Category Archives: Grant Park

Grand Openings: Jen’s Sweet Treats, Ferch’s, New-Look Ace Hardware

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I love grand openings, and there are three in May alone, with more to come.

Mark your calendars for …

  • Sunday, April 24: Get an early look at downtown’s newest business, Jen’s Sweet Treats, with “Sips & Sweets,” a chance to sample some yummy treats ahead of their official grand opening. Bring a toy to donate to their South Shore Santas program. 4-6 p.m. at 907 Milwaukee Ave.
  • Sunday, May 1: Jen’s Sweet Treats officially opens at 9 a.m. with a selection of cupcakes, muffins, cookies, turnovers, brownies and donuts.
  • Friday, May 13: South Milwaukee Ace Hardware, 1009 Marquette Ave. The noon ribbon cutting on Friday is the kickoff for an entire weekend of activities. Friday, it’s a Traeger grilling demo and grill giveaway. Saturday, there is a  South Milwaukee Lions Club cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an appearance by WTMJ radio’s Jeff Wagner and their Free Ride program from 1 to 3, and a Weber grilling demo and giveaway from 3 to 6. Sunday, it’s Family Day, with free popcorn and demonstrations by the South Milwaukee Fire Department. Free coffee and donuts every morning from 8 to 10., and there are sales and specials each day. More to come soon, as Ben and the Gil family looks to show off the big changes — and big investment — they’ve made to the store.
  • Friday, May 20: Ferch’s Malt Shoppe & Grille officially opens at 4 p.m., as they begin their first full season at Grant Park Beach. They have a lot planned. From rentals (lounge chairs, umbrellas, kayaks and paddle boards) to live music to movies to, of course, terrific burgers, custard and beer, it promises to be a great summer at the beach. Beach volleyball also returns this summer!

The new business momentum is real, and we’re just getting started.



Filed under Downtown, Grant Park, Local Business, South Milwaukee

Improving Local Parks

Good riddance dilapidated, vandalism magnate, safety hazard of a building at Rawson Park.

Rawson shelter 1

Hello, new roof at Brown Pavilion at Grant Park (in plenty of time for summer activities like the traveling beer garden and July 4 festivities, following wind damage last month).


Thanks to the Milwaukee County Parks (and South Milwaukee School District in the case of the Rawson building) for performing this much-needed work.

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Filed under Grant Park, Schools, South Milwaukee

Wind Damages Grant Park Picnic Pavilion Roof

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Significant wind damage was reported today to the roof of the historic picnic structure at Grant Park picnic area 5A.

Many of the shingles were blown away. No one was hurt.

I’ll keep you posted on a repair plan, although I’m told summer activities at the facility shouldn’t be impacted. That’s some good news in all of this.

There are also multiple power outages on the north end of South Milwaukee, according to the We Energies outage map at 3:15 p.m.

Thanks to Michael Wrench and Jacob Klingforth from the Parks Department for the info and photos.

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Filed under Grant Park, South Milwaukee

Three Injured In Grant Park Crash; OWI Suspected

From the South Milwaukee Police Department …

On January 18, 2016, SMPD Officers were dispatched to a single car accident in Grant Park.  Officers located a vehicle, approximately 80 feet from the roadway, off Grant Park Drive and into the woods, near the south end of the “S-Curves.” 

The three occupants of the vehicle, all adults from Milwaukee, were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of non-life-threatening, injuries.

The 32 year old driver is being investigated on suspicion of Operating While Intoxicated.

The South Milwaukee Police Department reminds motorists to drive sober, wear their seatbelts at all times, and obey speed limits to prevent motor vehicle accidents. 

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Filed under Grant Park, Police, South Milwaukee

See You At The Beach: I’m Holding My Next Meet The Mayor Event At Ferch’s

Ferch's 1

Now that it’s open, I’m calling an audible and moving my next Meet the Mayor event to Ferch’s Beachside.

Join me from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 26, at South Milwaukee’s newest business, located at Grant Park Beach. Bring your questions, comments and concerns … and your appetite.

Be sure to try a burger, hot dog, custard and a beer.

See you on September 26!

Ferch’s opened last weekend and is planning limited weekend hours this fall, before hitting it hard in 2016 and beyond. They are open from 2 to 7 p.m. this Saturday, September 19, for example.

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Filed under Grant Park, South Milwaukee

Now Open: Ferch’s Beachside

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Good things — like mouth-watering burgers, custard and beer — come to those who wait.

And the wait is over for Ferch’s Beachside.

The new Grant Park Beach concessionaire served its first burgers, custard and beer at Saturday night’s Beach Walk, and it was a hit. (My family and I were a few of their early customers.)

Please join me in welcoming Dale, Betty, Jeff and all the Ferchoffs and their employees to town.

They plan to open on select weekend days in September, and then hit it hard in 2016 and beyond. Check their Facebook page for more details on specific hours and offerings.

This is an exciting development for Grant Park and the entire city, another sign of the progress we’re seeing when it comes to attracting sustainable new business to South Milwaukee. Let’s get behind it!

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Filed under Grant Park, South Milwaukee

Beach Walk Saturday; Beach, Oak Creek Cleanups Also Set

Beach Walk flyer

Quick reminder about a few upcoming events in our parks …

  • First, check out the Grant Park Beach Walk Saturday night. There is a flyer above.
  • Then, on Sept. 19, it’s the beach cleanup event. Learn more here
  • And on October 10, it’s an Oak Creek cleanup. More details from the Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse …

Set your calendar for Saturday October 10th, 2015 – we’ll be cleaning the Oak Creek from North Chicago Avenue west to Rawson Avenue.  (IF we have enough people we could continue to Nicholson Avenue)

We’ll be meeting at the North end of the SM High School parking lot. at 8:00 am and ending at 12:00 noon.  My car is a tan Hyundai Sonata with the license plate WUCK – this is where you’ll sign in, get a safety vest, bags, gloves and water.  Once everyone has signed in, we’ll take some pictures and give instructions.  We ask that adults be present with your groups, bring EXTRA CLOTHES, SHOES AND SOCKS in case you get wet or fall in.  We do have some boots that can be borrowed of if you have wader’s please bring them.  Milwaukee County Parts will pick up the bags along the route.

FOMP will host the luncheon at the Warming House after the cleanup.


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Filed under Grant Park, Oak Creek, Oak Creek watershed, Park, South Milwaukee

Celebrating Our Parks: Several Cool Events Coming Up

Mill Pond winter

Just a reminder that the Restore the Lagoon group is holding its fundraising festival this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Mill Pond on Oak Creek Parkway.

Enjoy food, drinks, live music, a silent auction, a kids’ corner and more for this second-annual event. Check out a flyer and more information on Restore efforts on the Restore the Lagoon Facebook page.

Also, our local Friends groups are planning several special events in September …

  • September 12: Grant Park Beach Walk, 5-9 p.m. Enjoy a lighted walk on the beach, music, s’mores and more.
  • September 19: Grant Park Beach cleanup. 9-11 a.m. Learn more here.
  • September 26: Mill Pond Warming House open house, noon to 4 p.m. Celebrate restoration efforts with food, raffles and more.

Learn more about the beach walk and open house here.


Filed under Grant Park, Mill Pond, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Take The Survey, And Share Your Feedback On Grant Park

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The Milwaukee County Parks and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse are partnering on a survey to better understand the experience of park users in and around South Milwaukee.

They are specifically looking for thoughts on Grant and Bender Parks.

Access the survey here.

Please take it, and share the link with your family, friends and other users of the local parks. In fact, even if you haven’t been to Grant Park recently, please take it — your feedback is valuable, too.

I thank the UW-La Crosse’s Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation program for their interest in our local parks — and for the Parks Department for agreeing to allow the survey.

The honest feedback they gain should be invaluable. Please do your part and share your thoughts — good, bad and everything in between.


Filed under Grant Park, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Beach Food: Limited Opening For Ferch’s This Week

Ferch logoJust in time for the holiday weekend … some good news for Grant Park, and South Milwaukee.

The owners of Ferch’s Beachside tell me they plan to open Friday with a temporary menu of hot, dogs, brats, beer, soda and water, as buildout of their beach concession space continues.

For now, until they are open with a full menu in a fully renovated new space, days of operation will include weekends and volleyball league nights (Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays), with hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Let’s welcome Ferch’s to town … and be patient for their more formal opening (with burgers, custard, etc.) later this summer.


Filed under Grant Park, Parks, South Milwaukee

Grant Park Updates: Oak Leaf Trail, Last Call For Beer Garden

Beer garden

A couple quick updates on the ongoing work in Grant Park …

  • First, I’m told repaving and widening work on the Oak Leaf Trail through the park is expected to start around July 13. It will begin near the golf course clubhouse and work north, with a completion date around August 20. The park drive may be closed for a short period during tree removal. This is a significant project that is long overdue — and just one of a number of upgrades planned along the Oak Leaf Trail and other trails throughout the region. Learn more here and here.
  • The traveling beer garden at Picnic Area 5 ends Sunday night. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with last call at 9. It’s been a big success, by all accounts, and sales are very strong. Now let’s work on bringing it back in 2016!

More to come in the park this summer, as Ferch’s Beachside continues to work toward its opening … stay tuned.

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Filed under Grant Park, Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

Join Us For Another July 4th To Remember


Our July 4th celebration at Grant Park will be bigger than ever in 2015.

As always, the festivities start at 10 a.m. at Picnic Areas 5, 5a and 6 with bike judging, followed by games and the penny scramble. Ice cream and cracker jack will be available free for all participants.

All attendees are then invited to the second annual free Mayor’s Picnic, where Steve and his team from Emerald City Catering will serve hot dogs, chips, soda and water, thanks to a generous donation by TASC Services, a local commercial cleaning company. And that’s not all: We’re also offering bouncy houses, temporary tattoos for the kids, and more … all ending with fireworks that night.

Max A. Sass & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services is sponsoring the inflatables again this year, and Educators Credit Union is sponsoring the local DJ, from noon to 7 p.m.

My goal is to find new ways to get more families to our July 4th events and keep those families at Grant Park longer. Last year, we delivered on that, and we’ll do it again in 2015. I hope you can make it.

Thanks to all of our sponsors for stepping up!

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Filed under Even, Grant Park, South Milwaukee

Mobile Beer Garden Opens Wednesday!

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The 2015 Milwaukee County Parks Traveling Beer Garden tour makes a stop in South Milwaukee and Grant Park starting Wednesday.

Join me at 4 p.m. for a ceremonial keg tapping at Picnic Areas 5-6. The garden is then open to 10 p.m., with last call at 9.

The garden will appear at Grant Park through June 28.

Check out hours and more information here. From the parks …

Each of the stops on the 16-week tour features craft beer, gourmet sodas, Hard Root Beer, Hard Ginger Beer, and other refreshments from Sprecher Brewing. Authentic German food is available from Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub. The Traveling Beer Garden™ is run by Milwaukee County Parks concessions staff. All revenue collected goes back into improving the parks across Milwaukee County.

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Filed under Events, Grant Park, Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

Big Investment In Grobschmidt Pool

Update: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more on the Oak Leaf Trail improvements.

The investments continue in South Milwaukee’s county park assets.

The latest: several significant upgrades to Grobschmidt Pool, improvements that give this longtime local attraction — on and off the Milwaukee County budget chopping block over the years — a bright future.

Among them:

  • Installation of a new pool liner membrane;
  • Conversion of the pool water supply channel system to one using floor inlets; and
  • The addition of new stainless steel hand railings for the pool steps.

The pool, like all county pools, opens June 20. Details here.

I want to again thank Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, the Parks Department and County Supervisor Patricia Jursik for their support of this and all the investments coming to South Milwaukee’s parks this year and beyond.

All in, more than a million dollars is headed to parks in South Milwaukee in 2015.

And those investments are coming to life right now. Among them:

We also continue to make progress on a much-needed Oak Creek Watershed restoration plan.

More than 20% of South Milwaukee’s land mass is parkland, and what’s good for our parks is good for our city. That’s why it’s hard not to be excited about this.


Filed under Grant Park, Parks, South Milwaukee

More On The Grant Park Volleyball Plans


Update: Here is a link to the press release.

Milwaukee County issued a press release today with more details on the volleyball coming to Grant Park Beach this summer.

From the Fox 6 story

Cities and Sports, a premier sport and social club in Chicago, will bring its expertise in organizing leagues to the beach. The group will program leagues and tournaments at 14-18 volleyball courts.

When not in use for league and tournament play, the courts will be available to the public to use for free on a first-come, first-served basis; during these times, players will need to bring their own volleyballs.

Ten-week leagues will run Sunday-Friday, from June 1 to the first week of September and will feature coed and men’s leagues for teams of two, four, and six players. Three levels of play will be offered— from recreational to a level for those who are highly skilled and can run combination plays.

Online registration, going on now, allows individuals, a few friends who would like to play together, and teams to be placed into leagues. Early-bird rates are available through Saturday, May 2.

Learn more and sign up here. Let’s fill these leagues!

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Filed under Grant Park, Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee