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"Sherm" celebrates his new space.
"Sherm" celebrates his new space. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
A full house for the soft opening.
A full house for the soft opening. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
Champion's owner Bobby Greenya toasts the Hook.
Champion's owner Bobby Greenya toasts the Hook. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
Lee Guk (right) of Lucky Joe's Tiki Lounge breaks it down.
Lee Guk (right) of Lucky Joe's Tiki Lounge breaks it down. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)
Shuffleboard. A nod to Champion's Pub, perhaps?
Shuffleboard. A nod to Champion's Pub, perhaps? (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)

First look: Junior's Hook

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Last night, Matthew "Sherm" Sherman hosted a soft opening for his new bar, Junior’s Hook, located at 1517 S. 2nd St. OnMilwaukee.com reported on the opening earlier this month. 

"It’s a dream come true. I wanted to own a bar since I was 22 years old," says Sherman. "I learned so much working for great people."

Prior to opening Junior’s, Sherman spent 10 years behind the bar at Champion’s Pub, 2417 N. Bartlett Ave. Champion’s owner Bobby Greenya was one of the many people who showed up to support Sherman’s new venture.

"I'm going to miss him, he’s like a family member to me, but I am thrilled he has his own place," says Greenya.

Junior’s Hook offers a wide variety of bottled and draft beers, along with a stellar selection of bourbons and Scotch. The space is still a work-in-progress and Sherman plans to host a grand opening party after he finishes the decor and gets his new sign.

"I love the history of this space," says Sherman. "It was the original Monkey Bar, The Bomb Shelter – it’s great to be here."

Junior’s Hook is open seven days a week at 4 p.m. It will open earlier for Packers games.

Angelo Mortellaro is ready to retire.
Angelo Mortellaro is ready to retire.

Who's gonna take over Angelo's Lounge?

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Angelo’s Lounge, 1686 N. Van Buren St., is available for lease. The block first said farewell to long-time tenant Libby’s – soon to be Van Buren’s Whiskey Bar & Grill – and now it looks as though Angelo’s will change hands, too.

"It's been a very hard decision, but my father's finally decided that it's time to retire. He loves the music and camaraderie of Angelo's, but unfortunately his health is making it harder and harder to make it there on a consistent basis," Angelo Mortellaro, Jr., wrote on Facebook.

Angelo Mortellaro, Sr. opened the bar in 1984. In 2014, filmmaker Kara Mulrooney’s short film "An Evening At Angelo’s" appeared in the Milwaukee Film Festival. 

There are already rumors of piqued interest by a local bar owner or two, but only time will tell what will become of the iconic piano lounge.

Jimmi T. strumming on the Bud's patio.
Jimmi T. strumming on the Bud's patio.

Barnacle Bud's is back!

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

The patio will be blanketed in snow, but Barnacle Bud’s, 1955 S. Hilbert St., reopens on Friday, Feb. 27. Luckily, there’s a warm, dry structure next to the patio for us to reacquaint ourselves with Bud’s.

The bar and restaurant will be open only on weekends for a while – Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eventually, when temperatures rise, it will be open every day, but that exact date has not been announced.

On Sunday, March 1, Barnacle Bud’s will host a re-opening party at 1 p.m. featuring house performer Jimmi T. Translation: prepare to sing along to "American Pie." 

Barnacle Bud’s won Best Bar Patio / View in the 2015 OnMilwaukee.com Best Of awards. Less officially, it’s on my short list of places and events that define Summer In Milwaukee. See you there.

In 2014, Arab World Fest ran Aug. 8-10.
In 2014, Arab World Fest ran Aug. 8-10. (Photo: Facebook)

Arab World Fest disbands

Arab World Fest – an annual festival held on the Summerfest grounds celebrating the music, food and culture of the 22 Middle Eastern countries – will no longer happen.

According to the president of the festival’s board of directors, Ihsan Atta, the festival isn’t ending due to low attendance.

"There has always been a feeling of momentum at Arab World Fest and attendance has always been good, but it was difficult to find enough volunteers to run the festival because our community is small and people travel a lot in the summer," says Atta.

Atta says that because of other life and work demands, the festival's few dedicated volunteers felt they would be unable pull off a quality event and therefore decided it was time to end it.

Arab World Fest started in 1998 and took place in August or September. It was cancelled in 2001 due to Sept. 11 and a few other years because it conflicted with Ramadan.

"We’re sorry to see it end, but it’s the best choice considering the challenges," says Atta.