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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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If you believe Pabst belongs in Milwaukee, there is a new online petition you can sign.
If you believe Pabst belongs in Milwaukee, there is a new online petition you can sign.

Update on the effort to bring Pabst home

Nearly two weeks ago, Carolynn Buser asked the question "Should Milwaukee buy PBR?" In the post, she linked to a Facebook page called "Milwaukee Should Own Pabst Blue Ribbon" that was created by Nichali Ciaccio shortly after hearing that the 170-year-old brewing company was for sale again.

Ciacchio went on vacation and Riverwest’s Susie Seidelman took over administration on the page, which, within 20 hours, had more than 1,000 people join. There are now approximately 2,300 likers.

Seidelman was also contacted by Bridget Byrnes, the great-great-granddaughter of Pabst founder Capt. Frederick Pabst, who offered to build a web site for the cause.

Seidelman and dedicated friends have made more strides toward the goal of bringing the company back to Brew City. After meetings at the Public House in Riverwest, research, creativity and hard work, there is a plan.

The concept is to base Pabst ownership on the Green Bay Packers' model. The NFL team is community-owned, its profits go back into the team and its ownership agreement prevents future purchase, reorganization or relocation.

Seidelman sees acquiring Pabst as a piece of a broken puzzle.

"This will create a sustainable revenue stream for the City of Milwaukee to use toward solving the city’s most pressing problems and creating opportunity for all the City’s residents. And let’s not forget about the jobs – we want those to come home, too," she wrote on the web site.

In her web copy, Seidelman proposed that the City of Milwaukee agrees to fiscal sponsorship and to incorporate Pabst as a non-profit community organization. 

Seidelman believes this is a way to improve the economy which has contributed to segregation in the city.

"Would bringing Pabst back solve these problems? Not in and of itself, no. Would it be a step in the right direction, offering an innovative inroad on making these problems better? Absolutely," she says. "Pabst belongs here, plain and simple. We made this beer what it is. It’s ti…

The first Milwaukee ReThreads opened in 2009.
The first Milwaukee ReThreads opened in 2009.

ReThreads coming to Shorewood

Another ReThreads location will open at 1920 E. Capitol Dr. in Shorewood. Previously, the building housed the eatery International Food.

The shop will hopefully open on May 1 according to a Facebook post.

ReThreads is a buy / sell / trade clothing store with two other Milwaukee locations – one in Bay View and one in Riverwest next to Colectivo – and two Madison-based shops. has been a fan since the first shop opened in 2009. Personally, I'm still a little sore they didn't want to buy my massive moss green clogs but I'll get over it.

The Ultra Lounge is currently open every Thursday through Sunday.
The Ultra Lounge is currently open every Thursday through Sunday.

Ultra Lounge is open

Ultra Lounge opened last weekend at 628 N. Water St. The space formerly housed JC's Pub and Grill, Edgar's Calypso and Swank.

The nightclub and eatery is still evolving and, for now, is open Thursday through Sunday nights.

Co-owner David Hinton says the lounge will eventually be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well. Trey Brown also owns Ultra Lounge. This is the first business venture for the two men.

Ultra Lounge will serve small plates along with upscale bar food. It will also have DJs as well as live music and a regular Tuesday night poetry jam, jazz on Wednesday nights and neo-soul on Thursdays.

There is a happy hour on Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m. with '90s and early 2000s music. Eventually the happy hour will be offered more nights of the week.

"We have a lot of plans for the future. For now, we offer a unique lounge experience," says Hinton.

I plan to spend an evening at Ultra Lounge once it's up and running for a while. Stay tuned for a full article next month.

The Pfister Hotel is illuminating in many ways.
The Pfister Hotel is illuminating in many ways. (Photo: Royal Brevväxling)

Reflections on my role as The Pfister Narrator

Check in early and stay late during's "Hotel Week" sponsored by VISIT Milwaukee. The next seven days will be packed with stories about historic area hotels, reviews, famous guests, food and drink, overnights with kids and more. Find out what it's like to be a tourist in this town. (Chocolate on your pillow not included.)

Last spring, I was selected as The Pfister Hotel’s sixth Pfister Narrator. Prior to me, local writers Stacie Williams, Julie Ferris, Ed Makowski, Dasha Kelly and Jenna Kashou held the post.

The role of the narrator is to spend time in the hotel, talking to guests about what brings them to the hotel and documenting their stories via The Pfister’s blog. But it included much more than that, too. 

Over the past 10 months, I have heard some amazing stories, including one about a couple who decided to wed at the age of 90 and two women who blew me away with their heartbreaking honesty and their shoe collection.

I also visited the grave of Guido Pfister with flowers, rode the elevator all night and interviewed a lion, but I might have had one too many at the Lobby Bar that night.

In November, the six-month narratorship was extended for a full year. Although this is a lot to take on because of my unwavering commitments to my family and, I was honored and thrilled to keep going.

And I just wasn't ready to let go.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the job has been working with and becoming friends with the artist-in-residence, Stephanie Barenz. From the moment I saw her beautiful work – laden with Milwaukee imagery, particularly the clock tower which I can see from my yard – I knew we had a connection.

Stephanie and I have collaborated in many ways during the year. I have learned so much about visual storytelling through Stephanie and also caught a bad case of wanderlust from all of her paintings and tales from faraway places. (I do have a trip to Indianapolis on deck for this year, but that's not quite rem…