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Colectivo gets props again.
Colectivo gets props again.

Epicurious names Colectivo one of America's 25 best cafes

Epicurious.com named Milwaukee’s Colectivo Coffee one of America’s 25 best coffee shops.

"Opened in 1993 as Alterra Coffee Roasters, this Milwaukee company has long been at the vanguard of the U.S. coffee movement, expanding to a network of 12 cafés throughout the city," writes article author Colleen Clark.

Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz, Oddly Correct in Kansas City and Trailhead Coffee Roasters in Portland also made the list. See all of the winners here.

And great big congratulations, Colectivo!

Chris and Ron Paris love yogurt.
Chris and Ron Paris love yogurt.

Sugar River Dairy coming to Walker's Point

The Sugar River Dairy will move into the Fix Building in the former Purple Door Ice Cream space, 138 W. Bruce St. (Purple Door moved a few blocks away to 205 S. 2nd St.)

Sugar River Dairy hopes to start producing yogurt on site by the third week in March. 

This is the second facility for the small yogurt company. Owners Ron and Chris Paris have operated the first facility, located near Albany, Wis., for 12 years.

Sugar River Dairy will produce and sell natural and non-homogenized yogurt. It will also offer frozen yogurt.

"This production facility will focus on large quantity and bulk production for larger consumers like schools, medical facilities, caterers and bakeries," says Nancy Frank, manager of the Albany location.

Frank says they look forward to being in a highly populated area and believe it will give their yogurt more visibility.

"It will be one of the first Grade-A yogurt-making facilities in an urban area," says Frank.

Sugar River Dairy will share the space with Clock Shadow Creamery.

"We will collaborate to the extent that we can with Clock Shadow Creamery," says Frank. "They will be selling our products and providing us with a wonderful space to make delicious yogurt."

Dawn Musbach was the most recent owner of Nut Hut. She ran the bar with her partner, Michelle Murphy.
Dawn Musbach was the most recent owner of Nut Hut. She ran the bar with her partner, Michelle Murphy.

Nut Hut is closed

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Absolut, Avion, Fireball, Pama, Red Stag 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!

In 2011, my friend Dave Mikolajek – you might know him as "College Dave" – introduced me to Kathy’s Nut Hut (usually referred to as simply "Nut Hut"), 1500 W. Scott St. 

It had already been around for more than two decades and I was eager to tell the story of this wonderful neighborhood LGBT bar.

Dave told me today that the Nut Hut is closed. The owners, supposedly, sold the bar to a new owner. At this point, not much else is known.

The original owner, Kathy Krau, sold the business a few years ago to friend and Nut Hut bartender, Michelle Murphy, who ran the business with her partner, Dawn Musbach.

The first three paragraphs of the piece I wrote in 2011 sum up the place quite well, I think.

Kathy Krau did not intend to open a lesbian bar when she opened Kathy's Nut Hut, 1500 W. Scott St., in 1982. She says she thought she was opening primarily a "straight" bar, especially since she inherited the mostly heterosexual neighborhood clientele from the previous bar.

But it didn't take long for gay women, particularly those involved on softball and pool teams, to find the place. Word traveled fast through the lesbian community that Krau, who is gay, opened a comfortable, affordable tavern.

What happened next is almost idyllic. The old-school clientele, members of the LGBT community and young, new guys from the neighborhood started hanging out in the same space. And they interacted. And they got along.

I am sorry to see the Nut Hut go. It was another example of Milwaukee’s ability to practice tolerance and acceptance. I hope to report more on Nut Hut – and what will become of the space – when th…

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What is the future of gay bars?
What is the future of gay bars?

Will gay bars exist in the future?

"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Absolut, Avion, Fireball, Pama, Red Stag 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!

I have had this conversation often with owners and frequenters of gay bars and although no one knows for certain, there is a lot of speculation. In 10, 20 or 30 years, will gay bars still exist?

On one hand, it seems the concept of gay bars comes from a place of discrimination. At one point in history, races did not share restrooms, drinking fountains or schools. Is this any different?

Most of us cannot fathom that now, but at one time, it was commonplace. Maybe our kids or their kids will find gay bars equally as preposterous.

But on the other hand, gay bars serve a purpose for some, and I get it. If you're gay, going to a gay bar means you’ll obviously be around a lot of other gay people, which will not only heighten your chance of connecting with someone, but might also guarantee safety from haters.

And most modern gay bars have evolved over the years and are less secretive than they once were. Maybe gay bars won't completely go away, but rather become less defined such as Hybrid Lounge and Art Bar, which have been called "gay centric" or "straight friendly" and are inclusive of everyone.

In a world that seems to be filled with both more tolerance and more hate than ever, I can see the future of gay bars going either way (no pun intended). What do you think?

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