Sign in | Register now | Like us on FacebookLike Us | Follow us on TwitterFollow Us

Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Tue
Hi: 70
Lo: 51
Wed
Hi: 70
Lo: 55
Thu
Hi: 70
Lo: 53
Advertise on OnMilwaukee.com
I didn't find what I was looking for on this map, but I found a lot of cool stuff.
I didn't find what I was looking for on this map, but I found a lot of cool stuff.
Here, I found that the Juneau (now Cass) School was located in a cow pasture that covered four blocks.
Here, I found that the Juneau (now Cass) School was located in a cow pasture that covered four blocks.
The 1910 Sanborn map image showing the school on Fernwood and Pennsylvania, in what is now Bay View.
The 1910 Sanborn map image showing the school on Fernwood and Pennsylvania, in what is now Bay View.
Nowadays, that's Cooper Park, Kops Park, Enderis Park and Mount Mary. Back in 1937, not so much yet.
Nowadays, that's Cooper Park, Kops Park, Enderis Park and Mount Mary. Back in 1937, not so much yet.

The Brady Street cow pasture and the Civil War camp where baseball debuted

Go ahead and chuckle. It’s true. My life has devolved into an arcane search for the minutiae of Milwaukee history, much of it of the hyperlocal kind.

But just when I think no one cares about this stuff, I’m proved wrong. Milwaukeeans are eager to know the history of their homes, their neighborhoods, their schools, the city around them.

The other day, a plaque caught my eye and led to a fury of activity and an article – about one single corner in the city – that will run here in a couple weeks. A co-worker was enthusiastic about it.

The day after that, I posted an image from a Sanborn map to my Facebook page with a note about how MPS expanded its playgrounds in the 1920s and that drew a number of interested comments. One of the images I followed with was of the site of Fernwood Montessori, which at the time of the 1910 map, was home to District 3 school in the Town of Lake. Two small structures nearby on the map appear to be outhouses. More comments.

Yesterday, someone tipped me off to the Wisconsin Historic Aerial Image Finder site, which has great 1937 images of the city. While the images in parts of town built earlier are fun, the real action is in the images shot in the parts of the city that sprung up later. For instance, I posted one photo to Facebook showing early development in Gale Crest (now Enderis) Park, with nothing but empty space to the west and northwest.

More comments.

One of my current ongoing searches is for maps from the 1860s, 1870s and early 1880s that might show the siting of the earlier schoolhouses on the current Maryland Avenue Montessori School property.

Yesterday, I happened upon a map of 1870s Milwaukee hanging on the wall in the hallway of the Common Council offices on the third floor of City Hall. While the map shows schools, for some reason it doesn’t show the Murray School on Maryland Avenue.

But there’s lots of fun stuff there anyway as you can see in the images above.

Across from the Maryland Avenue School prope…

Read more...
John Sidoff, center in the photo at left, when he bought the place. At right, the Sidoffs flank new owner Mark Buesing.
John Sidoff, center in the photo at left, when he bought the place. At right, the Sidoffs flank new owner Mark Buesing.

After 35 years, Sidoff selling Hooligan's

After nearly four decades at the helm of an East Side institution, John Sidoff is selling Hooligan's Super Bar, 2017 E. North Ave. Sidoff bought Hooligan's, which opened in 1936, in 1978.

Sidoff, along with his co-owner and wife, Cindy, are selling the bar – effective Nov. 1 – to general manager Mark Buesing. The Sidoffs will continue to own Von Trier, 2235 N. Farwell Ave., which they purchased in 2009.

"We love Hooligan’s and put a lot of hard work into it over the years. But it’s time to let a fresh set of eyes take over before I turn into the grumpy old man at the end of the bar," said John Sidoff. "And besides, I can’t stay up much past 9 p.m. these days."

The Sidoffs say they're moving into "semi-retirement."

Buesing has worked at Hooligan's for 15 years, starting out as a dishwasher. He says he plans to add a weekend brunch and make some changes to the decor.

"It’s been an incredible experience to learn from such a master of the bar arts and be part of the Hooligan’s family for over a decade. John leaves some pretty big boots to fill," said Buesing. "I’m excited to take the reins, expand on what I learned and continue to grow the business."

Ever since the days when folks could belly up to the band playing atop the bar, I've loved Hooligan's. I'm proud to have been in some of those bands and I saw some great gigs there, too.

In the years since, Hooligan's has been a go-to place for OnMilwaukee.com meetings and outings. I'm happy to see the place will endure and is in good hands for the future.

Good luck to John and Cindy. I have a suspicion we'll still see them around the East Side pretty often.

The change of ownership will be marked by simultaneous parties at Von Trier and Hooligan's on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 4 p.m. until bar time. There will be live music, drink specials and special guests, including local celebrities (so far unnamed) and "blast-from-the-past bartenders."

Read more...
Sprecher's Pub has happy hour specials on tappers and apps every day.
Sprecher's Pub has happy hour specials on tappers and apps every day.
There is a spacious bar in the restaurant, located in Bayshore Town Square. Those posters do not constitute a beer list.
There is a spacious bar in the restaurant, located in Bayshore Town Square. Those posters do not constitute a beer list.
The pub is in the space on the main square that once housed Bravo! Cucina.
The pub is in the space on the main square that once housed Bravo! Cucina.

Scouting Sprecher's Pub happy hour

For the seventh straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2013."

Last week, Molly Snyder was on hand on opening day to check out Milwaukee’s first Sprecher’s Pub, located on the main square at Bayshore Town Center, just a hop, skip and jump from Sprecher Brewery, which is also located in Glendale. 

I heard the large new pub, located in the space that was formerly home to Bravo! Cucina, has some happy hour specials, so I took that as an opportunity to see the place for myself.

Interestingly, the interior hasn’t changed much. Sure, there’s some breweriana in there now, but the layout, seating and walls don’t seem much, if at all, different. Which is fine, because it works. It’s casual but nice and warm.

On the far left is the bar, which may have changed a bit, I can’t recall ever visiting the bar at Bravo!, though I did dine on the patio and in the dining room at least once. There is a long bar stretching across the east wall and opposite there are high-top tables.

My server was friendly and let me know that tap beers are $3 (there are wine and cocktail specials, too) and that full-size appetizers are $6 each from 3 until 7 p.m. weekdays.

I made the mistake of ordering off what I thought were indicators of what was available, but turned out simply to be decorative posters featuring Sprecher beers. The pub was out of Oktoberfest, my first choice, and doesn’t yet carry Winter Brew – even if it already feels like late November outside! – and so I tried a Pipers Scotch Ale, which arrived quickly and super chilled.

Among the appetizers on the menu are cheese curds, nachos, deep-fried stuffed mushrooms, reuben bites, Thai mussels, blackened chicken and veggie quesadillas, chicken wings and a trio of dips (spicy crab, h…

Read more...
This photo shows a West Clybourn Street gas station in 1932.
This photo shows a West Clybourn Street gas station in 1932. (Photo: Courtesy of Milwaukee Public Library)

Milwaukee's vanished Downtown gas stations

This morning The New York Times had a story headlined, "Manhattan's Vanishing Gas Stations," and it immediately reminded me of the small service station that once sat on the southeast corner of Kilbourn and Van Buren.

It also reminded me that in 30 years in Milwaukee, I can't really think of many Downtown gas stations beyond that one, a small hidden one across from the U.S. Bank Building on Michigan Street (also gone) and the former Citgo on the corner of St. Paul and South 2nd Street, which remains (as a BP), but whose land has been offered up for sale to condo developers in the past.

There are a few stations not far out of Downtown, like the Shell across from Shank Hall on the lower East Side and the Mobil on South 1st Street in Walker's Point and some as you head west out on Wisconsin Avenue.

But, really, it seems pretty amazing that in three decades in a city that's littered with available space Downtown – and in a city that loves its cars – there have been so few gas stations Downtown.

The Times points out that the stations are falling victim to real estate pressures.

"Spurred by the recession and now the recovery’s development clamor, service stations popular among New York cabbies and motorists are literally losing their ground to apartments, stores and offices," reads the story. "Rezoning of these sites for residential use has also spurred development."

But that's not happening here. The Citgo on St. Paul is still open, despite the Third Ward condo boom. The lot on Kilbourn has been empty since the station was demolished years ago (except for the seasonal Stein's that sets up there in spring) and I don't think much of anything did – or could – replace that one-pump joint that was on East Michigan.

Interestingly, even repair shops, like the Midas that once stood where the Moderne is located and the Goodyear showroom that was on 5th and Wells (and more recently 6th and Wells) are long gone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not eager for the center of …

Read more...