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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Owner Susan Nolan has lived in Bay View for 28 years.
Owner Susan Nolan has lived in Bay View for 28 years.
The space is contemporary, creative and cozy.
The space is contemporary, creative and cozy.
Splashes of color add a lot of cheer.
Splashes of color add a lot of cheer.
Cream City Swirl is inside a former salon.
Cream City Swirl is inside a former salon.

First look: Cream City Swirl

Cream City Swirl, 2663 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., opened on Sunday, April 20 – which was Easter – and owner Susan Nolan says it has been a whirlwind of excitement ever since.

Last summer, Nolan took over the space, which was formerly a salon called Hair Arkitekts, after a couple of years of researching the concept.

Cream City Swirl offers weigh-and-pay yogurt, gelato, made-to-order crepes and Stone Creek Coffee.

Nolan, with the help of other professionals, completely remodeled the space which feels modern and spacious yet cozy. 

One wall features custom-designed wallpaper with words such as "swirl," "Bay View," "muy bueno" and "indulge" and the ceiling is adorned with 16 vintage-looking mirrors. The pleasing periwinkle-painted chairs actually made me crave sweets. (Good job, Susan.)

There’s also a fireplace and, later this spring, there will be a patio.

Cream City features four frozen yogurt machines with three flavors each – the middle machine offers a swirl of flavors. Nolan uses a different yogurt company than most of the yogurt spots in Milwaukee: Honey Hill Farms based in Arkansas.

"I was looking for very high end ingredients," she says.

There are 18 cold toppings and 10 dry toppings to choose from, including fruit, nuts and candy. The yogurt is sold by weight and costs 47 cents per ounce.

Nolan says she enjoys seeing the different combinations people choose for their yogurt toppings – particularly kids.

"Sometimes, with kids you want to ask, 'where's the yogurt?’" she says.

Cream City Swirl offers the locally-made La Coppa gelato in five different flavors. "The raspberry flavor is over half raspberries," says Nolan. "It’s all very natural."

The made-to-order crepes are available with golden, chocolate or gluten-free batter. Customers can build their own or pick one from the menu such as the KK Classic that’s topped with lemon, butter and sugar and costs $4.50.

The Vanguard will soon open next door and Nolan says the beer-cocktail-sa…

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Construction will end this summer and the hotel is projected to open in the fall.
Construction will end this summer and the hotel is projected to open in the fall.
In-progress ceiling decor on the hotel's third floor.
In-progress ceiling decor on the hotel's third floor.
Here comes the carpeting!
Here comes the carpeting!
Guest room, almost completed.
Guest room, almost completed.
The flame will remain!
The flame will remain!
Internal communications specialist Chantel Kuczmarski  (on left) and Kaelyn Cervero on the hotel patio.
Internal communications specialist Chantel Kuczmarski (on left) and Kaelyn Cervero on the hotel patio.
Exterior shot from patio.
Exterior shot from patio.
The future hotel lobby will feature a "tree canopy."
The future hotel lobby will feature a "tree canopy."
New terrazzo floor.
New terrazzo floor.
Under-construction Tribal Room.
Under-construction Tribal Room.
A rendering of the hotel's banquet room.
A rendering of the hotel's banquet room.
Rendering of a queen suite.
Rendering of a queen suite.
Rendering of the finished project.
Rendering of the finished project.

First look: Potawatomi's new (and still under-construction) hotel

Earlier today, I added a hard hat and safety goggles to my average Monday attire and toured the still-under-construction Potawatomi Bingo Casino Hotel. (The hotel will change its name this summer to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.)

Construction started in the summer of 2012 and is expected to be completed by mid-summer 2014. The hotel will, most likely, open to the public this fall.

Despite the tarps and dust and unpainted walls and exposed plumbing, the hotel is already impressive due to the incredible amount of natural light and the views, which will undeniably rival as some of the city’s best. 

When complete, the hotel will be 18 stories high  – the superstitious will be happy to know there won’t be a floor 13 – with 341 rooms ranging in size and amenities. (Fun factoid: 415 soap dishes and 381 ice buckets are already on order.)

The hotel will also include seven meeting / party rooms, in-house dining, full bar, coffee shop and exercise area. An additional parking garage featuring 1,400 more stalls is also in the works.

"All of this will allow us to bring people to Milwaukee who have never been here, as well as national conventions," says Kaelyn Cervero, Potawatomi's sales and catering operations manager.

The restaurant concept and coffee vendor is still in the works, but Hassan Abdel-Moneim, Potawatomi’s hotel director, says they are shooting for local.

"We are going with local companies whenever we can," says Abdel-Moneim. "Including local construction companies and Kohler fixtures."

The hotel will cost about $150 million with $97.5 million in construction costs and $47 million in construction payroll. Once in operation, the project is estimated to generate $10 million a year in additional revenue for the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, VISIT Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin.

The hotel will add approximately 230 permanent jobs to the 2,600 already existing jobs at the casino.

The project has been in progress for 514 days without a singl…

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Winter lives on at the Pettit Center's open skating.
Winter lives on at the Pettit Center's open skating.

Might we miss winter?

Yesterday, I stopped at Pettit Ice Center and took a few spins around the rink during Open Skate. (OK, that sounded a lot more graceful than it actually was. It’s more like I clunked my way around in circles, arms straight out like the "t" in topsy turvy.)

Despite my questionable skating abilities, I managed to stay upright the entire time, and I enjoyed myself. I wouldn’t say I got a workout, rather, it was more relaxing, almost meditative going around and around and around.

Even though, it seems, half of my Facebook friends are photographing their naked feet on a Florida beach, I am OK ice skating during spring break. I even looked up the schedule for the rest of the spring and plan to go again. I’ll probably even go during the summer.

It’s hard to imagine now, but I am particularly looking forward to visiting the chilly rink in July or August when it’s 95 degrees and insanely humid. The chance to access winter once it's gone might actually be appreciated later this year.

Then again, maybe I did just fall on the ice yesterday or got a skate to the head with thoughts like that.

Every day is Milwaukee Day for some people.
Every day is Milwaukee Day for some people.
Wavelength T-shirt. Wear one with pride today. Or tomorrow.
Wavelength T-shirt. Wear one with pride today. Or tomorrow.

Celebrate Milwaukee Day

Today we shall celebrate our fine, fine city. Why? Because it’s "414" day, which is not only the date, April 14, but also Milwaukee’s area code. Clever, isn’t it?

Many Milwaukeeans are acknowledging Milwaukee informally today. I expect an increase in selfies along the lakefront and uncustomary-for-a-Monday beer sales.

Here are a few others ways to ring in 414 day:

Kanpai is offering a 414 roll featuring four types of fish topped with four sauces for $14. This promotion will be available not only today, but for the rest of April.

Too Much Metal owner Fred Gillich released a new T-shirt design "wavelength." Anyone who orders a wavelength shirt today will receive free shipping or "pizza style" delivery within the hour.

Here's how owner Fred Gillich describes the shirt, in the form of an Ode to Milwaukee:

"We are the ultraviolet light that guides Wisconsin. Milwaukeeans are a fearless Sunshine enduring loitering winters while establishing the future. We are bright, innovative and resilient stars polka-dotting the night sky with our triumphs and our pains. We embody all of life's challenges – as many as there are – creating a pure joy, an indomitable light that is the envy of all black holes. Let your sun rays shine, Milwaukee. Tune into this epic wavelength and share in our city's energy. This light is you. This light is us. This light is Milwaukee."

Tonight, Decibully, Juniper Tar and Whips will play a Milwaukee Day Show at Turner Hall. Decibully reunites for the first time in three years.

There’s also a Milwaukee Instagram contest today calling for your food photos of Milwaukee-themed eats. (Translation: Cheese. Beer. Repeat.) And a Milwaukee Day Facebook page that will, hopefully, be updated throughout the day.

So Happy Milwaukee Day, Milwaukee. Meet you at the Bronze Fonz later today?

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