There was a time â€“ typically winter â€“ that I'd be at Mayfair almost weekly. And the Alterra Coffee kiosk, smack dab in front of Williams-Sonoma was my watering hole.
In recent months my visits to the mall have been short and strategic, so I only noticed yesterday that the Alterra kiosk is gone. It's been out for about a month now, it seems.
I couldn't believe it. Though it's not quite on the same scale, the mall felt a bit like it did after the skating rink was removed. But in that case we were warned and there were months of renovations. It was no surprise.
So, I sent a note to Alterra co-owner Lincoln Fowler, who said, "We loved the kiosk, too!Â Sadly, we were unable to come to terms with Mayfair for a renewal of our lease."
The kiosk appeared to do a brisk business and rarely was I able to saunter up and order without waiting behind at least a couple folks. Sometimes â€“ pretty often â€“ there was what appeared to be healthy caffeine-fueled traffic. But I don't know the details of the math involved in making the kiosk financially viable.
I do know that the Alterra nearby at 92nd and North is expanding. And I know that a new location on 68th and Wells is expected to open by spring. Last week I passed that site, and the empty building there had been razed in preparation.
And, word is that Alterra is taking Horace Greeley's famous exhortation and headed west, too. (I'll let you know when there are details on that).
In the meantime, I will try to remember to stop and grab my Alterra on the way to Mayfair. But it'll be a hard habit to break, stopping at the kiosk for some coffee to wash down the samples at Williams-Sonoma.
If the coffee/pie shop is good at what they do, they'll survive. It reminds me of the South Park episode where the residents were all upset about Wal-Mart coming into their community. To kill Wal-Mart they needed to find the heart of Wal-Mart which turned out to be a mirror. In other words, people talk a good game about local business until the alternative comes in.
Support the little coffee shop across the street...it's owned and run by a very nice woman...who also sells delicious pastry, pies and cake! The little shop is called La Tarte..we DON"T need another Alterra or Starbucks in the neighborhood.
Awesome about their new location on Wells. Right across the street from...the little coffee place that's already there. Kind of like opening across from Stone Creek in Bay View. Alterrabucks!
belle123, It's true. They could have stayed (they were on a month to month lease for a while at the end) but they would have had to move locations to appease J Crew (which obviously pays a lot more in rent to Mayfair than Alterra does).
If a past employee said it, it must be true! really?
Show me the other 2 Talkbacks
7 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published June 29, 2016
The more I fly, the less I enjoy it. Sure, I like the feeling of freedom, of being out roaming and seeing the world and experiencing new places. But last night's attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport really shakes me.
Published June 28, 2016
Tis the season for 11 days of nearly non-stop music at the Henry Maier Festival Park. Here, Bobby Tanzilo scours the Big Gig schedule to make some suggestions for some must-see acts at Summerfest 2016, starting, of course, with Sir Paul.
Published June 23, 2016
Today, I spent a little time with architect Craig Eide and Fernwood Montessori School principal John Sanchez touring the Bay View public school's new addition, which is expected to be complete by mid-July, for a Sept. 1 first day of school.
Published June 21, 2016
Recently, we visited Engine Co. 6 on Brady Street, a firehouse that, in addition to being well-known in the neighborhood, has a long history on the East Side. The first station was built here in 1875 and was replaced with the current building in 1946.
Published June 15, 2016
On Tuesday, Milwaukee Christian Center's Neighborhood Improvement Project "dropped" another modular home for low-to-moderate-income families into place on Milwaukee's South Side, in the shadow of the St. Josaphat dome near Lincoln Avenue.
Published June 14, 2016
More than a century and a half after the opening of the first brewery in Milwaukee, the city's identity is still drenched in beer. At Forest Home Cemetery, many of the men who made the beer that made Milwaukee famous lie in repose. You can "meet" them at Brunch with the Barons.
Published June 13, 2016
Last October, Marquette University opened a new Jesuit Residence. But one reader knew I'd be more interested in the building the priests formerly called home. So join me as we take a last look at the old Stratford Arms Hotel before it is razed in July.
Published June 9, 2016
"American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood" is at Milwaukee Art Museum from June 10 through Sept. 5. Here are seven works that especially caught the eye. But, rest assured, in a show with about 100 Benton works, there's plenty more.
Published June 7, 2016
Milwaukee as it could be. That's how artist John O'Neill approaches his unique, colorful, engaging and action-packed Milwaukee Envisioned series of drawings of the city, which mash up the past, present and potential future of the Brew City.
Published June 3, 2016
The Maryland Avenue Montessori School building has been growing periodically ever since the first school was opened on the site in the mid-1860s. With one of MPS' most successful and popular programs bursting at the seams of the building, a new addition is coming.