There was a time – typically winter – 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! 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 – pretty often – 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 July 31, 2015
Last week, I got a message from Paul Walter, a co-facilitator at the Slinger Authors' Camp, a youth program that's part of the Fox Valley Writing Project (which is, in turn, affiliated with the National Writing Project). The 17 kids in the program are suburban spelunking in their town.
Published July 30, 2015
There's no need to massage the statistics: men are hitting spas across the country - and right here in Milwaukee - in bigger numbers than ever before.
Published July 28, 2015
Some details of the plan for the new development in the trio of National Ace Hardware buildings on 4th and McKinley have emerged, right as plans for a new arena and entertainment district across the street have taken steps forward.
Published July 25, 2015
One of the Milwaukee area's most interesting parks is a bit off the beaten path, but it's worth making tracks to Lizard Mound County Park in Farmington, just north of West Bend in Washington County. A wooded path twists and turns through 28 Native American effigy mounds, including the one shaped like a huge lizard which gives the park its name.
Published July 24, 2015
Green Lake is a place of superlatives. Here are eight of the many reasons to fall in love with Green Lake, which is an easy 90-minute drive from Milwaukee.
Published July 24, 2015
What a long strange trip it was. While theaters like the Downer and Oriental have venerable histories as long-running cinema houses, consider, if you will, the the more varied history of the now-dilapidated State Theater, 2616 W. State St. Originally a movie theater, the State has served a number of purposes - rock venue, prudish dance hall and strip club - in its nearly 100-year history.
Published July 22, 2015
There were about 500 people on hand to watch U2 at The Palms on April 15, 1981. The show was part of the Irish band's first U.S. tour. Here's a look back...
Published July 21, 2015
Come with me to see the progress on the restoration of The Pabst Mansion's third floor and also peek into the basement and attic, and experience the view from the roof of this Milwaukee landmark.
Published July 17, 2015
Milwaukee neighborhoods were once awash in movie theaters, as hard as that may be to imagine these days when you can count the number of non-googleplex cinemas in the city limits on one hand. While many are lost, a few remain. At 3804 W. Vliet St. is a former longtime carpet store that's been closed the past few years. But, originally, the building was home to The Lyric Theater, which operated from 1917 to 1952.
Published July 14, 2015
In 2012, I toured the surviving Alexander Eschweiler-designed Agricultural College buildings on the County Grounds, when their roofs gaped open to the stars - and the elements - and weeds encircled their exteriors. Despite talk of tearing them down, and an ongoing battle to save them from demolition, four of the buildings survive, even as six new apartment buildings are rising around them.