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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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Arin Bert was a coveted lunchtime spot for Downtown employees.
Arin Bert was a coveted lunchtime spot for Downtown employees.

Arin Bert Coffee and Grill is closed

According to a sign on the door, Arin Bert Coffee and Grill, 222 W. Wells St., is closed.

The cafe / Armenian restaurant opened in 2012, as reported by, and served Colectivo products, baked goods, frappes, smoothies and Italian sodas, along with traditional cuisine from the Caucasus Mountains.

Personally, I was a big fan of the cafe’s lentil soup, hummus and lavash (flat bread). The space, however, has a history of turnover and has been home to Finch's Corned Beef, Five Dollar Deli, Philly Way, Wingz and more.

Whether or not Arin Bert is closed for good has not been confirmed at this point. Stay tuned to for more information when it becomes available.

"You Should Have Seen The Other Guy" by Nathaniel Rateliff is pretty dang depressing. And awesome.
"You Should Have Seen The Other Guy" by Nathaniel Rateliff is pretty dang depressing. And awesome.

The most melancholy songs ever

I am an avid Facebooker. I spend hours every day, seven days a week, writing – predominately for but also personal, creative projects. Hence, Facebook – and Twitter and Instagram, too – has always served as the perfect "mini break" from composing content.

I know, I know. I should stretch or do chair yoga, but for some reason, status updates and brunch photos clear my mind and relax me. I probably need help.

Anyway, it never fails to amaze me what goes bonkers on my Facebook page.

The most recent example of this was recently, when I was listening to the song "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, declared it in my head the most melancholy song of all time, and then posted, "Name a song that’s more melancholy than ‘Landslide.’ Go."

Within minutes, there were two dozen responses and within a few hours, there were more than 300 suggestions.

Apparently, some of us, myself included, take our melancholy music very seriously.

I know, I know. Staying positive is important in life, but I believe it's unrealistic to expect this from ourselves or others all the time. 

Plus, by insisting on seeing only the sunshine, we miss the beauty of the rain. 

I ended up having an impromptu "DJ session" of depressing songs and, as the macabre girl that I am, enjoyed every minute of it. Here’s a sampling of the doleful ditties from my Facebook friends. 

"Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel.

"Love’s Vigilantes" by New Order.

"Marlene Dietrich’s Favorite Poem" by Peter Murphy.

"Walk Away Renee" by Left Bank.

"Nebraska" by Bruce Springsteen.

"Diamonds In The Mine" by Leonard Cohen.

"Please Please Please" by The Smiths.

"Father and Son" by Cat Stevens.

"Raining In Baltimore" by The Counting Crows.

"Leader of The Band" by Dan Fogelberg.

"Black" by Pearl Jam.

"Come Pick Me Up" by Ryan Adams.

"Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman.

"Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star.

"To Be Alone With You" by Sufjan Stevens.

"You Should Have Seen The Other Guy" by Nathaniel …

More hats for Bay View.
More hats for Bay View.

Hats off to the new Hen House

John and Kate McLaughlin, owners of The Brass Rooster – a men's hat shop in Bay View – will move to a larger location and open a women’s hat shop called The Hen House next door.

Both businesses will be located at 2250-2252 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in the former Boulevard Theatre. Sarah Jonas and Camryne Roberts – the owners of Bay View’s Café Lulu – purchased the space earlier this summer. (The Boulevard is in its 29th season and now performs at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.)

The grand opening for The Hen House and Brass Rooster is scheduled for November.

Hen House will offer pre-made and custom-made women's hats as well as cleaning and refurbishment of vintage hats. Kate, a master milliner, will also teach hat making and host hat parties in the space.

The Brass Rooster opened in 2011 at 2479 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

"The Brass Rooster will look almost identical to its appearance currently, with the addition of a much larger and needed manufacturing area for the hats we make on location," says John. "The Hen House will be a different decor and shopping experience entirely designed specifically for our core female clientele."

In the future, the McLaughlins will also hit the streets in their mobile hat truck, selling at special events and around town.

"We bought a 1955 Ford delivery van that will be our headwear retail version of a food truck," says John.

Mobile hat truck? Now that's out of the (hat) box thinking.

La Casa de Alberto is open for business.
La Casa de Alberto is open for business.
The chicken mole, olè!
The chicken mole, olè!
The interior is clean and simple.
The interior is clean and simple.

Former Conejito's employees open La Casa de Alberto

La Casa de Alberto opened in the former Lopez Bakery space, 624 W. National Ave.

The owners, Alberto and Laura Gonzalez, worked at Conejito’s for 18 years. Alberto worked in the kitchen and Laura tended bar.

"We are happy to be in the neighborhood," says Laura.

The menu is similar to Conejito's – a basic selection of tacos, enchiladas, tostadas and light or dark meat mole – but also has "fancier" items like fajitas and shrimp diablo.

The prices range from $1.50 for a single taco or enchilada to $10 for the shrimp dish. Most items are $5-7 with the chicken mole seemingly one of the best deals on the menu at $5.50 for white meat and it includes rice and beans.

Mexican beers are $3.50, domestics are $3 and margaritas are $4.50.

We found the food flavorful, the portions gracious and the staff very friendly. For a cheap Mexican dinner, it's definitely worth a visit. 

And unlike Conejito's, there are no paper plates.

La Casa de Alberto is open Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.