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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

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The Lakeshore Chinooks season home opener was last night at Kapco Park in Mequon.
The Lakeshore Chinooks season home opener was last night at Kapco Park in Mequon.

Chinooks show me a good time

Here’s my dirty little secret (okay, not so dirty, and not so much a secret): I like baseball, but I don’t really understand anything about it. Like, anything.

There are a lot of rules, a ton of strategy and a surprising amount of math involved. And if there’s three things I’m bad at, it’s rules, strategy and math. But I love baseball in the way that I love watching Italian-language movies even though I don’t totally get what they’re saying.

It’s about the experience.

It’s a fun way to pass an afternoon and I actually find the game’s slow pace and super-passionate fans interesting and a little reassuring that not everything has to be instant gratification these days. I get to even more games since meeting my husband, Matt. Matt loves baseball like most people love their kids. He knows everything about baseball; he knows all the players and what year they won their division or that title and what year they had that knee injury or whatever, and he has a really beautiful enthusiasm for the game that has no hint of pessimism (Ryan Braun was framed!).

Last night we took in the Lakeshore Chinooks season home opener at Kapco Park, located on the grounds of Concordia University in Mequon. The Chinooks handily defeated the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, starting off the game with back-to-back home runs that even I couldn’t misunderstand.

The evening served as a good reminder that although within the city limits there are plenty of wonderful events, it doesn't hurt to venture up north a little bit once in a while for some family-friendly summer fun.

The team’s name is no joke: these games are played on the lakeshore. Like, you can see the lake. The view is absolutely beautiful. Last night’s first pitch was thrown out by Bud Selig and caught by The Kid himself, Robin Yount (whose lemonade is the only brand my husband will buy, and luckily, Kapco Park sells it with proceeds benefiting the MACC Fund).

The onfield host was Tiffany Ogle of TMJ4’s "The M…

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There are changes on the horizon for O'Lydia's.
There are changes on the horizon for O'Lydia's.

New menu, beers and shuttles at O'Lydia's

There are some exciting changes in store for O'Lydia's.

In May the bar, located at 338 S. 1st St., added 20 beers to its beer list in addition to an existing 17 tap choices.

Beginning next Wednesday, June 5, O'Lydia's will begin offering a late-night menu from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The late-night menu includes appetizers like fries, chips, wings, onion rings and Reuben rolls, with entrees including sandwiches and pizza on Friday and Saturday.

The regular menu will also be changing beginning on June 17.

"We are adding new appetizers like smoked tuna dip and fried eggplant in addition to favorites like Reuben rolls, Irish nachos and wings," says general manager Rick Sackett.

"When it comes to entrees, we are adding some specialty burgers like a bacon, buffalo and blue cheese burger and a cowboy burger topped with coleslaw, our BBQ sauce and crispy onion rings."

Sackett says that the bar also recently purchased two new 25-person shuttles and will be offering shuttles to Brewers games (starting after Summerfest) Summerfest, Irish Fest and home Marquette men's basketball games. The shuttle can also be reserved for private parties.

Bayshore's getting some new tenants.
Bayshore's getting some new tenants.

Bayshore gets a slew of new stores

Bayshore Town Center is getting some exciting new tenants.

We heard earlier this week about 8-Twelve, and earlier this morning about Sprecher's Restaurant & Pub.

Bayshore also announced today the advent of several new retail stores, as well as the renovation and relocation of several existing tenants.

I'm most excited to hear that Ulta Beauty will open its third location in the state in November, complete with a full-service salon. Ulta is a great retailer of high-end make-up and I was getting tired of schlepping all the way to Brookfield when I need my Laura Gellar tinted primer.

Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., will be opening their first Milwaukee store there in late summer. A press release says that the store offers "performance-driven apparel in sweet, feminine designs to suit all active needs." I'm not sure what that means, but I will definitely be stopping in to check it out.

Paper Source will also be opening their first Milwaukee store at Bayshore in the fall and will sell invitations, wrapping paper, gifts, stationary and more.Torrid, a plus-sized clothing retailer, will open in August. Also opening in August will be Icing by Claire's, an accessories store and ear-piercing destination for pre-teens.

As for renovations and relocations, Payless Shoe Source will be moved next to Charlotte Russe in the mall's interior portion. Lane Bryant will move closer to Select Comfort to make room for Ulta.

Board Game Barrister, another favorite of mine, will be expanding and moving to an interior corner position next to the food court.

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Juneau Park Paddleboats won't be dipping into the lagoon again after all.
Juneau Park Paddleboats won't be dipping into the lagoon again after all.

Juneau Park Paddleboat owners trying to sell business

Yesterday, Steve Schultze of the Journal Sentinel reported that a Milwaukee County Board committee reversed its decision on extending the contract of longtime Veterans Park paddleboat company Juneau Park Paddleboats, owned by Val and Tim Ritter.

The reason? The Ritters have apparently been trying to sell Juneau Park Paddleboats, which they have owned and operated for 16 years, to Wheel Fun Rentals, a company they originally claimed was putting them out of business.

This spring, the Ritters' contract was not renewed by the Milwaukee County Parks Department; it was instead awarded to out-of-state company Wheel Fun Rentals. OnMilwaukee.com broke the story on April 3, and the response from our readers was overwhelming.

The Ritters claimed Wheel Fun Rentals was "basically writing a check for all the sweat equity we’ve put in and the client base we’ve established."

I have never before witnessed this level of feedback from a story, or seen the passion with which citizens responded in support of a local business.

On a personal level, it was something I cared a lot about. I believe our locally owned businesses are part of what makes Milwaukee an amazing city, and I hated the thought of entrepreneurs like the Ritters losing out to a larger corporation.

In short, it was all real fight-the-man-type stuff.

Buoyed by public support and backed by County Supervisor Jason Haas, Juneau Park Paddleboats was successful in extending its contract with the Milwaukee County Parks on May 16. At the time, they wrote on Facebook that they hoped to have paddleboats up and running by May 24.

Now, Tim Ritter told the Journal Sentinel that he and his wife are "exploring other options" (read: trying to sell their business to the competition) because the short length of the one-year contract extension was discouraging.

Understandably, a lot of people are feeling confused today – and maybe even a little taken advantage of.

The Ritters have not responded to my email asking for their s…

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