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Get ready to beer garden!
Get ready to beer garden!

Beer garden's opening and German Beer Day fall on same Saturday

It’s never too early to start thinking beer gardens, and in the spirit of that belief, I share with you the sudsy fact that the Estabrook Beer Garden opens in a mere 83 days. 

Saturday, April 23 is the first day of the season and it’s also German Beer Day, which celebrates the 500-year anniversary of the Duke of Bavaria proclaiming that a drink can only be called "beer" if it’s made from water, barley and hops (also knows as The Reinheitsgebot or German Beer Purity Law.) 

"To mark this auspicious occasion and to inaugurate the 2016 Beer Garden season, we will have a ceremonial reading of the Reinheitsgebot, followed by the tapping of wooden keg and live music," reads the Facebook invite

Hope your lederhosen still fit after the long winter.

Lessons from the Y.
Lessons from the Y.

What I learned from working at the YMCA

New Year's celebrations are behind us, leaving only the resolutions to eat better and get fit. Don't worry, we're here to help. This week – Healthy Living Week, brought to you by The Milwaukee Y – we will focus on articles and information about exercise, eating right and staying healthy in a variety of ways.

I worked at the Downtown YMCA for 10 years – from 1993 to 2003 – in various capacities. I started out handing out keys and towels at the membership desk, and ended up the assistant membership and marketing director. Somewhere along the way, I picked up a certification as a Spinning instructor and I taught Spinning – now called indoor cycling – for six or seven years.

Prior to my employment at the YMCA, I didn’t think I'd feel much of a connection there considering I was not an "M" nor a "C," but it turned out that the Y offered me extremely valuable insight into myself and others. Today, I still think about some of the lessons I learned during my decade at the Y and am forever grateful for the experience.

First of all, here is what I learned about myself from working at the Y:

People will judge you based on your job. I spent years standing behind a desk – wearing a dorky Y polo and a name tag – handing out locker keys to people who worked and / or lived in the Downtown area. Consequently, I interacted with some of the city’s most powerful and prominent individuals. Most of the Y members were really cool to me and some are still friends today. Others, however, didn’t find it necessary to acknowledge me in any way, day after day, and a few others were downright rude. Today, OnMilwaukee’s offices are Downtown, not far from the Y, so I still see people from my key-dispensing days and I never forget those who treated me with respect and kindness – as well as those who didn’t.

Managing people is hard. After I graduated from college, I was promoted from the girl who handed out the keys to the girl who managed the people who handed out t…

Get ready for sangria, sangria and more sangria, Milwaukee.
Get ready for sangria, sangria and more sangria, Milwaukee.

Walker's Point welcomes The Sangria Bar

Last summer, Clai Green – along with business partners Robert Smith, Pat Smith and Elizabeth Atkinson – opened The Point, a private event venue located at 906 S. Barclay St. in Walker’s Point.

After a successful six months of hosting weddings, parties and corporate events, the owners decided to develop the 5,000-square foot patio attached to the north side of The Point into an open-to-the-public sangria bar called, aptly, The Sangria Bar.

The Sangria Bar will offer 20-25 different kinds of sangria, including pitchers, half pitchers, fish bowls and more. Cocktails and craft beer will also be available and it will specialize in Latin music, including live bands on certain evenings.

"We will have great happy hours, too," says Green.

Green, who also owns Luci Boutique, says he and his partners wanted to do something different with the space, especially because of its remote-feeling location and waterfall pond.

"We had a lot of feedback from people this summer and fall saying they felt like they were in a different city – a warmer, tropical climate because of the tranquility," says Green.

The Sangria Bar will be open spring, summer and fall. According to Green, a second bar will open in the future which will be connected to the north parking lot.

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more information about the grand opening when it becomes available.

"Walker’s Point is the perfect place for this," says Green. "The neighborhood is filled with diversity and innovation."

Angelo will be missed by many.
Angelo will be missed by many.

Rest in peace, Angelo of Angelo's Piano Lounge

Angelo Martellano, longtime owner of Angelo's Piano Lounge, 1686 N. Van Buren St., peacefully passed away from natural causes this week in his Greenfield home. Friend and former employee of Angelo’s, Dave Mikolajek, received the news last night via phone call from Angelo’s son in California.

"I have such fond memories of his intense charisma, gripping storytelling style and extremely big heart," says Mikolajek. "This was evident by the way he sang on stage with such passion."

Martellano owned Angelo’s from the late ‘80s until 2015 when he retired. He started playing music when he was eight years old and sang and played his trumpet at Angelo’s almost every evening. He especially liked taking the trumpet solo on "Tenderly" and often sang "Ebb Tide" by The Righteous Brothers.

Martellano was 79, but his birthday was Feb. 29, so it only came around with each leap year. According to Mikolajek, when all his friends got cars on their 16th birthdays, Martellano joked that his father bought him a tricycle, claiming he was technically only four.

Martellano attended Lincoln High School where he graduated sixth in his class. He wanted to attend the Juilliard School in New York, but instead went to Marquette University. He dropped out of college to help his father, who was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis.

In the late '60s, he moved to California, where he was the food and beverage manager of a major hotel for 13 years. A close friend was the stage manager of the Sands Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. That friend grew up in Hoboken, N.J. with Frank Sinatra and introduced Martellano to members of the "Rat Pack," including Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra, who played regularly at the Sands.

When Martellano moved back to Milwaukee, he became the maître d'hôtel at Snug's in the Shorecrest Hotel. He later opened his first bar, the Focal Point, which was also a music bar located at a high point along the interstate at 5th and Rogers Streets.