)



9015 W. Burleigh St.

Generations of Milwaukee cooks have made Bunzel’s their go-to spot for high quality meats. Shoppers will only find the freshest cuts of chicken, beef, pork, and more, here. The well-stocked meat case is a tempting array of “what to make for dinner” solutions. Whether it’s delicious sausages for the grill, weeknight fajitas, or a fancy dinner, Bunzel’s will make any mealtime special. (Susan Harpt Grimes)



138 W. Bruce St.

Cheese curds are a favorite among Milwaukeeans. And while there’s so many different types and preparations for this beloved Wisconsin favorite, it’s the Clock Shadow curds that come out on top. Is it “the squeak” that comes from their fresh curds? There’s only one way to find out. Pick some up. And listen. Then of course, munch away. (Harry Cherkinian)



7312 W. Greenfield Ave.

You had us at the word “chocolate.” But at Freese’s Candy Shoppe, the choices are (thankfully) endless.

Photo by beaer_photo/Getty Images


Perhaps the deliciousness factor lies in the family recipes. Or the unique one-of-a-kind creations like Brandy Old-Fashioned Smore On-astick—the perfect “swizzle stick” to accompany the famous state beverage. (Harry Cherkinian)



1872 N. Commerce St.

Lakefront’s hospitality is legendary, and so are their beers and an extensive restaurant menu with everything from Friday fish fry and cheese curds to mac & cheese, brats and kielbasa. Don’t miss their famous brewery tour! (Barry Houlehen)



7328 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis

Aggie’s Bakery & Cake Shop has been dubbed “Metro Milwaukee’s #1 Cake Shop” and with good reason. The West Allis staple offers specialized cakes for every occasion, with more than enough options for any bakery lover to enjoy. The family owned and operated business has a long history of handcrafted pastries going back generations. (Elizabeth Lintonen)



616 W. Virginia St.

Fact: Great Lakes Distillery is Wisconsin’s first distillery since Prohibition. Fun: its tours and the big wind-up ... it’s Tasting Room. GLD has 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. (Harry Cherkinian)





6501 W. National Ave., West Allis Farmers markets were once rare in Milwaukee, but since 1919, the West Allis Farmers Market has been bringing produce from the farm into the city. The seasonal market reopens in May and will continue through Thanksgiving. (David Luhrssen)


3301 W. Canal St.

You scream, I scream, we all scream for Screamin’ Sicilian frozen pizza. And while they have all the familiar combos, go outside your familiar “pizza zone” and try the Bacon-Roni, Bessie’s Revenge, Boss Hog or the Mambo Italiano. With so much to choose from, it’s a great excuse to go back and try them all. (Harry Cherkinian)



Marcia Taylor, a biomedical engineer, never intended to start a popcorn business. But when her homemade gourmet popcorn became a hit with friends, family and coworkers, she realized she was on to something. Moving into the space formerly Klinger’s East, Lush has found a home in Riverwest. (Blaine Schultz)



Multiple Locations

What began as a single shop in Janesville over a century ago has bloomed into a 19-store grocery empire all across Wisconsin and into Illinois. The employeeowned stores feature a huge array of fresh produce, bakery, and meat, plus a large liquor section and even gas stations.

Woodman’s is the kind of place where you can find that one elusive ingredient that no one else seems to stock. (Susan Harpt Grimes)



1101 E. Brady St.

Everything changes, it seems, especially on Brady Street. Yet since 1946 Glorioso's Italian Market has offered 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. Turns out brothers Joe, Eddie and Teddy Glorioso were onto something. (Benjamin Dover)


2826 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Outpost has locations in Milwaukee, Mequon and Wauwatosa, but our readers seem to favor Bay View. Located inside a former Sentry store, this Outpost maintains the tradition of the Outpost coop, founded in the ‘70s to spread the word on healthy eating and provide an alternative model of ownership. (David Luhrssen)


408. W. Florida St.

Lost Valley Cider Co. has found the secret to exposing Milwaukee to the flavors of hard cider. With cider flights, seasonally rotating cider cocktails, and over 12 taps specifically for cider, with origins ranging from around the world to a selection brewed in house. Lost Valley also offers gourmet popcorn, kombucha and a rotating beer draft. (Elizabeth Lintonen)



5132 W. Lincoln Ave.

Everyone in Milwaukee knows that Fridays are for fish frys. But, what about Sundays? Sundays are for hot ham and rolls, of course. Two relatively simple things, freshly baked rolls and hot ham slices, pair perfectly together for a quick meal after church or before watching a sporting event. Grebe’s is so well known for this combo, that they offer it Tuesdays - Sundays. (Susan Harpt Grimes)


701 W. Glendale Ave.

The name Sprecher is synonymous with beer, Milwaukeeans have also discovered they make a great line of sodas. Root Beer, Cream, Cheery Cola are nostalgic flavors but there’s also creative updates like the Maple Root Beer and the Blonde-Barrel Aged Root Beer. (Harry Cherkinian)




185 S. 33rd Court

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. Teatails anyone? (Harry Cherkinian)


8930 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

For over 60 years, Ray’s has been the go-to place for wine selection with a knowledgeable staff who can help you navigate your options. With over 8,000 wines from all around the globe, you’re sure to find a new or different wine each time you visit. (Susan Harpt Grimes)



1619 N. Farwell Ave.

If you drive too fast down Farwell, you’ll miss this half-hidden local treasure. The small counter service café serves East African dishes Somali style, including savory crepes and sambusas, tender chicken and goat entrees, salmon dishes and some of Milwaukee’s best sandwich-es. (David Luhrssen)



135 E. National Ave.

A few years ago, it was hard to find a good bagel in Milwaukee—that’s a pun because the chain store bagels were often hard as cement.

Allie Boy’s Bagelry does it right, with flavors ranging from plain to pumpernickel and plenty of schmears. Carry out or enjoy the airy Walker’s Point ambiance. (David Luhrssen)


Multiple locations

When it comes to bar food, Camino comes up a winner with its mix of classic and contemporary dishes to accompany all those beverages. Try the cabbage pierogi or the chorizo chili for starters. And then move on to house sausages (ask about the Banger of the Month), wings, sandwiches, and of course, dessert. (Harry Cherkinian)



7412 W. Greenfield Ave.

They call themselves “Wisconsin’s best kept secret. “But not anymore. Fans agree that their barbecue is the best. This is a family run operation that knows their way around a brisket as well as kielbasa, chicken, pork, ham, you name it. That even includes their own unique take on dessert: smoked pecan pie! (Harry Cherkinian)



317 N. 76th St.

For over a decade, Blue’s Egg has topped “best of” lists for their outstanding breakfasts and brunch offerings. Known for their perfectly poached eggs, stuffed hashbrowns, and variations on eggs benedict, as well as a solid menu of classics.

It should come as no surprise that the popularity of Blue’s Egg may come with a lengthy wait at peak breakfast times, so plan ahead and make a reservation! (Susan Harpt Grimes)



2201 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

An Indian restaurant was a welcome addition to the dining options on S. KK, which has become Milwaukee’s restaurant row. Along with the usual South Asian delicacies (and lunch buffet), Café India has a full bar including Indian beer and wine. An enclosed patio provides additional seating. (David Luhrssen)



Multiple Locations

Milwaukeeans love burgers, and we love our custard. So, it’s not too much of a surprise that Kopp’s tops the list for both categories.

Kopp’s burger offerings stick to the classics - the “jumbo” burger patty, toasted bun, with or without cheese, topped “with the works” or without. Kopp’s custard selection features two flavors a day on a rotating schedule with creamy and creative mouthwatering options like “Maple Syrup and Pancakes” or “Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk.” (Susan Harpt Grimes)


Multiple Locations

Wendy and George Mireles opened the first Café Corazon location in Riverwest in 2009. Today there are additional restaurants in Bay View and Brown Deer. Using locally sourced ingredients the menu offers plenty of options. Entrees like the Taco Truck Dinner and Salmon Burrito are the reason voters made Café Corazón Best of Milwaukee. (Benjamin Dover)



Multiple Locations

Cubanitas (which means “little Cuban girls” in Spanish) offers 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 the Cuba Libre! (Harry Cherkinian)



9039 W. National Ave., West Allis

Since she was a little girl, Chef Maritza Paz longed to cook with her mother in the kitchen; Paz grew up in the city of Iquitos, Peru, along the shores of the Amazon River. She believes that the dishes are small works of art which show a little of her personality.

Chef Paz specializes in Peruvian cuisine, which combines Incan, African, Japanese, French, German, Spanish and Italian influences. (Blaine Schultz)





Multiple Locations

It’s nothing fancy but offers generous portions of tasty Greek food at reasonable prices and served up quickly. The formula for the East Side location near UWM was so successful that Oakland Gyros replicated itself on the South Side. (David Luhrssen)



Adam Pawlak’s passion is pasta, among other things. As a local chef, Pawlak owns and operates Egg & Flour Pasta Bar in Bay View. He is committed to bringing a memorable experience to the community with every plate of handcrafted pasta he makes. Pawlak also has been featured on Food Network and in cooking classes at the Milwaukee Public Market. (Elizabeth Lintonen)



Multiple Locations

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, and 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, honey butter on a buttermilk biscuit. (Harry Cherkinian)



1501 N. Jackson St.

The restaurant calls them their famous wings and the voters clearly agree. Deep-fried and mixed with a special sauce, these wings are served with celery and a choice of ranch or blue cheese dressing. You get to choose six, 12 or 18. But given how good they are, more is more—and a whole lot more. (Harry Cherkinian)


110 E. Greenfield Ave.

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 to choose from with a wide variety of clay pot, rice and noodle dishes. And if you’re wondering about the name, it’s simple: Momo means “dumplings”; “Mee” are noodles. (Harry Cherkinan)



Multiple Locations

The first place any Milwaukee coffeelover turns for their daily fix, Anodyne coffee features a smooth espresso and bold coffee, each location offering beverages handcrafted and full of flavor. The Walker’s Point location frequently hosts live concerts, making Anodyne a community cornerstone. (Elizabeth Lintonen)



6901 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

The next time you’re craving a freshly made donut that will “wow” you, get yourself over to Cranky Al’s. Cake donuts, filled donuts, vegan or gluten friendly, it doesn’t matter, because all of the donuts here are a treat for your taste buds. And, for cruller-lovers, Cranky Al’s makes one that just can’t be missed. (Susan Harpt Grimes)


777 N. Front St.

Part restaurant, part “spy bar,” Safehouse is more than just good food and drink. Once you figure out the location, “spy recruits” have to pass a test to enter. And then the fun really begins. (Harry Cherkinian)



939 S. Second St.

There’s a very good reason why Odd Duck scores big with the voting foodies: its ever-changing, eclectic and innovative menu. Chili Crisp Devilled Eggs, Lamb and Potato Pierogi, Wood-Fired Za’atar Bread with Muhammarah and create-your-own Charcuterie Boards. The creative cocktails are just as inviting. (Harry Cherkinian)



1872 N. Commerce St.

Lakefront’s hospitality is legendary, and so are their beers and an extensive restaurant menu with everything from a Friday fish fry and cheese curds to mac & cheese, brats and kielbasa. Don’t miss their famous brewery tour! (Barry Houlehen)



7610 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa

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 macarons will be a great start, or finish, or both. (Harry Cherkinian)



1349 N. Wauwatosa Ave., Wauwatosa

Yo Mama! prides itself on their homemade, premium ice cream and offers self-service, soft-serve machines and various toppings to choose from. Their rotating menu options and probiotic cultures in the yogurt allow everyone to enjoy. Discover the delightful frozen yogurt that is Yo Mama! and build your own masterpiece in-store or order online. (Sophia Hamdan)




1101 E. Brady St.

Everything changes, it seems, especially on Brady Street. Yet since 1946 Glorioso's Italian Market has offered 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. Brothers Joe, Eddie and Teddy Glorioso were onto something. (Benjamin Dover)



1041 N. Old World Third St.

Founded in 1902, when the majority of Milwaukee’s population were German immigrants and they drank, what else? Beer. Mader’s is still as popular as ever today, serving traditional German dishes in Bavarian decor with plenty of unique German brews. (Harry Cherkinian)



3815 N. Brookfield Road, Brookfield

As the first Certified Green Restaurant in Wisconsin, Café Manna doesn’t fail to deliver fresh, flavorful food while keeping it 100% vegetarian—not to mention their wide variety of gluten-friendly options. With most ingredients locally grown, dishes are high in quality and bring you the comfort of good, nutritional food. (Sophia Hamdan)



2659 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

It’s late and you are hungry. Where to go? Vanguard has you covered if you are looking for sausage, spirits or beer. Open until midnight or 1 a.m., the menu boasts hot dogs, bratwurst and outliers like the Duck BLT and Kozlov (Ukrainian Kovbasa pork sausage). The extensive spirits list offers more varieties of bourbon, rye, scotch and other hard stuff than is easily sampled. (Blaine Schultz)




425 E. Mason St.

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)




1234 N. Astor St.

Yes, they have corned beef and cabbage and plenty of potato dishes, but County Clare also offers a creative menu of Irish American fare served in their charming dining room.

Where else can you buy the entire kitchen staff a round of pints? (Barry Houlehen)



2995 S. Clement Ave.

Bay View has so many good places for pizza that choosing is hard. Tenuta’s has good pizza but also serves a menu of other Italian dishes pronounced as “authentic” by Milwaukeeans who have spent time in Italy. Be sure to try the arancini (fried rice balls, Italian sausage, cheeses) for an appetizer. (David Luhrssen)


2663 S Kinnickinnic Ave.

Hungry Sumo’s Sushi Bar and Asian Bistro shines as a powerhouse in Bayview. From ramen to donburi, and sushi to teriyaki, this restaurant offers a variety of delicious food for everyone to enjoy. Not to mention, you can find several gluten-free and vegetarian options. Stop in for an authentic plate and one of Milwaukee’s best Asian fusion restaurants. (Sophia Hamdan)



Multiple locations

A Kosher-style Jewish deli is more than just a place to get cold cuts, soups and salads, it’s more of a diner that leans heavily Jewish. Let’s say you’re not into lox or fried matzoh, Benji’s also offers simple breakfast plates and various sandwiches fit for all eaters. (Sandy Reitman)



6732 W. Fairview Ave.

Maxie’s is known for delicious cuisine, for savory flavors and propensity for plenty of spices. The ambient restaurant offers food that is all things Louisiana, Creole, and Cajun, with a bar full of plenty of wine, beer and whiskey options. (Elizabeth Lintonen)


1947 N. Farwell Ave.

The East Side’s Comet Cafe specializes in local comfort food in a cozy cafe setting. Their mac n’ cheese is known for its full flavor and a nourishing quality with thick, melty cheese in a sizeable portion built to share. (Elizabeth Lintonen)



Multiple Locations casablancaonbrady.con

For over 30 years, Casablanca has been serving up some of the very best in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. And there’s literally something for every type of appetite, including burgers to vegetarian, wraps and sandwiches. You name it, Casablanca does it. And there’s even a hookah lounge to get into the vibe. (Harry Cherkinian)



816 S. Fifth St.

The original Botanas in Walker’s Point has been a mainstay for Mexican food for decades. A dependable menu coupled with friendly service and a patio in the warm months have made the restaurant one of the destination points on Milwaukee’s near South Side. (Morton Shlabotnik)



2378 S. Howell Ave.

The husband-and-wife team of Jess and Pete have quickly made their mark on the local restaurant scene with their “from scratch” approach to focusing on foods grown with heirloom seeds. That includes supporting local farms and purveyors. But there’s plenty of meat and seafood inspired dishes as well. (Harry Cherkinian)



1955 S. Hilbert St.

It’s like the restaurant Gilligan and the Skipper would have opened if marooned in Milwaukee—a sea shanty along the Kinnickinnic River. You can even tie up your boat and walk onto the deck to enjoy good seafood and bar food and a unique water’s edge view of the city. (David Luhrssen)



8121 W. National Ave., West Allis

Flour Girl & Flame is a rustic, homestyle wood-fired pizza restaurant whose owners want to encourage inclusion throughout the farming community. They feel strongly about making sure everyone has the opportunity to work as a farmer, grower, or producer. In the summer, they offer farm-fresh food, and in the winter, they can be found making pizzas and delicious appetizers at their West Allis location. (Elizabeth Lintonen)



812 N. 68th St., Wauwatosa

Like a pastry shell, the thin crust on Balistreri’s imaginative gourmet pizzas holds bountiful flavors—and is good enough to eat by itself! Along with pizza arrabbiata, the Mediterranean (artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes), Balistreri serves familiar pizzas loaded with pepperoni, mozzarella and the works. They also serve fine pasta dishes. (David Luhrssen)



550 N. Harbor Drive

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.”

(Harry Cherkinian)



3133 E. Newberry Blvd.

Perched on a bluff with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan, it’s easy to understand how this Bartolotta restaurant creates the perfect atmosphere for romance along with outstanding French inspired food. If you’re on a staycation or just looking to channel French mood and food in Milwaukee, this is the place to go—and romance the night away.

(Harry Cherkinian)



Located at the triangle intersection of Howell, Kinnickinnic and Lincoln, since 2001 Café Lulu’s scratch-made menu items have drawn a following. Revolving sandwich specials and favorites like the Mooney Tuna will make you forget this place once was a Geroge Webb’s; the rhubarb pie ala mode just might become your go-to dessert. Sarah Jonas and Cameryne Roberts’ vision has become a destination for relaxed dining and a Bay View hub. (Blaine Schultz)



St. Paul Fish Company is a cornerstone of the Milwaukee Public Market. An incredible selection of fresh fish and seafood from clams to shark; sole to perch; lobster to Bayview herring. Dine at the bar, dining room or find a cozy spot outside int the Third Ward, when Mother Nature permits. (Blaine Schultz)



Multiple Locations

Since 2004, The Soup Market has been warming Milwaukeeans with steaming bowls of tasty soup. With four locations around the city, a presence at local farmer’s markets, and daily availability in “red bag” Sendik’s stores, it’s easy to find, and fill up, on restorative chicken noodle, chicken dumpling, chili, and up to six additional varieties during any given week. (Susan Harpt Grimes)


2416 W. State St.

If it’s classic steak and all the fixings you’re craving, then pay a visit to the Five O’Clock Steakhouse. From baked French onion soup and shrimp cocktail to every type of steak imaginable, this steakhouse has it all. And there’s also land and sea and surf and turf dishes. (Harry Cherkinian)


Multiple locations

Submarine sandwiches were more or less unknown in Milwaukee before the ‘70s and Cousins was one of the pioneers. Their sandwiches are reliably fresh and tasty, prepared on site with a good variety of meat and non-meat options. With many locations across metro Milwaukee, you’re never far from a Cousins. (David Luhrssen)





7484 W. State St., Wauwatosa

Tosa’s village has plenty of highly regarded restaurants to choose from. Operated by family members who also helm Rice n Roll on the Milwaukee’s East Side, entrees at KIN are separated on the menu by Thai Street Food, Chef Specialties and Sushi Bar maki rolls. (Blaine Schultz)



125 E. National Ave.

Tapas are small plates, Spanish in origin and savory, served along with wine and drinks at a bar. In Italian, it means “early snacks.” La Merenda features both cuisines including local Wisconsin artisan cheese and beet salad, to Italian influenced salads and veggies. The global influences are many. So, start sampling! (Harry Cherkinian)



1852 N. Farewell Ave.

In its nine years, Rice N Roll Bistro has established itself as a leader in Asian fusion cuisine as well as sushi. Its Thai dishes have captured the palates of its devoted fans with such creations as the Milwaukee (shrimp tempura with a mix of veggies and sauces) to a new dish, MKE Dangerous (tuna, salmon and more veggies in a spicy sauce). Thai it all! (Harry Cherkinian)


Multiple Locations

Plant Vibes, the latest concept by Twisted Plants owners Arielle and Brandon Hawthorne, opened at Sherman Phoenix, Twisted Plants still serves their vegan comfort foods at two brick-and-mortar locations in Cudahy and Milwaukee’s East Side, with a third planned for West Allis. Their food truck also appears at events throughout the area. (Sheila Julson)


1901 E. North Ave.

Beans & Barley was on the leading edge when it opened as a health food store in 1973 and even a decade later, with the addition of a small café, it was still teaching Milwaukee that it’s possible to enjoy eating well without fried food and red meat. The dining room, lunch counter and grocery remain a locally owned hub for healthy dining. (David Luhrssen)



2691 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Everything changes. Hué has settled in a few doors east, to the corner spot that formerly housed Sven’s Café. The outdoor patio is a gem in warm weather. Sure, Milwaukee is home to the weekly fish fry, but 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. (Bemjamin Dover)



5100 W. Bluemound Road

Story Hill BKC is well known for its extraordinary food. But it’s the affordable wine list that’s just as impressive. Glasses run from $9 to $12. Full bottles range from $36 to $48. But it’s what’s inside those bottles that counts. Reds. Whites. Sparkling. Sip and sup.

(Harry Cherkinian)

Chicken Curry, Island Style

About 60 years ago on Little Corn Island, a tiny dot in the Caribbean Sea, 70 miles off the coast of Nicaragua, a cook named Maritza was born to a Colombian mother and Cuban father. She goes by “Bongui,” which means something in Creole, one of several languages spoken on Little Corn Island. The gringos call her “Granny,” thanks to a sign on a table set up in her front veranda: Granny’s Creole Cooking School.

Her house is flanked by mango and coconut trees, several carefully placed hammocks and benches, and a fire pit out back under a tamarind tree. We ate some epic meals at Granny’s, including Run Down, a seafood stew served with local starches like cassava, plantain and breadfruit. Our favorite was her chicken curry, and we had returned for an encore presentation of that dish. This time, to mix it up, she would add some dumplings, and would use an “island chicken”—a locally sourced rooster from the north end of the island. As the chicken bubbled on the fire beneath the tamarind tree, its feet sticking out of the pot, Granny directed a kid named Pinky to crack and grate some dry coconuts.

This chicken curry is a great recipe for me to share with you because the ingredients are all available at home, so we can recreate it perfectly. The same can’t be said for Run Down, or fried yellowtail.

Granny served the curry with coconut rice and fried smashed plantain chips called tostones. We doused our food with habanero vinegar and chased it with sweet cold tamarind beverage, as Granny told us about a cooking contest that was going down the next day at the village wharf. All of the best cooks on the island would be there. Including Granny, the culinary Cardi B of Little Corn Island.

She planned to enter deep-fried yellowtail with seasoned coconut cream. Not to be confused with coconut milk. That $100 prize was good as hers, she predicted. The next afternoon Granny’s fried yellowtail sat on a plate, on a card table, flanked by a green coconut and a bunch of flowers. The tables of her competitors were laid out like catered buffets, with main courses flanked with fish balls, conch fritters, bush salads, stewed green papaya.

Granny was furious. She hadn’t known she was allowed to bring side dishes.

The winner was a steamed yellowtail with Caribbean sauce. Second place was a fried yellowtail in Caribbean sauce. Granny’s fried yellowtail in coconut cream did not make the podium.

The next night I asked the winner, Michelle Gomez, if she would prepare her winning dish for us. It was delicious, but the earth didn’t tremble beneath my feet. I believe that yellowtail, being a tad bony, is better when fried crispy. And I love the interaction between a flavorful sauce and a crispy fish. So, the next night we went to Granny’s and gave her entry a try. It was definitely better than the winning fish. But not as good as Granny’s chicken curry.

Well, Granny may not have won that $100 prize. But we took care of her. And she sent us home with dense bricks of cooked-down ginger, coconut and sugar. I’ve been putting pieces of it in the boys’ school lunches since we came home, a little edible reminder of Little Corn Island. As if they could ever forget.

Headline photo by Fyletto/Getty Images
photo courtesy of Ari Levaux

Granny’s Chicken Curry

This dish will serve 4-6 people, depending on the size of the chicken. Serve with rice.

• 1 whole chicken, cut up, or parts – I use a pack of drumsticks and a pack of thighs

• 1 medium onion or shallot, sliced

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 hot pepper, sliced

• 3 lemons or limes, juiced

• 1 cubic inch of ginger, sliced

• 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste or powder

• ¼ cup coconut oil

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 4 tablespoons curry powder

• 1 can of coconut milk or make milk from 2 dry coconuts (it’s a process…)

• 1 bunch basil, chopped

• 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

• Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with the onion, garlic, hot pepper, juice of the lemons or limes, ginger slices and bouillon.

While that marinates, add the coconut oil to a stew pot and turn the heat to medium. Add the sugar and cook for about 10 minutes, until the sugar is beyond browned and is completely blackened. Add the chicken to the burned sugar and oil. Turn the heat to high, and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the onions and peppers from the marinade, along with the curry powder. Mix it all together and add the coconut milk. Reduce the heat to medium and cook another 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add the basil and cilantro and serve.


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


The milwaukee city guide

The Premier Guide Showcasing things to do, places to see, and what NOT to miss in and around our great city!


Nicholas Klein/GettyImages

10 Milwaukee Landmarks

Milwaukee doesn’t have the skyline of Manhattan or the world’s tallest building, but it is the envy of many heartland cities for its architectural heritage. Here are 10 unique structures that have become destinations for anyone who cares about buildings and what they represent.


700 N. Art Museum Drive

The museum gained international acclaim in the ‘90s for its winged addition by Spain’s Santiago Calatrava, but don’t forget its original footprint in a gem of ‘60s modernism, Eero Saarinen’s Milwaukee County War Memorial.


524 S. Layton Blvd.

Someone had Buckminster Fuller in mind when designing the three glass beehives that comprise the Mitchell Park Conservatory. Built from the late ‘50s through ‘60s, the Domes are the home for flowers, desert fauna and tropical plants that flourish year-round.

1201 S. Second St.

For the longest time, it was the largest four-sided clock in the world—America’s Big Ben, overlooking an industrial district that in recent years has become a thriving home for restaurants, businesses and urban living.


626 E. Wisconsin Ave.

The handsome Art Deco skyscraper is unique for being topped by a glass flame beacon that changes color to forecast the weather—red for warmer temperatures, gold for cold, flickering for precipitation and blue for “no change in view.”



9400 W. Congress St.

Frank Lloyd Wright was Unitarian, but the Wisconsin master made an exception for this wonderful sanctuary in the round, a structure fully Byzantine and fully modern set on the edge of the City of Milwaukee. Completed in 1961, it was Wright’s final project.




N. Riverwalk Way

Milwaukee’s most popular public artwork is a bronze statue depicting Milwaukee’s most popular fictional resident, “Happy Days’”Arthur Fonzarelli aka “Fonzie.” He stands alongside the Milwaukee River, giving his familiar thumbs up.


2333 S. Sixth St.

The magnificent edifice on the city’s South Side was patterned after St. Peter’s in Rome and built at the start of the 20th century using building materials salvaged from a demolished Chicago post office, hauled to Milwaukee on flatbed freight cars.


144 E. Wells St.

One of the oldest continuously working theaters in the U.S., the Pabst was built in 1895 with beer-baron money and hosted performances by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Laurence Olivier. In recent years, the Pabst has been one of the city’s active concert venues.


2732-34 W. Burnham St.

Frank Lloyd Wright is remembered for his modern mansions, but he was also concerned with bringing good architecture to ordinary people. One of the best examples is the block-long row of American System-built homes erected from prefabricated materials.


135 W. Wells St.

Built to house the headquarters of Milwaukee’s German-language press, the 1896 Germania Building features a set of copper domes shaped like the pointed helmets of the Prussian military. The former office building has been revamped into Downtown apartments.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

Bay View’s Vital Destinations

Known as “Milwaukee’s other East Side,” Bay View has evolved from a collection working class neighborhoods to a vital destination within the city.

With the Bay View Rolling Mills, the area employed iron workers until the early 20th century. Today industry is a smaller piece of the puzzle. The main thoroughfare, Kinnickinnic Avenue, boasts an abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, independent bookstores, record stores, a public library, a vintage movie theater and a bowling alley.

Visitors flying in to Milwaukee’s nearby Mitchell International Airport may catch a glimpse of Bay View’s shoreline and South Shore Park.

That greenspace on Lake Michigan boasts a beer garden and restaurant, beach and marina. The South Shore Line of the Oak Leaf Trail meanders as a gateway through Warnimont Park, Sheridan Park and Grant Park, offering miles of trails, a pair of golf courses and a dog park.

Humboldt Park in the heart of Bay View is a 73-acre greenspace that hosts the weekly Chill on the Hill concert series as well as a beer garden the live jazz music concerts Jazz at the Vine.

With easy access on land via I-43, by air and by water Bay View is a gateway to all Milwaukee has to offer.

Photo by Tim Czerniakowski

Boat Tours and Kayaking on Milwaukee’s Waterways

Milwaukee is a city that has long valued the importance of its great lake shoreline, harbor and the rivers which flow through and around it. While these waterways aren’t as important for commerce and transportation as they used to be, they are still vital assets for the city. Seeing Milwaukee from the water offers a unique and important perspective. Whether you are an experienced paddler, a novice pontoon boat captain, or heading out for a sunset happy hour cruise there is something undeniably cool about getting out on the water. You are part of the cityscape, but you’re removed from the frenetic activity happening at street level. The buildings seem taller, yet the bridges seem lower.

The Bronze Fonz will have his back turned to you, but there may be “secret” dockside bars and restaurants you can pull up to.

The most intimate way to enjoy the city from the water is to be right at water level in a kayak or canoe. To plan your paddle, follow the guidance of the Milwaukee Urban Water Trail developed by the Milwaukee Riverkeeper organization. You’ll be able to find where you can put in and take out, as well as plan for any portages or other obstacles you may encounter along the way. Being on an urban river in a small person-powered craft will also allow you to experience parts of the river that aren’t accessible to bigger boats due to dams and areas that are too shallow for motors.

For folks who prefer a little more distance between themselves and the water’s surface, renting a pontoon or power boat, or taking a tour on the Paddle Tavern may seem a bit more appealing. Most rental companies will allow you to bring your own coolers with food and drink on board. You will still be low enough to glide under the bridges, and getting out into the harbor or out past the breakwater will be an easy cruise. It’s a great way to watch lakefront fireworks, eavesdrop on concerts held at lakefront venues, or just enjoy Milwaukee’s beautiful skyline.

If you prefer to be on the water, but with little chance of getting wet, you may want to choose one of the many boat tour cruises available in Milwaukee. Big outfits like Vista King and Edelweiss have been offering tours along the Milwaukee River and out onto the lake for years. These tours often include special packages that will include food, drinks, and music. And these boats are big enough that you may even get to stop street traffic as low bridges will have to open up to let you pass. You’ll be a bit pampered and feel a little like a celebrity as you cruise past landlubbers and other gawkers on shore.

However you get out on the water in Milwaukee, it’s almost guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

Milwaukee’s Lakefront Home to Beaches, Parks and Festivals

Along the shores of Lake Michigan lie Milwaukee’s beloved lakefront; perhaps one of the most popular, unmatched destinations in the city. Here you’ll find the Milwaukee Art Museum, Bradford Beach and Veteran’s Park at the heart of it all. Visit the lakefront during summer and you’ll surely find an activity to pique your interest.

The lakefront is home to many popular local and worldwide events, from concerts and fireworks to beer gardens and festivals. You may have heard of Summerfest, the “World’s Largest Music Festival” as titled by Guinness World Records in 1999. Summerfest draws approximately 800,000 people per year, with some visiting from other continents. This year’s festival returns on June 20-22, June 27-29 and July 4-6 with performances from Motley Crue, SZA, Kane Brown, Lil Uzi Vert, Maroon 5 and many more.

Beyond Summerfest, you can visit the lakefront for Fourth of July fireworks, the Air & Water show, the Water Lantern Festival, the Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival and Brewfest, just to name a few. Each event caters to several interests, falling under many local's to-do lists.

Nestled between the Milwaukee Art Museum and Bradford Beach is the luscious green space of Veteran’s Park. This force of nature weaves itself into Milwaukee’s urban landscape, creating a calming getaway from the bustling streets of downtown. More than just visual appeal, Veteran’s Park provides various opportunities for outdoor recreational activities. Families gather to barbecue with friends, celebrate birthdays or welcome out-of-towners. The lakefront is home to miles of scenic bike trails that wind along the shoreline, offering breathtaking views of the lake and city skyline.

Every day, you’ll find someone leisurely walking or jogging for a quick morning workout.

If you’re craving a bite to eat, MooSa’s and Colectivo are both conveniently located along the lakefront. Work remotely while sipping on a sweet vanilla latte at Colectivo, or grab a burger, fries and shake from MooSa’s for an easy beachside meal. Either way, your options are vast and delicious. Lake Michigan’s serene presence offers an escape into nature, waves dancing in the distance.

Whether you’re a local resident or simply passing through, Milwaukee’s lakefront is a sight for sore eyes with an endless array of entertainment.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

Riverwalk in a city built on water

Milwaukee’s Riverwalk offers public access from the former North Avenue Dam through Downtown and the Historic Third Ward to Lake Michigan.

Taking inspiration from San Antonio, in 1988 Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist spearheaded a Milwaukee project to take advantage of the waterway that winds through Downtown.

Today that three-mile stretch offers a tour of the history of Milwaukee. It includes ramps, walkways, and lifts for accessibility for those with disabilities.

The waterway was one of the city’s earliest thoroughfares, it later offered energy to power tanneries and other industries while today it is home to high-end residences, outdoor dining and recreation.

Take in Milwaukee’s Riverwalk on one of the boat lines, a paddle tavern or rent a kayak.

On foot, you can check out the Bronze Fonz and are just steps away from Fiserv Forum, parks, music concerts, theaters, museums, food courts, restaurants and night life.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo by awalby/GettyImages


With a street called Broadway as its main artery, it’s almost inevitable that the arts play a prominent role in this revitalized Downtown-adjacent neighborhood. The Broadway Theatre Center houses theater companies. The MARN Art + Culture Hub offers coffee, wine and gallery and performance space. The Third Ward bustles with art galleries, including Portrait Society, Oil a City Gallery, Gallery 218, Tory Folliard Gallery and Lily Pad West. The Milwaukee Public Market anchors the Third Ward’s northern edge with shops, quick-service restaurants and St. Paul’s Fish Market. The district is home to numerous other restaurants and cafes as well as locally and nationally owned boutiques.

The Third Ward has a long history. When European settlers arrived, the Third Ward was a marsh with a pair of islands where the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and a nearby parking structure now stand.

Tons of gravel transformed the district into residential housing for the city’s poorest immigrant population, the Irish. After a fire in the 1890s razed the neighborhood, the Third Ward was rapidly rebuilt to house an influx of Sicilian immigrants. Many of them went into the produce trade, establishing the Commission Row buildings on Broadway that now house Wicked Hop, Anthropologie and other businesses. “Urban renewal” in the 1950s depopulated the district, but the Third Ward bounced back after the ‘80s to become Milwaukee’s answer to SoHo.

Recently, the Third Ward secured its place among the nation’s top arts destinations, clinching the fifth spot in the 2024 USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards for “Best Arts District.” This recognition highlights the district's commitment to enriching its city culturally and providing an inspiring experience for visitors.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

Five Great Milwaukee Museums

Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Art Museum stands as a beacon of cultural richness in the heart of Wisconsin. Its renowned sculptural addition by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava continues to leave tourists and locals alike breathless. Inside, visitors are met with diverse artistic expressions spanning centuries and continents.

From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, visitors can explore the vibrant colors of impressionist paintings, marvel at the intricacies of decorative arts and contemplate the thought-provoking installations of modern visionaries.

But the experience doesn't end with the art alone. The museum's dynamic exhibitions, educational programs and engaging events invite visitors of all ages to delve deeper into the world of art expression.

The Milwaukee Public Museum is a local favorite, home to over four million priceless objects and specimens. Each walkthrough is a testament to our wonderous natural history, with immersive exhibits spanning from the rainforests of Central America to the ancient civilizations of Egypt. Visitors can also enter the Streets of Old Milwaukee, transporting you to our beloved city at the turn of the 20th century.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

This establishment explores a mixture of vast ecosystems and historical periods, offering a gateway through time and space. It combines a blend of educational rigor whilst engaging you in presentation. Whether you’re visiting as a local or out-of-towner, the Milwaukee Public Museum promises an engaging experience that’ll surely foster your curiosity and appreciation for the natural world and human cultures.

Loved by families, dreamt of by kids, Discovery World falls next under our list of must-see Milwaukee museums. Through realms of science, technology and the natural world, Discovery World dives deep into an exploration of our deep sea, automation and beyond. With interactive exhibits, hands-on experiments and live demonstrations, there’s endless opportunities to discover the wonders of our universe in a family-friendly environment. Discovery World is special in that it emphasizes innovation, providing visitors with opportunities to not only learn about existing scientific concepts but also to experiment, create and innovate themselves.

Milwaukee is home to The Harley-Davidson Museum, the heart and soul of American motorcycle culture. With HarleyDavidson founded in Milwaukee, you can imagine the rich history lodged within this iconic institution. Visitors can explore an unrivaled collection of vintage motorcycles, each one bearing a tale of legendary rides. Each exhibition highlights the evolution of Harley-Davidson’s famous designs and engineering marvels.

Visitors can find themselves viewing memorabilia over a century’s time—from 1903 to the present. It’s one of Milwaukee’s top attractions for a reason, symbolic to adventure, innovation and freedom.

The Charles Allis Art Museum houses a vast collection initially assembled by Sarah and Charles Allis. It offers an intimate, refined experience within the former family’s Tudor-style mansion. Each grand hallway or gallery reveals a hidden gem, with classical European paintings, intricate deco ams and cultural events throughout the year. Guests are invited to participate in the creative process, with opportunities to engage in hands-on workshops. Whether you're an avid art enthusiast or a casual admirer, the Charles Allis Art Museum invites all to celebrate historical art.

Milwaukee is home to many other specialized museums including:

Jewish Museum Milwaukee, 1360 N. Prospect Ave. Grohmann Museum, 1000 N. Broadway

Haggerty Museum of Art, 234 W. Tory Hill St.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, 929 E. Wisconsin Ave.

National Bobblehead Museum, 170 S. First St. 2nd Floor

Potawatomi Casino Offers

Gambling, Fine Dining and More

The newly renovated Potawatomi Casino complex has upped their game in so many ways. Their latest remodeling project began in May 2022 and has added new bars and restaurants, plus two new gaming areas. With the luxury hotel, excellent food and drink options, live entertainment, and all of the gaming options, visitors could easily spend a weekend getaway here and never have to leave.

If you like to take some risks and enjoy gambling, Potawatomi has a lot to offer. ElevenHundred Bar and Lounge, which is the new and expansive gaming area on the second floor, includes more than 600 slot machines (adding to the 2000+ slot machines on the first floor), 16 gaming tables—one for blackjack, roulette and craps, plus electronic versions of blackjack and craps. Sportsbook, a huge, brand new, state-of-the-art, Las Vegas style retail sports betting space and a fully redesigned 14-table Poker Room are open to the public in May 2024. And of course, there is

plenty of bingo for folks who prefer a lower stakes level of gaming. Whether you come out ahead or not, there are plenty of games to play at every level.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, there is no shortage of places to get a bite to eat. Go high-end and enjoy some fine dining at Dream Dance Steakhouse where you can get some of the best steak and seafood dishes in the city.

Or enjoy the flexibility of a quick nosh at the Potawatomi Marketplace, where you can choose between several tasty, but fast options like burgers, fries, and malts at the Burger Company, Tacos, Burritos, and Nachos at the modern Mexican inspired Taco Spot, top-notch sandwiches at the Gilded Cleaver, ramen, fried rice and other Asian favorites at the Queen of Ramen, and Neapolitan style ‘za at Project Pizza. Get delicious brunch food at the Canal Street Cafe, or authentic Asian food at RuYi. Potawatomi’s newest restaurants include Street Eatz which features Milwaukee’s favorite

food truck style foods and Rock & Brews restaurant which was opened in partnership with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from Kiss, and serves American food with fun rock and roll names.

Rock & Brews is also one of the live music venues within Potawatomi. Frequently they showcase live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. ElevenHundred is also an entertainment venue. When it’s an option, check out a show at the Event Center, which is one of the largest venues in Milwaukee and has played host to renowned musicians and comedians.

There’s so much to see and do in the Potawatomi complex you truly could occupy yourself for an entire long weekend getaway and still save more activities for another visit.

Photo courtesy of Potawatomi Casino & Hotel

Walker’s Point: New and Innovative

Walker’s Point is a diverse neighborhood in Milwaukee that has undergone a renaissance in recent years. In the past, the area played host to immigrant German, Irish, Polish and Mexican populations as they first arrived in Milwaukee. Eclectic architecture from all points of the city’s history can be found here, offering clues as to the people who used to live and work in Walker’s Point. For nearly 50 years the Allen-Bradley clock, which shines brightly over the neighborhood, was the largest four-sided clock in the world. The clock is also affectionately known as the “Polish Moon” because the neighborhood around it was predominately made up of people of Polish descent when it was built, and the big white clock face lit up the night above it.

Today, many of the neighborhood’s old factories have been renovated and converted into office/maker spaces and housing. The fairly walkable area has also developed a thriving hospitality industry which is anchored by favorite local restaurants like La Merenda, Odd Duck, Braise and Morel, while continuing to be inspired by new popular spots like Black Sheep and Camino. Many nights out are capped off with a stop at Purple Door for some phenomenal homemade ice cream. Plus, the thriving Hispanic community in the area has made its mark with longtime “cheap eats” winner, Conejitos Place, known for their inexpensive drinks and food served on paper plates, as well as

Botanas, well known for their fresh, authentic Mexican Cuisine. The Zocalo Food Truck Park in Walker’s Point has been a rousing success for a city that sometimes seems unsure how to best use the area’s expanding food truck industry.

Looking for a place to grab a drink? Not a problem in Walker’s Point. Aside from several well-known bars like O’Lydia’s and Steny’s, Walker’s Point plays host to several establishments who brew/distill their own products. One of the first was Great Lakes Distillery, which offers tours and a tasting room, as well as running special events featuring live music and specials. Mobcraft Brewery and Taproom is another great spot, featuring crowd-sourced beer suggestions that Mobcraft makes into tasty brews, plus they offer tours and serve food that pairs perfectly with a pint.

Walker’s Point also has the distinction of being the home to so many local gay and LGBTQ friendly bars that some folks refer to it affectionately as the GAYborhood. Men may want to check out D.I.X., Fluid or Woody’s. The ladies may prefer Walker’s Pint— one of the last remaining lesbian bars in the country. Everyone can get down on the dance floor at La Cage or stop in at Hamburger Mary’s which recently relocated to Walker’s Point.

Wherever you go in Walker’s Point, you’re bound to find something new, innovative or interesting.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

Wauwatosa’s Many Attractions

The City of Wauwatosa is a western suburb of Milwaukee whose borders mesh together in so many places that Wauwatosa changed the color of their street signs from green to blue to help people identify which city they are in at any given moment. This close relationship means that Wauwatosa is next door to all that Milwaukee has to offer, but with plenty of attractions of its own.

Begin your exploration of Wauwatosa along and around State Street in the historic village area, which features access to beautiful parks, top notch restaurants, bars, and in the summer months, an excellent Saturday morning farmers market. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a stop in Niemann’s Candy and Ice Cream shop which has been family owned and operated for over 100 years. Exercise your creativity while sipping vino with a guided painting session at Arte Wine and Painting studio. Artistically challenged folks may want to just head over to the Ruby Tap for some self-serve wine machines. For a quick meal, grab some of the best Poke in the metro area at R&R Poke, or if you are looking for more of a fine dining experience try Ristorante Bartolotta for upscale Italian. Visit cute shops and take in the vibrant street scene while you wait for a table before a meal, or to relax afterwards. Enjoy some free live music during a Tosa Tonight event on a warm summer evening or stretch your legs with a lovely stroll along the Menomonee River Parkway and reward yourself with beer (or two) at the Hoyt Park Landing beer garden.

Because Wauwatosa is so geographically spread out, it could be challenging to walk to everything you’d like to see and do, so be prepared to drive or bike to other areas of the city. Highlights should include visiting the North Avenue corridor which is chock full of great local spots like Rocket Baby or Cranky Al’s for bakery,

North Avenue Grill for excellent diner food, Wauwatiki for gluten-free, and Ono Kine Grindz for Hawaiian. Catch a movie at the recently reopened historic Rosebud Theater or check out bustling Mayfair Mall for some retail therapy.

Animal Lovers and kids should be sure to visit the much beloved Milwaukee County Zoo on Bluemound Road which is home to over 2,100 animals from all around the world. History buffs will want to go to the Little Red Store which is one of the oldest buildings in town and has served many purposes over the years, from rail station to plumbing shop. Another great historic must-see is the Kneeland-Walker House, an exquisitely preserved Victorian home, which also serves as the headquarters for the Wauwatosa Historical Society.

Wauwatosa has a lot to offer, so make sure to plan enough time to fully explore this bustling suburb.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

West Allis is Now a Popular Destination

Home of the renowned Wisconsin State Fair, West Allis is a popular destination in Milwaukee’s metropolitan area. Explore the luscious forests of Greenfield Park and the vast array of shopping boutiques, while savoring the flavorful pastries of Aggie’s Bakery & Cake Shop. Transport yourself into the bittersweet embrace of nostalgia and the sound of crackling vinyl when you visit Record Head, Wisconsin’s longest-running record store. West Allis is a spirited blend of tradition and innovation with hidden gems at every corner.

In recent decades, West Allis has undergone revitalization efforts aimed at diversifying the economy, showcasing new businesses and attracting residents. With redevelopment in the works, many individuals find themselves gravitating toward the city’s bustling nightlife and inviting atmosphere.

The city is a fan-favorite among locals, especially with staples such as the West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe. Enjoy a variety of award-winning cheeses, hand-made meat products, signature sandwiches or fluffy omelets while basking in the sun on their outdoor patio. This year, West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe won three Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee awards, including Best Artisanal Cheese, Best Cheese Selection and Best Sausage Shop. If you’re craving Italian cuisine with farm-fresh ingredients, Flour Girl & Flame, famously known for their rustic, woodfired pizza, is just around the corner. This woman-owned business is currently in their “Mobile Season,” where you can find their food truck all over the city.

Aside from a vibrant dining scene, you’ll find West Allis has deep historical roots in Wisconsin, dating back to the early 20th century. West Allis can attribute much of its growth and success to its agricultural and manufacturing contributions. It developed into a bustling industrial hub, and remnants of its past can still be seen in West Allis architecture and infrastructure.

The Wisconsin State Fair is easily one of the most notable features of West Allis, bringing in over one million visitors from around the world with its diverse attractions, family-friendly entertainment and delicious, unique eats. Have you ever wanted to try a Dill Pickle Donut? Bloody Mary Popcorn? If so, visit the Wisconsin State Fair to satisfy food cravings from your wildest dreams, catering to every palate. No surprise it’s one of the largest state fairs in the nation. The Wisconsin State Fair returns from August 1-11, 2024.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library
Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

Brady Street Today

Brady Street has been my Main Street for decades. Things grew grim there in the 1980s, but thanks to neighborhood activists, courageous businesspeople, and the leadership of art gallery owner Julilly Kohler, Milwaukee’s former hippie haven found new creative life.

Asked to write about the street today, I sought a business owner’s view. Mike Eitel, creator of the Nomad Campus, as he calls his ever-growing armful of indoor-outdoor urban architecture and landscaping, kindly obliged. His Nomad World Café was the first new bar in the street’s mid-90s comeback. When he convinced then-mayor John Norquist to lift the city’s ban on sidewalk cafés, the street was Europeanized. Eitel also had the street’s first outdoor television screens, the first parklet, and in partnership with Club Brady across Warren Street, the first permission from the city to close off a noisy intersection and create a street café, the colorful Brady Beach, a creative response to covid.

“I don’t think many people realize that for many of us in this industry, the pandemic wasn’t just turning the switch off and then back on,” Eitel says. “It was massively challenging, even to this day, to even just be here. And it’s going to be a banger of a summer,” he continues, mentioning the Brady Street Festival, and the six weeks of all-day World Soccer tournaments he’ll televise on Nomad’s outdoor screens. Every year the street gets more traction. We get so many tourists now, markedly different groups of people. We have the Harley-Davidson parade every year now. We’re kind of a magnet for that in a cool way.

“Every day on Brady Street is definitely different,” he summarizes. “Julilly never intended for this to be a nighttime only entertainment district. Everybody living down here’s goal is to keep it a mix of really livable residential neighborhoods and businesses. I’m cheering for the retail spots that are hanging in there.”

The newest of those is Beer’d, a variety shop of local art, gifts, and plants. The oldest might be Art Smart’s Dart Mart and Juggling Emporium, a different kind of variety. Ground Up Sneakers offers footwear and underwear. Economy Clothes offers used women’s wear. Bandit is a must-visit used clothes shop for everybody. Halo is a stand-out women’s hair salon. The street’s a haven for barbershops and smoke shops. There’s extraordinary artwork in Black Ink Tattoo’s windows.

From Dogg Haus to Kompali Taqueria, Brady Street’s eastside is at a high point. Sidewalk seating’s packed at Malone’s, Saint Bibiana, Jack’s American Café, Rochambo, Jo Cat’s Pub, La Masa, Wurstbar, Famous Smoke Shop, HiHat, Pete’s Pub, Easy Tyger. Music streams from everybody’s outdoor speakers. Live musicians play in Nashville North’s front window.

Add the indispensable Apollo Greek Café, Sweet Joy Brazilian Café, Qdoba, Jimmy John’s, King Crab Shack, the newcomers Megawich and Concoctions Frozen Drinks— virgin or spiked. It’s like nowhere else in town.

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee Media Library

Brewery Tours in Beer City

Once known as the Beer City, Milwaukee still has brewing history to be found all over town. It also has quite a few breweries, from tiny microbrewery taprooms to major production facilities. Here are five brewery tours you can take, plus one tour of a legendary brewery from the past.


1872 N. Commerce St. Milwaukee

Daily Tours

Monday-Thursday: $13

Friday-Sunday: $16

Includes four 8 oz. pours and souvenir pint glass


4251 W. State St. Milwaukee

Miller Brewery Tour daily

Miller Brewing Company Historical Tour

Miller History Center Tour

Accessible Tours (book 24 hours in advance)

Tickets available online

Complete details at


1128 N. Ninth Street, Milwaukee

Brewery tours Friday and Saturday

Tour includes five tasters, taster glass to keep, and draft beer coupons

Tickets available online


505 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee Brewery tours on weekends

Pint glass, two beers and coupons included

Learn about their crowdsourced business model


701 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale Brewery tours Wednesday through Sunday

45-minute tour with four beer samples, unlimited soda, and all ages welcome

Book online or at the brewery.

Tasting Experience offered on Wednesdays (without a tour)


917 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee

Not a brewery, but a tour of the old Pabst Brewing Co.

Mondays plus Thursday through Saturday

60-minute tour includes a pint of beer or soda; all ages welcome

Learn how the Best and Pabst families grew the brewery to become America’s largest by 1874

Tickets available online

Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee





Located in Brookfield, Café Manna has proudly served vegetarian cuisine for 16 years. We are described as a “neighborhood gem” by our guests. Our entire menu is vegetarian, most of which, can be made vegan.

The staff is passionate about being able to give our clientele a different, yet familiar, type of experience. We serve modern, classic, creative food and seasonal craft cocktails that have a vegetarian twist. The entire staff has been thoroughly trained in how to prepare our menu for any guests who may have food allergies and/or other dietary restrictions.

Café Manna is recognized on OpenTable restaurant rankings, such as Best Food, Best Overall Restaurant, Best Service and Best Value. All of which are entirely Customer Review driven. We are very proud of these accomplishments. We invite you to stop in and share the warmth of our staff and the exciting food and beverage that we offer.

We would like to let our Open Table guests speak about their experiences, as listed in the next column.

t has been almost 40 years since the Shepherd Express created the Best of Milwaukee's reader generated and voted on favorites. This friendly competition is the original and by far the largest effort to let the public know what our readers like. Each year we get several hundred thousand votes in our various categories. To ensure that this is the fairest election in the state, we contract with a national out-of-state company to tabulate these hundreds of thousands of votes.

We selected a number of categories this year to highlight and gave the winners a chance to describe their businesses in their own words.

“Exceptional vegetarian and vegan food served by extremely knowledgeable and helpful serving professionals. I am a frequent guest at this restaurant because they take care of their guests and work extremely well with allergies. The specials are fun peaks into varied cuisines. The clientele is varied and includes families, young adults and elders. This is a place to come back to again and again!” -BettyM-

“Came by for lunch. Service was great, ambiance pleasant and the food was STELLAR. Having had experienced Michelin rated establishments, I can honestly say that this place is deserving. Menu options are creative and every item we ordered made an impression. Can't wait for our next visit.” -Latiful A.-

“We return to Cafe Manna again and again, because everything, including the menu, food, and service is top notch, Friends who are not vegetarians love it, too!” -Karmic-

Find us on OpenTable to make a reservation or give us a call at (262)790-2340.

Photo courtesy of Cafe Manna



Boone and Crockett started 14 years ago in Bay View. As the years went on, we outgrew our location and moved to Walkers Point in 2018. Owners, John Revord and Emily Dell Revord, have always wanted to create a fun, safe, and unique space for locals and visitors alike. It's important that everyone who walks through these doors feel welcome and live by our motto, “Don't be a dick.”

After the stressful times of Covid, John decided to pivot his career and now manages our vacation rental properties in northern Wisconsin, Witt's End. Emily became sole operating owner, and with the immense help of our general Manager, Jenni, aka Nugget, Boone is womanowned and operated. They also run the adjacent hall, The Cooperage, it hosts live music, weddings and events.

We are looking forward to our upcoming Riverwalk renovation that will be starting later this summer. We will be the first Riverwalk connection in Walkers Point and it will be a beautiful upgrade to our favorite patio overlooking The Hoan Bridge.

It’s important to us to support much needed organizations so we host many events for local non-profits and try to give back through featured cocktails where a portion of the sale is donated to that nonprofit. We work very closely with Milwaukee Riverkeeper and just started selling Boone's Duckweed Lager, made by Central Waters, where a portion of every barrel we sell is donated to the Riverkeepers. It is always on tap at Boone and you can only get it at Boone.

Taco Moto and Dooby Dogs are very integral parts of our patio as well! Nothing better than a cocktail and a taco!

Boone & Crockett

818 S. Water Street, Milwaukee (414) 212-8115

Patio photo courtesy of Boone & Crockett Interior photo by Tim Czerniakowski



Simply The Best!” - Tina Turner, when asked how good Knuckleheads is.

In short, Knuckleheads is the OG Chronic Concierge, the Tree Trail Blazers - The Colossus of Cloud! For 20 years we've served Milwaukee’s need for green with exceptional products and service not found in the rest of the state; dare we say THE WORLD!

Not only will you find top shelf THC and CBD products at the absolute lowest prices available anywhere, but our 5-Star ganj gurus provide a level of expertise and assistance you won't find anywhere else. And the vibe is so chill ... so cozy ... so choice... One visit and you'll understand why we are THE MOST DANKEST!

Let us make your Green Dreams become a reality! Stop on in today and use the code phrase "Cucumber" to get an extra 10% off any purchase.




We were born and bred in Milwaukee, growing up on the Northwest side and Wauwatosa. We went to Mother of Perpetual Help Grade School in West Allis, and Wauwatosa East High School.

We opened our business on October 19, 1994, buying out Brett's at 1501 N. Jackson Street. We we're funded by a parental loan. We feel blessed to be coming up on our 30th year soon. Our family has been in the hospitality business for 100 years, starting bars back before prohibition on the East Side.

We specialize in our wings, winning over 20 awards from local newspapers and magazines. Further, we have been involved in the craft beer market for 20 years and have a fine selection of bourbons, ryes and scotches.

We see our business continuing to expand based on our offerings and staying on top of trends. Many have tried to duplicate our award-winning wings and have failed.

We are a people- driven business and take great pride both in our employees (our best asset) and the quality and diversity of our patrons. Currently we have 20 employees, some working for us 17-25 years.

We love the diversity of Milwaukee, it still has a smalltown feel, with many individual owners of businesses that give it a great local flavor.

Points East Pub

1501 N. Jackson Street, Milwaukee (414) 277-0122

Knuckleheads Wellness

2949 N. Oakland Ave., Milwaukee (414) 962-3052

Photos courtesy of Points East Pub
Photo by Tim Czerniakowski




At Educators Credit Union, we’re celebrating over 85 years of helping members make financial decisions that are right for them! Our culture is based on “people helping people,” and we consistently go above and beyond to ensure members experience better rates, lower fees and exceptional rewards. Outside the office, we’re dedicated to providing free financial literacy, partnering with nonprofit organizations, and volunteering at local events.


We’ll give you three!

• Our first president, Erwin Wall, used his home as the first “branch” where transactions and services were completed right at his kitchen table. Today, we have 23 branch locations and an abundance of digital services, including an option to video chat with us from the comfort of your own kitchen table.

• Way back in 1937, the joining fee was $5 to become a member, and it’s still $5 today! This $5 is your ticket to becoming a member-owner of Educators Credit Union. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in southeastern Wisconsin, no matter your career.

• We have five branches in local high schools, including one at Hamilton High School in Milwaukee.

Over 7,000 students have direct access to open an account, get their own debit card, make withdrawals and deposits, use the onsite ATM, and learn how to independently manage their finances.


Our members! Every decision we make is with our members in mind, and everything we accomplish is only because of their trust and support.


We’re deeply committed to investing in future leaders. One way we live out this commitment is through our award-winning program, Reality Check Day. During this real-world immersive experience,

students are first given the option of selecting their occupation, while other areas of their life are randomly assigned such as their credit score, marital status, and if they need to pay child support. Then, they use their income to pay bills, purchase food, buy a house and car, pay off credit card debt and budget for retirement. Over 5,500 students attend this program annually! Students learn how to manage financial gains and losses, stick to a budget, track expenses, and save for important life events.

Each year, we also award $70,000 in scholarships to students heading off to college, provide over 25,000 students of all ages with free financial literacy courses, and host a Youth Apprenticeship Program for high school juniors and seniors.


Educators Credit Union is truly a family. We take pride in building relationships with our members, and we couldn’t be more honored to help them buy their first home or car, finance the cost of college, open their small business, plan for retirement and so much more. But don’t take our word for it. …

“Educators Credit Union is much more than a banking institution; it feels like family. Whenever I utilize any of their services, the employees’ tenacity in trying to help me goes above and beyond their scope of being "just a job." I love their phenomenal customer service, but what I love most is that I'm not the only one treated with the highest regard, but every member is. I will be banking there as long as I am living. – Cindy L. (Educators Credit Union member)

Learn more about Educators Credit Union at



Barnacle Bud’s has been Milwaukee’s iconic hidden gem for 32 years. Reimagined by Gene McKiernan to keep himself busy during the summer. Barnacle Bud’s, located on the Kinnikinnick River, and tucked inconspicuously behind an industrial area, offers a respite from the city.

Something unique about us is we were included in the filming of the 2001 move Lady in The Box. Some of our accolades include our first Best Of Milwaukee award from Shepherd Express, in 2008, for the category of Best Restaurant in the Middle of Nowhere and followed it up with winning Best Outdoor Dining in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2023.

OnMilwaukee we won BEST OUTDOOR DAY DRINKING SPOT 2018, 2019 and 2020

Thrillist included Bud’s in 2016 as Best Outdoor Drinking in America

Power and & Motoryacht Magazine 2015 mentioned in by Readers’ Top 20 Waterfront Bars

Coastal Living Magazine

2018 mentioned Seafood Dives And Drives

2019 featured Best Seafood Dives In America



My name is Jaime Gonzalez. I was born in Mexico but I have been working on Fifth Street in the restaurant industry for 34 years. I opened Botanas in 2000.

I love to meet and talk with different people every day. This has always been a dream of mine. Botanas has been open for 24 years now. Our specialty is our mole, carne asada tacos and our shrimp soup.

The consistency of our food, good service and margaritas is what sets us apart. The business thrives because of our regular customers and the employees that give them a great experience. We have 50 employees that help make it happen.

I love Milwaukee because it is the perfect sized city and of course the community of family and friends I have here.

Botanas Restaurant, 816 S. Fifth Street, Milwaukee (414) 672-3755

We are unique not only in our location but our seasonal operations as well. Our staff fluctuates between 5 to 65+ employees during the year and many of our wonderful staff members return year after year. In fact, we even have second-generation employees.

The casual atmosphere is reminiscent of typical Florida coast “shack” bars. Some of our most popular menu includes wings, fish fries, grouper ruebens, and oysters. Our drinks vary from our famous Dumpster Punch and Pirate Punch to Coronita buckets and now serving N/A mocktails. We have something for everyone to enjoy!

The menu touts One Location Serving the Entire Midwest and depending on when you visit it might appear that we actually are serving the entire midwest!

Photo by Tim Czerniakowski
Photo Courtesy of Barnacle Buds



· Well… Because it is just simply thee Best Place!

· Because it was the “Best Brewery” before it became the Pabst.

· Because this was the Flagship Brewery of the Largest Brewer in the USA!

· Because the Shepherd Express has deemed us, “In the Winners Circle!”

· Past Awards for Best Brewery Tour, Best Gift Shop & Best Wedding Venue.

· We are a small, local, Family-Owned & organically grown Business!

In a few words, it’s about History, Architecture, Ornate Interiors, Authenticity and Great People, especially Frederick Pabst. But, in a word, it’s all about BEER!

Our Award-Winning “Beer History Tour” is not anything like other brewery tours. You tour Pabst’s opulent Corporate Offices, and you get a free PBR or Schlitz EVEN BEFORE THE TOUR STARTS! We do 20 public tours every week! It costs $14, includes a beer and lasts an hour. Most agree; it is “Thee Best Tour!”

Every morning opens with our quaint Best Place Coffee Shop. All your favorite Anodyne coffees, Rishi teas, lattes and more!


Since July of 1978, Von Trier has proudly served Milwaukeeans and their friends a uniquely German experience. Featuring a robust selection of German import drafts, a creative classic cocktail and hot drink list, an expansive and carefully-curated craft beer draft and bottle selections, a top-notch wine program, and divine Germancentric culinary creations, Von Trier has stood the test of time and etched itself into legend as a Milwaukee Institution.

Beer, wine, and liquor, too!! The Café just added soup, quiche, bakery, a giant pretzel and more!! Gift Shop items.

The Best Place Tavern serves twenty fresh Milwaukee Beers! Classics, like Pabst, Schlitz, Old Milwaukee, Old Style and Milwaukee and Wisconsin Microbrews.

Every red and white wine; at very reasonable pricing! A Full Bar as we do weddings and special events! Maybe you would like to rent one of our three beautiful halls for YOUR Special Event? We have very reasonable pricing.

But what really makes us the Best Place is our passionate Staff, who are tremendously passionate about making sure that YOU have THEE BEST TIME!


917 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee (414) 630-1609

Consistently rated simply as one of the best establishments in the greater Milwaukee area (with the history to boot!), there are few more rewarding places to share an afternoon or evening conversing amongst friends and family; a rare place where one can walk in with strangers and truly find life-long friends.

Gemütlichkeit, the untranslatable German word that conveys the feelings of cheer, friendliness, and warmth, hangs in the air in the beautiful ambiance of Von Trier's Biergarten, classically German Bitburger Bier Stube, and in the picturesque bar room, home to a large collection of authentic German antiquities, original murals, ornate woodwork, and one-of-a-kind Cyril Colnik chandelier from the Pabst Mansion.

Centrally located in the heart of Milwaukee's East Side, a culturally significant and trend-setting neighborhood, the perfect stop before and after an evening at the movies across the street at the historic Oriental Theater or a night out on the town.

Stop by anytime! We’d love you to be our guest.

Von Trier, 2235 N Farwell Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (414) 272-1775

Photo Courtesy of Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery
Photo Courtesy of Von Trier

New Popular Weight Loss Drugs: What’s the Skinny?

My patient Karen was ecstatic to report that she dropped 12 pounds in the last few months and to her surprise, her energy and mood were much improved. She was enjoying exercise and finding she preferred healthy food choices. Karen had tried for years to lose weight without success until we initiated Semaglutide therapy, a medication in the class of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) better known by brand names Ozempic and Wegovy.

Originally intended to treat Type 2 diabetes, this newcomer to the medical weight loss scene has raised as much interest as controversy, with plenty of champions and nay sayers. I maintain a “somewhere in the middle” perspective. Doubtlessly, weight is a major risk factor for illness and premature death. GLP-1RAs show unprecedented weight loss efficacy, thus impacting metabolic health along with reduction in obesity

related disease. Moreover, there is building evidence that benefits may extend to multiple organs implicated in aging-related illness with some studies showing that they may have brain-protective and antidepressant properties. Regardless, it isn’t a panacea and, in my opinion, caveats to how they are used are warranted.


• There are side effects, usually not serious, mostly involving the GI system (nausea, constipation and reflux most common).

• Weight loss tends to plateau, but when the medication is stopped, most gain the weight back raising the question—Are these “forever drugs?”

• Lean tissue loss is a huge problem—at about 1 pound of muscle to 2 pounds of fat. Muscle is very difficult to get back and when people regain weight it is almost all fat.

• Ozempic/Wegovy cost about $1000 per month and are often not covered by insurance. Formulations can be obtained from compounding pharmacies for a fraction of the cost, but quality of the pharmacy is important.

• Since patients often eat less, they may incur nutrient deficits.

As a Functional Medicine physician, my very strong bias is to mitigate the above issues by utilizing principles of comprehensive health.

First, I only consider GLP-1RAs in patients with significant weight placing them at risk, then:

• Patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation so we can address issues that contribute to weight loss resistance: gut health, systemic inflammation, hormone balance, toxic load, stress management, lifestyle etc. These foundational pieces are first!

Photo by Liudmila Chernetska/GettyImages

• Patients are coached on optimal nutrition (food and supplements) and exercise to help support a robust metabolism while losing weight.

• Weight training is an absolute nonnegotiable necessity to stave off muscle loss.

• Detox support is provided to diminish the effect of fat-sequestered toxins that are released with weight loss.

• We try to stay at the lowest dose possible that provides slow steady weight loss while mitigating potential side effects and keeping down costs.

• We proactively use nonpharmaceutical approaches to managing above stated side effects.

At least one study has shown that when individuals incorporate programs as described above, patients can eventually be weaned off the medication with weight stabilization lasting at least six months. Yet this is an unfolding story, and caution is advised as we come to fully

understand the risks and benefits of this recently popularized medical intervention. Moreover, when viewed from a societal perspective wide application of a medicine to “fix” metabolic dysfunction does nothing to get at the root issue of a broken food industry that feeds us—especially our kids, ultra processed foods. And yes, sadly, GLP-1RAs are also being used in kids as young as preteens.

But back to tending to the struggling individual in front of me, Karen will continue on her weight loss journey paying attention to her whole health and hopefully one day no longer require GPL-1RA support. I urge anyone embarking on this path to work with a qualified physician that embraces a holistic approach.

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.

It’s Not Mind and Body, It’s BodyMind

We are not both body and mind. We are one bodymind, a fully integrated biochemical and electromagnetic entity that, among other things, generates consciousness. The common belief that mental and physical processes are somehow independent of each other has long been debunked by science, but this myth remains stubbornly ingrained in our thinking and continues to inform many approaches to treating illness and disease.

In medical circles, the oft-used phrase that is a poster child for this delusion is “It’s all in your head.” More than a few of us have heard an equivalent pronouncement from a health care provider unable to nail down a physical cause for our symptoms. This and similar assertions reinforce the misguided notion that mental experiences do not have physical correlates, and vice versa.

Consider the experience we call thinking. We don’t tend to regard thoughts as having physical properties or effects, even though they arise from the brain. What’s more, we often disregard or downplay the capacity of thoughts to directly influence bodily processes, even though cognition itself is a bodily process.


A study by Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer in 1979 called “the counterclockwise experiment” upended the mind-body delusion. In this study, elderly men lived in a retreat center retrofitted to appear as it existed 20 years earlier. They outfitted the facility with vintage furniture, appliances, decor and reading material from around 1959. The men lived as their younger selves, including discussing past events in the present tense as though currently happening. The results? Absent any medical intervention, their hearing, vision, memory, posture and strength improved. Subjectively, others viewed them as looking noticeably younger. The study lasted only one week, yet in that brief time, changing their thoughts changed their bodies.

In another study, 650 people were interviewed about their views on aging. On average, those with a positive attitude lived seven years longer. Translation? Thoughts are not disembodied apparitions ghosting through one’s consciousness. They arise from, are a part of and directly affect physiology. As research shows, the way we think about time and aging influences our health and well-being. Does this mean mental processes are all-powerful, that we can cure disease and reverse aging simply by how we think? Of course not. These effects demonstrate influence, not total control.

Nonetheless, traditional medicine too often minimizes or even pooh-poohs the capacity of thoughts, beliefs and other variants of consciousness to affect physiological processes. A recurring example of this dismissive attitude emerges in research on pharmaceutical agents. For example, in many studies of antidepressants, subjects receiving a placebo exhibited similar or better outcomes than those taking the actual medication. Their belief (“I’m taking a neuro-active drug”) was the change agent. In examining this powerful impact, many researchers brush it aside as “just the placebo effect.”


Another example of where this interface manifests is when a physician gives someone unwelcome medical news, such as an advanced cancer diagnosis. Statistical modeling provides estimates . . . or perhaps I should say guesstimates . . . about the prognosis for any potentially lethal disease. Telling someone they have a set time left to live based on certain treatment choices masquerades as predictive certainty, which simply does not exist. As the great physicist Niels Bohr said, “Predictions are difficult, particularly about the future.”

Some people receiving a terminal diagnosis disbelieve and disprove these prognostications, but most are more likely to believe them than not. And belief is no small influence. Hence, a prognosis, unless truly certain, should always come with “maybe.” Why? Because hope propels belief which, in turn, influences the entire bodymind. In discussing this with a physician friend, he cautioned against giving a patient false hope. Fair enough, however, neither should we be giving them false despair. Hope is part of healing and central to the well-being of the bodymind.

Increasingly, functional medicine practitioners and a growing number of primary care physicians bridge this false mind-body dichotomy. This process of moving toward bodymind instead of a duality of mind and body is at the forefront of the healing arts, and I’m optimistic it will spread and flourish in the near term.

Because it’s not mind over matter. It’s mind in matter.

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

Cannabis-Infused Delights at Third Ward’s Sweetly Baked Café

Sweetly Baked, the pop-up and catering bakery that offers both cannabis-infused and non-infused sweet treats, now has a permanent home on the first floor of the Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St., in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

Owner Amanda Buhrman elevated her baking skills during the pandemic shutdowns of 2020 by learning how to make French macarons. She also used cannabidiol (CBD) to help relieve stress, so she combined the two, and Sweetly Baked was born in 2021. She sold her CBD and Delta-8infused chocolate chip cookies, brownies, French macarons, chocolates and shortbread cookies at a shared commercial kitchen space and pick-up window at 770 N. Jefferson St.

Seeking more exposure and a desire to build the brand, Buhrman started doing pop-ups at makers markets and street festivals, along with catering for private events. “It was a grassroots approach to how we wanted to grow,” she says. During that time, she found that her non-infused bakery was just as popular as the items that contained cannabis.

When Buhrman learned that Press waffles was vacating their spot in the Marshall Building, she immediately took action to lease the space. Open since April 19, Sweetly Baked features assorted cookies, brownies and French macarons infused with either CBD, Delta-8 or Detla-9. There are also non-infused versions of those items. Other items include Jell-O shots and house-made mocktails infused with CBD or Delta-9.

Non-infused morning bakery items include cinnamon rolls and scones, cakesicles—which she describes as larger cake pops—mini-cakes and layered desserts. They have a Class “B” Tavern License, so they offer cocktails, wine and beer, along with mocktails, coffee and tea.

Buhrman affirms a growing interest in non-alcoholic beverages and says cannabis-infused drinks offer a good alternative for those that don’t want alcohol but still want to enjoy a social ambiance.

Photos by Tim Czerniakowski


Vegan versions of some infused and non-infused items are also available. Buhrman has always been conscious about accurate dosing. She doesn’t offer infused versions cinnamon rolls or scones because the baking process for those items isn’t conducive to correct dosing. “We want everyone to have a consistent experience with it,” Buhrman shares. She sources cannabis from local companies Goodland Extracts and Cream City Wellness.

Items are dosed at 10 milligrams to keep them approachable; one can micro-dose by breaking an item in half or enjoy an additional brownie or cookie if they want a second dose. “We have a range of different items, something that can be approachable for anyone,” she notes.

The infused items are not mixed with alcoholic beverages. All of the infused treats are packaged and kept separate from the non-infused items so one can’t be mistaken for the other. Every infused item is labeled.

Buhrman observes a growing space for more players offering bakery and infused dining. As the cannabis industry grows, so does the plant’s acceptance. “People are getting more comfortable with cannabis. We’re also surrounded by three states where cannabis is fully legal, and more people are asking and talking about why it’s not legal here.”

Whenever medical or recreational marijuana legalization does occur in Wisconsin, Buhrman hopes legislation will be inclusive of small businesses that have a passion for our state and the cannabis space, rather than implementing a pay-to-play licensure system that favors wealthier companies.

Sheila Julson writes the Eat/Drink column for

OA Temple of Wine and Food

n a beautiful corner of the city of Granada in the province of Andalusia in the south of Spain, a temple marks a crossroads in the world of wine and food. It’s a temple which speaks to what the world of wine and food was and what the world of wine and food is again becoming. It’s called Al Sur de Granada.

I was in Spain in January to stage my play Tu historia es with the Argentine actor Valentina Corbella at El Pasillo Verde Teatro in Madrid. With a few days to myself, I seized a chance to visit the great winegrower Manuel Valenzuela, his son, Lorenzo, and his daughter-in-law, Luisa, at their great Bodega Barranco Oscuro in the south of Andalusia. (I wrote about Manuel and Barranco Oscuro for the March issue of Shepherd Express.)

On the way to Barranco Oscura, in the city of Granada, Luisa and Lorenzo directed me to a temple of honest wine and food called Al Sur de Granada. I whiled away hours in the wine shop, reading its notes about every bottle on its shelves and savoring a ne plus ultra breakfast of sheep’s milk cappuccino, local breads, fruits, and cheeses, and housemade kefir, jams, and marmalades. Along with its breakfasts, Al Sur de Granada offers tasting menus of wines paired with local dishes. I also had the opportunity to meet Alba Aponte, Al Sur de Granada’s charismatic proprietor, to ask her about her shop and its mission. Al Sur de Granada may be far away from the city of Milwaukee, but it’s a model for what wine and food are again becoming. If you’d like to experience the fruits of its temple, Al Sur de Granada ships its wines around the world. For details, write to

Restaurant exterior photo courtesy of Al Sur de Granada.
Photo Courtesy of Al Sur de Granada.


Gaetano Marangelli: How did you fall in love with natural wine?

Alba Aponte: I fell in love with natural wine from simply working with it in my store. When I visited the natural wineries, the people behind the projects and the wines were so, so different. The natural wines were more authentic, felt more real, and also the winemakers were much more committed to an organic agriculture.

GM: What made you want to offer consumers honest foods, along with honest wines?

AA: It just felt right and consequent to my ethos and philosophy. The other options were not connected to the earth and didn’t care about provenience, sustainability and/or health.

GM: How do you describe your mission to bring honest wine and food to Granada?

AA: I don’t see my mission as bringing real food and wine to Granada. We are in Granada, but it’s not for Granada. It’s for anyone sensitive and conscious enough anywhere in the world.

GM: When you and your staff talk to people, whether they're from Granada or anywhere in the world, how do you describe natural wine to them?

AA: We actually just talk about what we believe in. This is a holistic lifestyle—the values interlace together and make more sense when all are aligned. In the end, it’s all about provenience, health, ethical practices, sustainability.

GM: Al Sur de Granada and Sostiene Pereira, a bookshop owned by your father, Pepe Aponte, make for one of the most beautiful corners in Granada or anywhere. Did your father's shop in any way inspire you to open yours? Or was your father inspired by you and Al Sur de Granada?

AA: I actually opened 10 years before him! It was always a dream for him to have a bookstore! It’s a pure coincidence to be together.

If you’d like to explore the many and various styles of wines, including the natural wine styles Aponte refers to, look into the offerings at Discount Liquor.

Gaetano Marangelli is a sommelier and playwright. He was 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. A reading of Gaetano’s play The City of Benedict della Crosse directed by Cody Estle of Next Act Theatre will be staged at the MARN Arts + Culture Hub on Saturday, Aug. 24.

12 Great Places on a Hot Summer Night

While bars and restaurants may come and go, there are some quintessential places for a cold beverage on a hot Milwaukee night. Here are some recommendations for where to go this summer.


20 E. Clybourn St.

This rooftop might be the best 360-degree view of Milwaukee’s Downtown that’s open to the public. You can see from Bay View to the East Side, and from American Family Park to Lake Michigan depending on which way you’re facing. Craft cocktails and a curated menu make this spot one to remember.


346 N. Broadway

No matter the weather, Cafe Benelux finds a way to get people eating and drinking on their roof. With reservations available, this is the ideal spot for a big group of friends to hang out while being a little removed from the busy weekend streets of the Third Ward.


400 N. Water St.

The Tiki Bar outside the Milwaukee Public Market is a lively place on a nice summer day. Known for its cocktails and loud music, you can almost feel like you’re somewhere tropical for a few hours. People tend to post up a while but there’s usually standing room to hang out and vibe.


1234 N. Astor St.

Nestled on a cozy downtown corner, removed from the hustle and bustle, County Clare is an old fan favorite. During the summer, they set up plenty of tables outside to enjoy everything this classic Irish pub has to offer.


310 E. Chicago St.

No list of Milwaukee outdoor spaces is complete without The Outsider. Its approachable luxury welcomes all types of people from different crowds and has the full bar menu to satisfy every customer. Small bites and perfect views of the sunset make this a can’t-miss spot Downtown.


113 E. Juneau Ave.

Located on the Milwaukee River, equidistant from the 690 Reservoir and the mouth to Lake Michigan, this is a boater’s haven for a quick summer drink stop. You don’t have to be on the river to enjoy this space as there are live performances, outside bars and a menu to soak up the booze from a day of drinking.


795 N. Jefferson St.

Located on the corner of Cathedral Square and in earshot of all the music in the park that goes on in the summertime, Taylor’s is an old favorite. From martinis to draft beers, this spot has something for everyone and its patio stays lively well into the night.

Photo by littleny/GettyImages


1401 E. Brady St.

More than just a soccer bar, Nomad has changed the way Brady Street parties outside. As the weather gets nicer, there are more and more outdoor seating options available. Crowds form quickly, so you’ll want to get there early on nicer days to catch a match and people watch.


411 E. Menomonee St.

You wouldn’t think a dog-friendly sandwich spot would be one of the prime Third Ward outdoor patios, but it definitely is. Right on the corner of Catalano Square, you can soak up the sun better here than anywhere else nearby. Plus, your furry friends can join you.


900 N. Prospect Ave./750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive

Biergartens are everywhere during the summertime in Milwaukee. Two that are great Downtown options are the Juneau Beer Garden and the Memorial Beer Garden. Each equipped with snacks and pints, you can enjoy a nice beer after work out in the fresh lakeside air.


2017 E. North Ave.

One of North Avenue’s staple spots, Hooligan’s has an outdoor patio that other bars and restaurants dream about. With the recent pedestrian way connected to the Crossroads Collective food hall, this length of the East Side is an ideal spot to hang out with some friends for food and drinks.


758 N. Broadway

Exclusive to members, this is one place you’ll want to cozy up to a buddy who belongs. With an indoor dining area, The Roof has excellent views. On its patio, you’ll have a full 360-degree vantage point of the city directly from the center of downtown.

Sandy Reitman writes the Let’s Eat! column for

Your Brain on Animals Your Brain on Animals

Deeply attached to your pets? Find solace and enjoyment in hanging out with other animals—dogs, cats, horses, birds, etc.? Have a comfort animal in your life? Well, according to a recent study, this may be indicative of … you guessed it … a mental health problem. My profession is infamous for conjuring new syndromes requiring psychotherapy, sometimes for better and others for ill. While positive psychology, which looks at what’s healthy about us, has made a dent in this tendency, for every study conducted on upbeat and adaptive human attributes, there are many more devoted to psychopathology. As one of my cynical colleagues once wryly told an audience, “Your misery is our prosperity.”

That’s probably way over the top. Most psychotherapists are good eggs trying to bring some positivity to the world, not just turn a buck. What’s more, there is a long history of society ignoring or minimizing serious mental health issues, to the detriment of all. However, as a biased pet owner who observes the benefits of these companions in the lives of my clients as well as my own, I question the underlying premises in this newly emerging “problem.” So, what does the study assert?

Well, in fairness, the authors acknowledge many of the proven benefits of living with pets and having companion animals. These are well documented. From a psychological standpoint, having a pet provides social support and comfort, lowers stress hormones in the body, elevates mood, eases the suffering associated with PTSD, and reduces feelings of loneliness and depression. Children with companion animals exhibit greater self-esteem, more empathy and improved socialization. What’s more, social interaction between humans proves more positive when a pet is present, particularly a dog. On the medical side, companion animals lower our blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health overall, support greater longevity and provide comfort to families dealing with dementia.


Nonetheless, the study asks, “Is our emotional attachment to companion animals a compensatory response to insecure human attachment?” The authors go on to assert, “Specifically, individuals who developed insecure attachment styles in early childhood have stronger emotional attachments to their pets than individuals in their life and may also struggle with loneliness and depression.” The implied message? It’s healthier to have strong emotional attachments to humans than to other animals. Excuse me? Where in this world might one turn for some measure of unconditional positive regard when, as is too often the case, it doesn’t come from Homo sapiens? And why does relying on pets for companionship and interpersonal positivity constitute settling for less, let alone serve as a warning sign of underlying psychological dysfunction?

Read the rest of this article online at

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

Outdoor Dining Guide Outdoor Dining


1955 S. Hilbert St.

Milwaukee (414) 481-9974

Milwaukee’s iconic Best Kept Secret is not so secret any longer. Tucked away on the Kinnickinnic River, it offers a reprieve from the city with its casual atmosphere and fare. Barnacle Bud’s offers everything from seafood to bar food, from Pirate Punch to Dumpster Punch.

818 S. Water St.

Milwaukee (414) 212-8115

There’s a reason Boone & Crockett has won BEST PATIO more than once! There’s always a good time to be had when you’re sitting on the river. Amazing drinks, food trucks, live music, great company, just to name a few. Find us under the lights of the Hoan!


816 S. Fifth St.

Milwaukee (414) 672-3755

In the summer, sip margaritas and munch on chips and guacamole on Botana’s open-air patio. It’s spacious enough for large groups and also perfect for a table of two. If the outdoor seating is full, request a table under the covered patio to still take advantage of a summer evening. Both options are a great way to enjoy this casual cantina that offers authentic Mexican dishes.


1007 N. Cass St.

Milwaukee (414) 276-2101

The Café at the Plaza courtyard is Milwaukee's most unique patio. Nestled in the heart of downtown, ivy-covered walls and the city's best brunch make this spot a can't-miss hidden gem.

Photo by Andry5/Getty Images
Photo courtesy of Barnacle Bud's.
Photo courtesy of Boone & Crockett.
Photo courtesy of Botana's Restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Café at the Plaza.


Multi locations in Bay View, Riverwest & Brown Deer

The Riverwest location along the Beerline Trail complements the restaurant's bright, fresh Mexicaninspired food. In Bay View, you'll find a quiet, artsy patio tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Kinnickinnic. The Brown Deer location hosts the largest Corazon patio with seating for 60. It too is off the Oak Leaf Trail and will feature its own outdoor bar.

7211 W. Greenfield Ave. West Allis (414) 810-4838

Tucked away in a narrow alley, you’ll find a lush green landscape at Camino in Walker’s Point. It’s truly a hidden gem amongst downtown patios. Summer is short—come imbibe and get down with some killer bar food in this outdoor oasis while you can. Kitchen open late.


3815 N. Brookfield Rd. Brookfield (262) 790-2340

Enjoy this summer season at our neighborhood gem located off of Capitol Drive. Sit, socialize and indulge in Manna’s craft cocktails and exciting vegetarian/ vegan summer cuisine.

Photo courtesy of Café Corazon.
Photo courtesy of Café Manna.
Photo courtesy of Camino.


2416 W. State St.

Milwaukee (414) 342-3553

Relax and enjoy your supper club experience on our intimate patio lined with beautiful flowers and firepit. Five O’Clock Steakhouse specializes in serving award winning steaks and seafood paired with a notable wine list, classic cocktails, and outstanding personalized service.


W349 N5293 Lacy’s Lane Okauchee (262) 567-7047

The Golden Mast is a family-run restaurant and special events venue that offers delicious steaks, seafood and traditional German specialties in a truly unique setting. Gorgeous views of Lake Okauchee and warm European atmosphere make it a Lake Country favorite. Classic Fine Dining, Lakeside Lounge Patio, Casual Menu, Banquets & Weddings, Marina & Boat Launch and Bay Runner Pontoon.


420 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee (414) 279-6660

Enjoy our rooftop patio above the city skyline and the Fiserv Forum. Sip a Negroni or enjoy weekend brunch, serving modern Italian food, wine, and cocktails seven days a week.

Photo courtesy of Golden Mast.
Photo courtesy of Il Cervo.
Photo courtesy of Five O'Clock Steakhouse.


408 W. Florida St.


Lost Valley Cider Bar serves up the largest selection of ciders from near and far. Featuring over 50 different ciders to choose from plus cider slushies, spirits and craft beer. All of Lost Valley is dog friendly, both inside and the large outdoor patio.


401 W. Canal St.

Milwaukee (414) 287-2778

Mil-town’s best patio is found at MOTOR Bar & Restaurant on the campus of the Harley-Davidson Museum! The waterfront vibes and lawn games pair perfectly with -scratch cooking and handcrafted cocktails. Let us provide your ideal setting to kick back and make memories all season long.



8933 S. 27th St.

Franklin (414) 304-0300

Enjoy lunch or dinner on our beautiful, spacious smoke-free patio that is perfect for private parties and large groups. You can also catch live music with Ian Gould each first Tuesday of the month, starting in July (weather permitting).

Photo courtesy of Mulligans Irish Pub & Grill.
Photo courtesy of Motor Bar & Restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Lost Valley Cider Co.

1750 N Lincoln Memorial Dr

Milwaukee 414-395-4909

An updated venue serving all those drawn to this freshwater coastline. Serving up snacks, drinks, and sundries, it’s your one-stop shop before setting sail. Not heading out on the water? Food and drinks purchased at Roundhouse Beer Garden can be enjoyed on the comfortable parklike lawn surrounding our building. Drinking at Roundhouse Beer Garden at McKinley Marina supports future Milwaukee County park projects.

A taste of Germany is closer than you think. Spend hot summer nights on our award winning Biergarten, located right in Milwaukee’s East Side, cooling off with our award-winning import beer selection. Not to mention we serve killer food too.

Photo courtesy of Roundhouse Beer Garden.
Photo courtesy of Von Trier.

One of the greatest civil rights activists in Wisconsin history was Black attorney Lloyd Barbee. Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1925, he died in Milwaukee in 2002. Tall, trim and intense, Barbee spoke with a soft southern accent. Early in his life, he set his purpose and never wandered. He embodied a jewel box of progressive ideas that American culture rarely let him wear. Barbee often signed his correspondence with “Justice for All,” reflecting his fight for equality.

In 1937, when he was just 12 years old and living in Memphis, Barbee joined the NAACP. His lifelong civil rights crusade fighting discrimination and inequality had begun. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 1949, Barbee graduated from the all-black LeMoyne College with a B.A. in economics. Later that year, he moved to Madison to attend the University of Wisconsin Law School but dropped out after his first year after experiencing racism among peers and professors. Eventually he returned to the university and received his law degree in 1956.

Remembering Lloyd Barbee

Out of law school, he worked as an attorney for the Wisconsin State Department of Labor.

Barbee quickly earned a reputation as a human rights advocate. In 1955, he was elected president of the Madison branch of the NAACP. In 1958, he completed a study outlining discriminatory housing practices in Madison. In 1961, he conducted his first civil rights demonstration in support of open housing at the Wisconsin State Capitol.


At 74, Clayborn Benson is the Director of the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, which he founded in 1987. He is one of the few people still alive who knew Lloyd Barbee well. Having spent 39 years as a news photographer for WTMJ-TV, Benson had been in the thick of the news business in the time of the civil rights movement. “In 1961, Lloyd Barbee led a 13-day sit-in at the state capitol in Madison, a dramatic event that galvanized support for several anti-discrimination bills then pending,” Benson recalled.

The sit-in campaign also drew attention to fair housing. In 1962, at the urging of the NAACP, Barbee moved to Milwaukee and opened his own law practice. He was also president of the Wisconsin chapter of the NAACP. By 1963, Barbee was focusing on the housing issue that he believed was the central point of segregation.

In 1965, he was elected to the State Assembly from Milwaukee’s 6th district, which consisted of largely inner city Black neighborhoods. Shortly after taking office, Barbee demanded that the Milwaukee Public School system (MPS) develop a comprehensive plan for ending the institutional segregation in the schools. While he acknowledged that segregation was not an explicit policy by MPS, he argued that many of its day-to-day decisions served to concentrate African Americans in schools with inferior facilities and equipment. Barbee was also disturbed about the school system’s tendency to place African American teachers only in predominantly Black schools and to deny requests by individual Black students to transfer out of those schools.

Ornate vines by seamartini/Getty Images Lloyd Barbee portrait courtesy of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In response, MPS claimed that the racial disparities in the schools were due to settlement patterns, which the school system had no control over.


In 1963, Barbee led the NAACP’s challenge to MPS, demanding that school officials make stronger efforts to integrate schools. When MPS refused to modify its school policy, the NAACP organized boycotts of schools and operated “freedom schools” in their place. When that failed, Barbee decided to use litigation to make the courts do what the school board would not.

On June 17, 1965, Barbee filed a federal lawsuit charging the Milwaukee School Board with unconstitutionally maintaining racial segregation in its schools. From 1965 to 1976, Barbee spent thousands of hours on the suit, often working alone against a battery of lawyers paid by MPS. Ultimately, the lawsuit proved one of the most important desegregation cases filed in a northern city in the civil rights era.

In 1972 when Barbee won the lawsuit, Milwaukee became one of the first major Northern cities under court order to integrate its public schools. Nevertheless, MPS appealed the decision. Finally, in January of 1976, Federal Judge John Reynolds ruled that Milwaukee’s public schools were unlawfully segregated, prompting the Wisconsin Legislature to enact a school integration program.

Although Barbee won the case in 1976, he spent the next several years dealing with appeals and new trials and worked to enact a viable plan to desegregate the school system. The publicity drew attention to schooling issues in Milwaukee.

According to Benson, “After that lawsuit victory, there was also the matter of bussing in the 1970s. Lloyd Barbee hated the yellow school busses. He saw the busses as tools for segregation. Black kids were bussed to a white school where they experienced good teachers, good lunches, and clean classrooms. But some Black kids were being taught in trailer parks near the playgrounds

or in cold hallways and closets. Some white teachers were turning their backs to the kids. To Barbee, the yellow school busses stood for segregated practices.”

From 1965 through 1977 Barbee was the only African American in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Over the next 12 years, he produced an impressive legislative record. He sponsored the Fair Housing Act, several employment and public accommodation civil rights acts, legalization of abortion, reparations to African Americans and Native Americans, and a bill mandating that Black history and multicultural history be taught in the state’s public schools.


In 1964, Barbee organized and led an alliance of civil rights activists dedicated to ending de facto segregation in Milwaukee called the Milwaukee United School Integration Committee (MUSIC). This group became the primary vehicle for his desegregation efforts with Father James Groppi among its prominent members.

On Aug. 28, 1967, the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council and its adviser, Groppi, began the March on Milwaukee against residential segregation. For 200 consecutive days, they led protestors who marched to rally for a fair housing ordinance. The March on Milwaukee helped lead to Title VIII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1968, banning discrimination in housing accommodation because of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability or familial status.

“Housing is complicated,” said Benson. “Segregated neighborhoods, restrictive covenants, schools, health institutions, businesses. These things all impact the Black community and keep the residents isolated and impoverished. Fair housing covers so many factors.”

In 1967 Barbee represented comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who had been arrested and charged with “disorderly conduct” while participating in a civil rights march in Milwaukee. In a 1968 case, Barbee represented African American students at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, who protested to get Black history courses taught, but had been dismissed by the university administration for their actions. Barbee obtained a court order allowing the students’ readmission on the grounds that their due process rights had been violated.


“Barbee fought the battle on so many fronts,” said Benson. “He felt that anyone has a right to be on the front lines fighting for justice. He wrote many articles in the Black newspapers on justice for Black people. He also inspired the creation of a thriving inner city neighborhood along 20th and Walnut Streets, 44 houses of mixed ethnic families.”

How would describe Barbee’s personality? “I can’t say I knew his personality,” said Benson. “I don’t think anybody knew.

He didn’t give out that side of him. He was always very serious. He visited me at the Black Historical Society Museum probably nine or 10 times. In the early 1990s, he would bring boxes and boxes of historical artifacts and would sort through the material with me. He also spoke at one of our school desegregation conferences.”

In 1982, Barbee wrote, “The State of Wisconsin is racist. If it desires to do anything about its racism, it cannot continue to teach children that all things good in America and the world are white.” Benson nodded, and said, “Milwaukee is still that way to an extent and so is the whole state of Wisconsin. White people view Black people as new visitors to the state because of the northern migration in the 1950s.”

Among his many accomplishments, Barbee also taught at UW-Milwaukee in the Africology Department from 1978 to 2000. In 2001 he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in sociology from UWM, which created the Lloyd A. Barbee scholarship in his honor.

Barbee died on Dec. 29, 2002, in Milwaukee. He was 77. A Milwaukee street is named in his honor, as is the Lloyd A. Barbee Montessori School on Teutonia Avenue. A life-size statue of Barbee stands proudly in the Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison. He had three children, Finn, Daphne and Rustam.

Lloyd Barbee never attained his goal of complete equality in America. But like a great musician, he never stopped searching for the correct chords.

Tom Jenz is a Milwaukee photographer and writer. He contributes the Central City Stories column to

This Month in Milwaukee




Uline Warehouse, Summerfest

Is being the son of one of America’s greatest songwriters a benefit or a burden? Jakob Dylan has certainly been forced to confront that question. But whether because or despite of his father, or whether genealogy had nothing to do it, Jakob Dylan has found an audience of his own with his band The Wallflowers. After the release of their debut album in 1992, The Wallflowers achieved their greatest commercial success with Bringing Down the Horse (1996), which included the Grammywinning hit “One Headlight.” They will perform at 9:30 p.m.


X Turner Hall Ballroom

Punk rock laureates of the dispossessed, X continue to provide a template for anyone who wants to make a career outside the mainstream. From shows at long gone clubs like The Starship and The Palms, to headlining Sprecher Brewery’s 30th anniversary bash in Juneau Park in 2015 the band has continued to remain vital, as demonstrated with Alphabetland, the 2020 album that found the quartet digging in with another collection of grit, humor and reality.


Bully - Cactus+ Accessibility Initiative

Fundraising Concert

Cactus Club

Aside from presenting live music, Cactus Club continues to welcome all. The club is presenting concerts to raise funds for its accessibility initiative, which means the 140-year-old venue, currently grandfathered as a structure, will be adding a 23-foot ramp for greater access to music fans. Nashville’s Bully will rock the rafters with 50% of ticket sales donated to the initiative. In August, legendary groove merchants ESG will play another benefit show.

JULY 11-14

Bastille Days

Cathedral Square Park

Bastille Days, produced by East Town Association, returns to Cathedral Square Park. Called one of the best Bastille Days celebrations worldwide by National Geographic, the event invites you for a French-themed, four-day bash with live entertainment, French and Cajun cuisine and local artisans. Additionally, attendees can participate in the annual Storm the Bastille 5K Run/Walk, in honor of the 18th century attack on the Bastille prison in Paris.


Book Launch: We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

Shank Hall

Summer in Milwaukee is defined by many factors, beer gardens, festivals, and most importantly, live music. “We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter,” is an irreverent, fascinating deep dive into the roots of Milwaukee’s local music scene. From promoting musicians such as The Violent Femmes or Patti Smith to bringing national acts to his college campus, UWM, Peter Jest, Owner of Shank Hall, has been promoting music in the city for over 40 years. This book, written by award-winning writer Amy T. Waldman with a forward by David Luhrssen, is a nostalgic journey through a life spent loving music. Doors open at 7 p.m.


Brady Street Festival

Shank Hall

Brady Street has been the lower East Side’s main street for decades and many traces of its history remain: it was the center of an Italian neighborhood before becoming Milwaukee’s Haight Ashbury. The Brady Street Festival originated in those long-ago countercultural days and remains one of Milwaukee’s most popular street festivals with loads of live music and vendors.


Boy Dirt Car w/ Vocokesh and Drekka Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts

Milwaukee music history takes the stage at Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts in Riverwest. Currently based in Minneapolis, over four decades ago Boy Dirt Car began in Milwaukee as an outlet for a loose aggregation of thoughtful musical troublemakers. Founding member Darren Brown leads a group that continues exploring the sonic corners where experimental, industrial, noise and rock intersect (and often collide.) The roots of Vocokesh reach back to experimental band F/i, with Richard Franecki as a leading light in getting his music to listeners around the world in the early ‘80s.


Milwaukee Armenian Fest

St. John Armenian Orthodox Church, 7825 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield

The Near East menu will include homemade chicken, beef and luleh kebob; cheese and spinach burek, lamajoun (a pizza-like dish served on thin tortilla dough), sarma and a mouthwatering array of baklava and other traditional pastries. Traditional Armenian music and dancing will be performed live outside. Armenian Fest also features church tours and a culture booth selling books, artifacts and Armenian wine by the bottle. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Parking is free.


Jordan Klepper’s “Suffering Fools” Tour Pabst Theater

Jordan Klepper, “Daily Show” correspondent and Midwest native, brings his brand of comedy to Milwaukee. Known for his witty commentary, Klepper’s solo stand-up show delves into his experiences on the road as a political comedian. Don’t miss your chance to hear Klepper’s wild stories about interviewing insurrectionists, struggling in the world of performing arts and grappling with current national politics, feeling like a suffering fool.

Photo by f11photo/Getty Images
Photo by Don Rask

JULY 25-28

Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival

Back when Milwaukee was the machine shop of the world, a couple of guys named Harley and Davidson worked out the mechanics of motorcycles in their tool shed. A weekend of rides and events will honor the motor company’s legacy, topped with concerts by Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Offspring, Cypress Hill and many more acts.

JULY 26-28

German Fest

Henry Maier Festival Park

German was spoken as widely as English in Milwaukee during the 19th century, and that Teutonic heritage remains in the form of great architecture, bratwurst and the many civic improvements (parks, to name one) by the city’s social democrats. German Fest is an annual lakefront celebration of that heritage with Old World music and dancing in the Musikgarten, a Karneval, a dachshund derby and much more. Sprecher will offer a German Fest brew (among the many beer options) and watch out for those giant Bavarian pretzels!

Dear Ally,

My son has been an alcoholic and drug addict since 2014. In and out of detox, rehab centers and sober living houses, he’s learned a lot about himself, his friends and his triggers. I’ve learned a lot too. This process has taught me that I’m co-dependent, putting others’ needs in front of my own. This causes me to enable my son, instead of helping him heal.

I’m in the process of realizing that the only way I can love him is to give him the dignity of his own choices. That’s the hardest part and I’m still working my way through it.

After a lot of pain, car-wrecks and near death; he is finally sober. He has found the right NA meetings of his peers and a support system that truly understands his struggles.

Enter the girlfriend, who is 18 and engages with everything that “normal” teenagers do, including alcohol. She’s starting college in another state in the fall and wants him to go with her. In order to do that, he will need to leave his job, NA group and his valued support team.

He has worked hard to reach his sobriety and is maturing into a kind, respectful and responsible young adult. From my viewpoint, he’s willing to give all of that up to help his girlfriend get through college.

Her parents are against their relationship, because of his addictive background. They’ve threatened that if she continues to stay in a relationship with him, they will no longer financially support her.

As a result, they sneak around in order to see one another.

Dear Concerned Mom,

My heart goes out to you. Parents of addicted children must endure a hell that few can understand. Your parental role requires you to operate counter-intuitively. It forces you to put yourself and your own well-being first. This is crazy-making for every parent who believes their primary responsibility is to protect their children from harm. And a double whammy for Moms, whose instinct is to be the Mama Bear, making sure her cub is safe and happy.

It’s a difficult journey. Very difficult, even for the most educated parents about addiction.

You wrote that you always tried to give your son the power of his own choices. Parenting would be so much easier if we could save our children from their major mistakes. But, if that were possible, how would they learn valuable life lessons?

I understand that the stakes are high here, but it’s much bigger than your son’s sobriety. Your life is at stake here too. Co-dependency will kill you. It will exhaust you and hurt your heart while keeping you from needed sleep. Co-dependency will also ruin your healthy relationships.

If you are co-dependent in one part of your life, look for it in other parts as well.

It’s a no-win situation for him and their future as a couple. He has not asked my thoughts on his decision, but I know, deep in my heart that he’s making a huge mistake.

I just can’t go through another relapse. What do I do?

Concerned Mom

When we feel afraid, we try to control. But deep in our hearts, we know that we cannot control another person’s actions, no matter how hard we try.

Try to remember one of the first things you were taught in your early days of learning about co-dependency and addiction:

“I didn’t cause it.”

“I can’t control it.”

“I can’t cure it.”

Your son has the right to make his own decisions about his life. You can’t stop him. You have that right as well.

Take care of yourself and your own life. Know that your son will learn his life lessons his own way, on his own terms and in his own time. Worry less and love yourself more.

Sending you lots of support on your difficult journey,


Send your questions to



Half my family members are Democrats; the other half are Trump nuts. (Guess which side I’m on? LOL.) We barely got through the Trump presidency or the Biden years. Arguing, relatives not speaking, people refusing to go to gatherings if members from opposite sides were going to be there … you get the idea.

With the election looming, tempers are heating up again. How can we enjoy summer as a family and not let political differences get in the way?


Political Junkie


I You don’t want to miss making memories due to political differences, so don’t! Take the lead on this, honey, working with both sides of your family’s partisan spectrum.

Suggest your next gathering be a no-politics zone. Get everyone to agree to keep all conversations Trumpand Biden-free. No border talk. No laptop bullshit. No hush-money conversations.

Enforce a dress code. No political baseball caps, T-shirts, buttons, nada. At the get-together, hang a sign reminding everyone, “This Is a Politics-Free Zone. We Are a Family That Loves One Another.”

Any awkwardness will quickly fade if everyone holds one another accountable. Keep smiling and focus on having a good time. The rest will come naturally.

Ruthie's Social Calendar


POKEMAN TRIVIA AT COUNTY CLARE (1234 N. ASTOR ST.): Take your love of Pokeman to a new level with this interactive night of trivia. Put together a team and enjoy the 8:30 p.m. competition but arrive early to grab a seat and a tasty bite.


KENOSHA PRIDE AT CELEBRATION PLACE/HARBOR PARK (5501 CALABRAI WAY, KENOSHA): Keep the pride love flowing with this 12:30-9:30 p.m. event. Head down to Kenosha for a party in the park loaded with entertainment, food and fun! See for more.

JULY 11-14

BASTILLE DAYS AT CATHEDRAL SQUARE PARK (520 E. WELLS ST.): One of the city’s favorites (and free!) festivals is back, hosting all the food, shopping, beverages and entertainment you’ve come to expect. More than 250,000 folks are expected to attend the fest, taking in everything from can-can girls and street performers to the marketplace and Storming of the Bastille run. Grab your beret and count yourself among them!

JULY 19-21


The gang at Castaways MC host this 45th run for the Levi/Leather community. Celebrate leather pride, reunite with old friends and make plenty of new ones during this nonstop party. I’ll be on hand to host bingo and talent night! See for a complete lineup as well as registration, housing options and more.


BRADY STREET FESTIVAL THROUGHOUT BRADY STREET: See why this street bash has become a summer staple for thousands of folks. The party starts at noon with several stages of entertainment, dozens of food and beverage options and more. Cap off the night with the infamous drag show that closes the bash.


MKE NIGHT MARKET AT WEST WISCONSIN AVE. (BETWEEN SECOND STREET AND VEL R. PHILLIPS AVENUE): This change-of-pace marketplace only occurs four times per summer, so hit it up when you can. Food trucks, makers, artists and live entertainment make this 5-10 p.m. outdoor showplace one you won’t want to miss! See for details.


WALK, RUN, WAG AT HART PARK (6889 W. STATE ST.): Friends of MADACC (Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission) hosts this 5K run/2-mile walk that helps support the city’s animals. Grab Fido’s leash and head to the park for a great morning. The race starts at 9 a.m. but arrive early to mix, mingle, stretch and celebrate our four-legged friends.


OUT IN THE KITCHEN AT DISCOVERY WORLD (500 N. HARBOR DRIVE): Take a bite out of summer when culinary members of Wisconsin’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce offer up their best bites. Enjoy samples from local restaurants, bistros, confectioners, bars and others during the 6-8 p.m. nosh fest. Just be sure to nab your tickets via

The House of History: Milwaukee’s Black LGBTQ+ History Website Launched, Filling a Gap in Local Queer Lore

Milwaukee’s Pride Weekend made history not only with record attendance numbers at both PrideFest and the Pride Parade, but also with the launch of the “House of History.” The first project of its kind created specifically for Black LGBTQ+ history, it includes a dedicated website, and its accompanying YouTube channel @ houseofhistoryMKE. The House of History also hosted several panel discussions on the PrideFest Stonewall Stage on subjects ranging from intersectionality, Black trans issues and Milwaukee’s ballroom scene to the power of LGBTQ+ archives in Wisconsin. Most importantly, the House of History interview collection is now part of the UWM Libraries Digital Collections, significantly expanding that repository of Milwaukee’s LGBTQ+ history.

The House of History is a project conceived by Dr. Brice D. Smith and Janice Toy as a program of Diverse and Resilient, the city’s public health organization serving people of color. Smith is author of Lou Sullivan: Daring to be a Man Among Men, a biographical portrait of the Milwaukee trans man and activist. He is also the creator of the historic, multi-media walking tour app, “lgbt milWALKee.” Janice Toy is a founding member of SHEBA (Sisters Helping Each Other Battle Adversity), a Diverse and Resilient trans affinity program.

With Cream City Foundation as the principal sponsor since Fall of 2022 and with a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, Smith launched a project to document local Black LGBTQ history. Not surprisingly, given Milwaukee’s unfortunate reputation for being one of the most segregated cities in the county--save for some passing mentions in R. Richard Wagner’s two volume Wisconsin LGBTQ history and on the Wisconsin LGBT History website--this chapter of the narrative, for reasons that may be worthy of study themselves, has been long been neglected. Smith’s efforts in partnership with Janice Toy and Diverse & Resilient intend to begin to fill that void and undo other historians’ sins of omission.


Janice Toy spoke of the House of History project’s evolution during a WUWM interview, describing her work with Smith that began with his interest in SHEBA and its history. The partnership that grew out of that initial contact offered the opportunity to pursue a broader goal namely to specifically document experiences of Black LGBTQ+ elders whose stories were at risk of being lost. As Toy explained, the effort was to “get the word out” and make others aware of the mission and allow the legacies of Black LGBTQ+ to be told and preserved. As with any LGBTQ history, the first thought was to research the bar scene.

Like its white dominated Walker’s Point counterpart, the Black bars on the North Side were considered the social core and refuge for the community. However, Smith and Toy soon discovered that bars and dance clubs, while significant for their role in Black queer life, were only the cover story for a much more deeply nuanced and complex Black LGBTQ+ social history. However, the resources for Smith and Toy’s research were sparse. Whether caused by cultural bias due to white racism or Black homo- and transphobia, the duo discovered that stories of Black queer and trans people had been “missed or dismissed” and left out of history. With the passing of each elder, those stories that still existed were being lost. To create the House of History, Smith and Toy set out to record interviews with a broad spectrum of individuals and collect photos and other memorabilia to capture the narrative of Black LGBTQ+ Milwaukee.


The resulting House of History website and YouTube channel offer visitors over 20 very personal and engaging video interviews, each about four minutes long. There are stories of coming out, being out when it was illegal stories, and of relationships, tales of life challenges from coping with family rejection and racism to poverty, violence and the trauma of AIDS, as well as the positive progress made through activism.

Illustration by ZEEDIGN/Getty Images

Bethea tells the story of his five children, his military service under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and later life as a specialist for diabetic care. Ronnie Grace relates his death sentence moment of being told by a nurse he was HIV positive. She merely added a perfunctory “sorry,” leaving him with no counseling or advice for care. Ricardo Wynn talks about his mother voting for the first time after leaving the South and his own Black Ballroom house experiences in Milwaukee. Brenda Coley speaks of her activism and efforts for trans visibility as well as her dream for LGBTQ people to take “their rightful place in the community.” Coley’s wife, Dr. Sandra Jones, reflects on her schoolgirl crush on a female teacher and her activism in the Black community. Janice Toy herself serves as House Mother and is featured in an interview as well as well, speaking to her life as a trans woman.

House of History’s collective voice of Milwaukee’s Black LGBTQ+ experience is both universal and unique. Some of the stories, especially those related to sexual awakening and coming out, would be familiar to any viewer. However, others are quite specific and familiar only to those who have shared similar experiences. All the stories, ultimately, are accessible to everyone, and should improve Milwaukee’s LGBTQ+ community’s understanding of itself.

According to Smith, The House of History is an ongoing project with plans to add more material and interviews to its collection.

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.

From The City That

Always Sweeps

I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, I hard to believe it’s the month of July 2024 already. Seems to me like it was a scant 69-ish years ago summertime when Mom and Pop splurged on a Stewart-Warner TV that featured a state-of-the-art b&w screen that compared, in width and length, to a men’s dress shoe.

So what the fock, I got to see “Howdy Doody” in the afternoon, and later they got their Jackie Gleason “Honeymooners.” We were entertained as the Cold War proceeded somewheres.

Yes, July, the month named after that Roman emperor guy Julius Caesar, to be placed as the seventh month on such-a-thing as the Julian and Gregorian calendars (don’t know who made it to the ancient Roman hot-girl swimsuit calendar that month; I’ll check on that ’cause that’s what journalists should do—check on stuff, what the fock).

So, yeah, big-shot Caesar got a whole month on our year-after-year calendar named after him in the 44 BCE, and in a brief time afterwards that same year, got shivved and carved by blade to death by governmental representativehot shots upon the Roman Senate floor. Ouch! ain’a?

And because it’s that hotcha time of year, seems to me that the only thing people seriously read are the directions on a can of bug spray. So what the fock, I’m declaring my independence from delivering a regular in-depth essay this month so’s to dip into Artie’s Joke Satchel ’cause in the course of the oppressive and depressing human events these days, we could all use a smile, a chuckle, a laugh, I kid you not. So let’s get to dipping, shall we?

How ’bout this one? A chicken and egg are lying in bed. The chicken’s smoking a cigarette, satisfied smile on its face while the egg is frowning, frustrated. The egg says icily, “Well! I guess that settles THAT question, ain’a?” Ba-ding!

How’s your health care situation?

This guy named Jerry was in the hospital, near death, so the family sent for his pastor. As the pastor stood beside the bed, Jerry’s frail condition grew worse, and he motioned desperately for something to write on. The pastor lovingly handed him a pen and piece of paper, and Jerry used his last ounce of strength to quickly scribble a note and then died.

The pastor thought it best not to look at the note just then, so he slipped it into his pocket. Several days later at the funeral, the pastor delivered the eulogy and realized he was wearing the same jacket he’d worn the day Jerry died.

“You know, Jerry handed me a note just before he passed,” the pastor said to the assembled. “I haven’t read it, but knowing Jerry, I believe surely that it would contain a word of inspiration—a word of inspiration for us all.”

The pastor reached into his pocket, unfolded Jerry’s note and read aloud, “Help me! You’re standing on my oxygen tube, jackass!” Ba-ding!

And this: So there’s this gal who enjoys a gentleman’s company while her husband’s away at work. One day the husband comes home unexpectedly, wouldn’t you know, so she quickly hides her gentleman caller in the bedroom closet, not realizing that her 9-year-old son had already been camped out in the closet during the boudoir proceedings.

The boy says, “Dark in here.” The man says, “Yes, it is.” Boy says: “I have a baseball.” Man says: “That’s nice.” Boy: “Want to buy it?” Man: “No thanks.” Boy: “My dad’s outside.” Man: “OK, how much?” Boy: “$250.”

A few weeks later, it so happens that the boy and his mom’s gentleman again find themselves together in the closet.

The boy says, “Dark in here.” The man says, “Yes, it is.” Boy says: “I have a baseball glove.” Man says: “Let’s cut to the chase. How much?” Boy: “$750.” Man: “Fine.”

Now it came to pass that a few days later the father asks his young son if he’d like to grab his ball and glove, go outside and play catch. The boy, of course, says he can’t because he’s sold them. The father asks for how much and the boy replies, “$1,000.” The father admonishes the lad that it’s sinful to overcharge his friends in the way that he did and that as a consequence he would take the boy to church to confess his transgression.

So they go over by St. Stanislaus and the boy enters the confessional. Boy says, “Dark in here.” Priest says, “Listen, don’t start up with that crap again.” Ba-ring-a-ding-ding!

Okey-doke, hope you have/had a frothful Fourth and that the corn of your choosing is as high as an elephant’s eye ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.

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