Author Archives: Erik Brooks

Downtown Business News: Expansion for Jen’s Sweet Treats, New Owner for MKE City Sippers, THE SHOP Opens

Happy to see new and growing businesses downtown!

I wrote about the new barbecue place earlier this week. Here are a few more examples …

  • Jen’s Sweet Treats: Exciting news for this business at 907 Milwaukee Ave., which opened earlier this year and is already in expansion mode. Wrote owner Jennifer Clark on Facebook this week: “I’m doing the happy dance. We’ve obtained the other half of our South Milwaukee building so we are starting renovations as I speak. Unfortunately that location will be closed temporarily till everything is complete. We will try really hard to get back open as soon as possible. New additions will include a party room and meeting space for rent. As well as a gift shop, and coffee with indoor seating .We will also be expanding our candy counter and adding hand scooped ice cream! Woohoo big things are coming! Stop by our Cudahy location for all your sweet treat needs in the mean time! We’ll be back soon, bigger and better than before! :)” I’m doing a happy dance, too.
  • MKE City Sippers: If you haven’t heard, Nicole Maxey, owner of MKE City Sippers, is moving on to her next adventure in Florida – we’ll miss her around here – but Sara Lewkowski, one of her baristas, is taking over and planning to continue the coffee house. It will be called Avenue Coffeehouse and feature many of the same products as MKE City Sippers, including terrific Anodyne Coffee. Sara plans to close on August 31, then reopen on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 6 a.m. Stop by and say hi!
  • THE SHOP: Renovations are nearly complete, and Tim Schneider this week officially moved his cool antique motorcycle repair business from Bay View to the edge of downtown at 1905 13th Ave. Look for more details soon on a grand opening date.

So, lots going on in our city center … and much more to come.

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Downtown Events Update

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Summer is winding down, but there are still several cool events coming up in our city center, all at the farmers’ market site …

  • Saturday (Aug. 27): First, don’t forget about the Restore the Lagoon Festival this Saturday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be live music and entertainment, games, a silent auction, a car/bike/truck show, crafts, vendors, food, beer and much more. Learn more on the Restore Facebook page.
  • Thursday, Sept. 8: Also, the South Milwaukee Downtown Health Fair is coming up. More than 20 local health and wellness vendors are expected, in addition to the regular market lineup. This year’s event is presented by the South Milwaukee Health Department. Hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Learn more on the market Facebook page.
  • Saturday, Sept. 17: The third Guardian Credit Union outdoor movie date has been set: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” airs at dusk (around 7 p.m.). This is the makeup date from the June show, which was postponed due to rain.

Also, we are cancelling the second South Milwaukee Food Truck Festival, which had been set for Sunday, Sept. 18. It’s not for lack of popularity. We are just looking for a new “owner” of the event, so if your organization is interested, let me know. I look forward to bringing this back next May – stay tuned.

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Coming Soon: Downtown Barbecue!

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I love me some barbecue … and that’s why I’m excited about South Milwaukee’s newest downtown restaurant. You should be too.

Scrappy’s BBQ will be opening soon in the former Lloyd’s Lunch, 925 Madison Ave.

Mike Hintz, barbecue aficionado and caterer, is planning to open his doors on Oct. 1, with a specialty in barbecue beef brisket, burnt ends, ribs, pulled pork, Italian beef, pressured-fried chicken and more.

And if the food tastes like it did at last week’s South Milwaukee Community & Business Association meeting, which Mike catered, it will be a hit. Much more to come on this exciting new business.

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Headlines: Caterpillar Job Cuts in Two States, and More

Check out these South Shore headlines …

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Building the South Milwaukee Brand

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” This quote from Dolly Parton gets to the heart of an important initiative the South Milwaukee City Council approved on Tuesday.

The council voted unanimously to spend $20,000 to contract with Third Ward-based Savage Solutions to develop a new brand for the City of South Milwaukee.

This is about so much more than a logo. Rather, it’s about the community coming together to define who we are, what we want to be, and then bringing it to life graphically in a multitude of ways.

Developing and launching the brand will take months, as long as a year. A group of stakeholders – residents and business owners – will guide the process throughout. Once that is complete, the exciting part starts – exploring and delivering creative ways to make the brand part of our community identity.

Of course, there will be business cards, logo gear, and digital executions. But I’m just as excited about opportunities like street banners (I love this one Savage has done in Oak Creek, and this one they’ve been working on for downtown Waukesha), welcome signage, directional street signage, and even advertising campaigns (you have probably heard the Oak Creek radio commercials during Green Bay Packers games). And how about murals, or billboards?

All of these details will be the subject of more discussion – with funding subject to council approval — as the brand is launched and evolves over time. This will take years. But at least we’re getting started.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Savage – in a presentation that included the Parton quote referenced above – gave us a glimpse into who they are, how they define branding, their process in defining a brand, and work they’ve been doing (and continue to do) in Oak Creek and Waukesha to develop their brands.

It’s that work that has me excited about what Savage can do for us.

Oak Creek officials rave about the firm, and after several meetings ahead of Tuesday’s council meeting, I share their enthusiasm as we begin this process.

The timing is right, especially with the recent passage of the comprehensive plan, which includes as one of its recommendations doing exactly what we’re doing. Practically, it makes sense, too. With downtown streetscaping getting underway in 2017, I see our new-look city center as one potential place this brand can be born.

But first things first. As Dolly Parton said, let’s first discover who we are. Then we’ll do it on purpose.

 

 

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Great Food, Great Cause

Alderperson Pieper is raising $5,000 for the purchase of a soon-to-be-retired South Milwaukee ambulance, which will be donated to a Third World country.

She’s already more than halfway there … and here’s another opportunity to help!

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Chicago Avenue Construction Update

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A note from the city engineer …

Sanitary sewer, watermain, and storm sewer replacement is in the final stages of construction with service laterals being installed the week of August 22, 2016. 

Pavement removals will be starting on the southbound lanes from Pine Street south to Oak Creek Parkway starting as early as Thursday August 18th.

During pavement installation, the road will be detoured and opened for local and business access only.  Northbound traffic will be detoured onto Hawthorne, Memorial and Pine, and back to Chicago Avenue.  Southbound traffic will be detoured at Walnut, Oak Creek Parkway, and back to Chicago Avenue. Local access as allowed, will be on gravel at certain times.

For northbound lanes, from the bridge to Hawthorne, concrete should be complete for the start of school on September 1st. (E.W. Luther) The balance of paving work and other work should be complete by mid-October.

Please use alternative routes as much as possible. 

And I have two asks as mayor: Please be patient, and please support the local businesses impacted by this project. I know they would appreciate it!

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