By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 31, 2019 at 9:16 AM

It's been a big decade for Milwaukee – but don't just take this intro paragraph's word for it. We compiled some memories from the past 10 years of Brew City living – some happy, some sad and some strange; some obvious and some forgotten. Here's to looking back at a memorable and often remarkable last ten years in Milwaukee – and here's to an even better decade to come.


  1. An overnight four-alarm fire burns down iconic pizza restaurant Pizza Man (Jan. 19)
  2. Bucks go to the playoffs and are defeated by the Atlanta Hawks, but a new slogan is born: Fear the Deer (April)
  3. A piece of the O’Donnell Park parking garage entrance collapses, killing one and injuring two others (June 24)
  4. The third "Transformers" movie films in Milwaukee, holding open auditions for extras (July 12)
  5. A sinkhole opens on Oakland and North Avenues, eating an Escalade (July 22)
  6. While pitching as a Brewer, Trevor Hoffman is the first to record 600 saves (Sept. 7), but after a bad season, the Crew fires Ken Macha. A month later, they hire Ron Roenicke and then, at the end of the year, trade for Zack Greinke (Dec. 18)
  7. Bel Air Cantina opens, becoming one of the city's most popular restaurants (Oct. 5)


  1. A massive blizzard hits Milwaukee and the Midwest, dropping two feet of snow in some places (Feb. 1-2)
  2. The Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl over the Pittsburgh Steelers (Feb. 6)
  3. The comedy "Bridesmaids" features Milwaukee as its main character's hometown, even using some actual Brew City locales as B-roll. It also looks like a lot of dirt roads (April 28)
  4. After an incredible season, featuring the team on cover of Sports Illustrated and the rise of "Front Row Amy," the Brewers win their first ever NL Central crown and, with the help of a timely hit from Nyjer Morgan, win their first playoff series since 1982 (Oct. 7)
  5. Tim Cuprisin, media columnist for the Journal Sentinel and OnMilwaukee, passes away (Nov. 23)
  6. Less than one month after winning the NL MVP (Nov. 22), Ryan Braun reportedly tests positive for PEDs (Dec. 10)
  7. Will Ferrell stars in an ad for Old Milwaukee, filmed in part in Milwaukee (Dec. 14)


  1. Brewers All-star Prince Fielder leaves Milwaukee and signs with the Detroit Tigers (Jan. 24)
  2. An OnMilwaukee expose discovers the truth behind the supposed feel-good story of baseball player Montaous Walton (May 10)
  3. Influential Milwaukee music scene member Mark Shurilla passes away (May 14)
  4. The Bradley Center gets a (kind of) new name: the BMO Harris Bradley Center (May 22)
  5. An armed gunman kills six and wounds four others in a shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek (Aug. 5)
  6. A game between the Packers and Seattle Seahawks ends in the "Fail Mary" as confusion and replacement refs give the Seahawks the win (Sept. 24)


  1. The Marquette men's basketball team makes the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, the furthest since 2003's Final Four year with Dwyane Wade (March/April)
  2. Brandon Jennings coins "Bucks in 6" before a series against LeBron James and the Miami Heat. They would lose in four games. (April)
  3. Robert Downey Jr. drops by Packing House (June 1)
  4. The Bucks draft an unknown question mark from Greece named Giannis Antetokounmpo in the first round of the NBA Draft (June 27)
  5. Imagine Dragons breaks Summerfest, causing fans to rush the gates and just general crowded chaos (June 29)
  6. Paul McCartney plays Miller Park (July 16)
  7. After avidly denying any involvement with steroids, Ryan Braun is linked to Biogenesis lab and PEDs before being suspended for rest of 2013 by MLB (July 22)
  8. Alterra changes its name and becomes Colectivo (July 28)
  9. After years of rebuilding, a relocated and renovated Pizza Man returns (July 29)
  10. Northwestern Mutual unveils its new Downtown building and Milwaukee skyline component (Sept. 25)
  11. Bucks center Larry Sanders gets into a fight at Apartment 720, hurting his thumb in the process (Dec. 4)


  1. Frank Almond's priceless Lipinski Stradivarius violin is stolen in a post-concert heist. Four days later, the violin is recovered (Jan. 27)
  2. Why talk about disappointing teams and disgraced stars when there's Hank the Ballpark Pup, discovered at Spring Training!? (Or "discovered" if you're a Hank truther) (Feb. 17)
  3. After Buzz Williams leaves Marquette (March 21), the university hires VCU's Shaka Smart as its new head coach ... but not actually #donedeal (March 28)
  4. MPD officers Christopher Manney shoots and kills Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park. Manney was fired, though no formal charges were brought, causing unrest and anger in many Milwaukee communities (April 30)
  5. A big year for new faces with the Bucks as the team introduced its new owners (April 16), its second overall draft pick with Duke's Jabari Parker (June 26) and its new head coach Jason Kidd (July 1)
  6. Controversy strikes Nomad World Pub when it constructs a fake "favela" for World Cup watch parties (June)
  7. "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane drops by Lucille’s to sing and play a few songs (Nov. 7)


  1. After leading all game, the Packers blow the NFC Championship to the Seattle Seahawks with the help of bad play calling from Mike McCarthy, a muffed onside kick and a non-existent Packers defense in the final few minutes (Jan. 18)
  2. After decades of speculation and much debate, the streetcar proposal passes the Common Council (Feb. 10)
  3. After a tumultuous run with the Bucks, including multiple games on the bench for unclear reasons, the team buys out Larry Sanders' contract (Feb. 21)
  4. As predicted, the Rolling Stones are announced as Summerfest's opening headliner, even moving the first day of the Big Gig to accommodate  the rock legends (March 31)
  5. Another big year for the Bucks as the team not only revealed its new look (April 2), but also the overall plan for the entertainment block – later to be called Deer District. (April 8) The arena bill would then pass later that summer, putting the new city center into action (July 15)
  6. Jerryd Bayless hits a buzzer-beating layup to beat the Chicago Bulls in Game 4 in the playoffs. The Bucks would still go on to lose the series, but something promising was brewing – and also Giannis bodychecked Mike Dunleavy into the seats (April 25)
  7. DJ Paris Hilton performs at Summerfest. It wasn't great. (June 28)
  8. In one of the franchise's biggest free agent signings, Greg Monroe signs with the Bucks (July 2)
  9. Claims of a "Milwaukee lion" roaming the city go viral (July)
  10. "Couples are boring and everyone knows it?" Apparently not, as an artistic vandal altered the mural outside Fink’s to say "boning" instead. The sign was changed ... then changed back to its risqué alternative, before Fink's went with an unimpeachable: "Hello Milwaukee." (Oct. 12)
  11. John Henson alleges a discriminatory incident while trying to visit Schwanke-Kasten's Whitefish Bay location, claiming to have been locked out of the store and called the police on him. The owner would later apologize to the Bucks player (Oct. 19)
  12. In preparation for the following year's election, the GOP hosts their debate in Milwaukee. (Nov. 10) Three months later, the DNC would follow suit (Feb. 11)
  13. A Shorewood sculpture causes controversy when a blogger claims that he finds anti-Semitic messages in the artwork (Nov. 14)
  14. Giannis and the Bucks defeat the undefeated defending champion Golden State Warriors, end their winning streak at 24 (Dec. 13)
  15. Netflix's "Making a Murderer" becomes a craze and turns everyone into true crime sleuths – with Wisconsin at the center (Dec. 18)


  1. The Domes are closed indefinitely due to falling debris from ceiling (Feb. 8)
  2. Hold on to your grönkulla: IKEA officially announces its first Wisconsin location (May 5)
  3. Even after the help of "Bar Rescue," Nick’s House – aka the former Y-Not III – shuts down (May 5)
  4. He couldn't get any custard at his show the night before, so Harry Connick Jr. drops by Leon’s for a scoop – and for a segment for his show (May 16)
  5. After a competition and much debate, the new People's Flag of Milwaukee is revealed. And no one ever complained about it ever again. (June 14)
  6. A trio of high-profile closings hit Milwaukee as La Perla (July 14), Lucille’s (Oct. 17) and John Hawks Pub (Oct. 28) all call it quits
  7. Kid Rock docks in Milwaukee on Jimmy John's yacht. Because sure. (Aug. 3)
  8. Unrest boils over in Sherman Park after the police-involved shooting of Sylville Smith (Aug. 14)
  9. Milwaukee County Parks gets into a turf war with "Pokemon Go" (Aug. 24)
  10. The Soup Market appears on "The Profit." It goes poorly (Sept. 6)
  11. The MSO announces its plan to purchase and move into the former Grand Theatre (Dec. 12)


  1. Chef Thomas Hauck announces the closing of the Milwaukee staple Karl Ratzsch (April 1)
  2. BBC closes, continuing rumors about the demise of the East Side. Spoiler alert: The East side was fine (April 25)
  3. After an eventful year involving giving himself a parking ticket and getting into an altercation with a Milwaukee at an airport over a Dallas Cowboys jacket, Sheriff Clarke leaves his post in Milwaukee for the Department of Homeland Security. The job would not stick. (May 17)
  4. Matty Gonzales is imprisoned in Abu Dhabi after confusion over an unregistered prescription; he's eventually released and returns home (June)
  5. Milwaukee Film takes over operations of the Oriental Theatre (June 18)
  6. Summerfest turns 50 with the help of Tom Petty, P!nk, The Chainsmokers, Zac Brown Band and many more (June 28-July 9)
  7. Chris Christie and his nachos get into the face of a Cubs fan while watching a Brewers game at Miller Park (July 30)
  8. YouTuber Casey Neistat turns Northridge Mall into a Christmas wonderland for his annual holiday video (Dec. 13)
  9. The historic White House in Bay View closes at year’s end (Dec. 18)


  1. After an underachieving season, Bucks head coach Jason Kidd is fired. (Jan. 22) Later, during the offseason, the team hires current coach Mike Budenholzer
  2. The racing sausages' Klement's branding is no more, replaced quickly by Johnsonville (Jan. 23)
  3. Less than 24 hours apart, the Brewers sign outfielder Lorenzo Cain and trade for Christian Yelich (Jan. 25)
  4. Giannis dunks the soul out of the Knicks' Tim Hardaway Jr. (Feb. 7)
  5. Beloved restaurant Wolf Peach surprisingly closes (March 14)
  6. Milwaukee civil rights icon Vel Phillips dies (April 17)
  7. Giannis doesn’t get seated at BelAir, and a mild controversy erupts (April 22)
  8. Bon Jovi plays the final concert at BMO Harris Bradley Center (April 29)
  9. A fire engulfs the historic Trinity Evangelical Lutheran church (May 14)
  10. MPD releases controversial body cam footage from Sterling Brown arrest (May 23)
  11. Bird scooters invade Milwaukee uninvited. They, as well as other dockless scooters, are eventually legalized, and Milwaukee is fine (June 28)
  12. After weeks upon months of speculation, the new Bucks arena gets a name: Fiserv Forum. (July 28) A month and a half later, The Killers play the first concert at the new arena (Sept. 5)
  13. Brewers get wildly hot at the end of the season, forcing (and winning) Game 163 against the Chicago Cubs to win the NL Central, then getting all the way to the NLCS before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers (October)
  14. Several significant developments open at the end of the year: the East Side's Crossroads Collective opens (Dec. 17), The Hop begins service (Nov. 2) and Sherman Phoenix opens (Nov. 30)


  1. "Aquaman" star Jason Momoa stops by the Harley Davidson Museum (Jan. 8)
  2. The Bradley Center roof is blown up (Jan. 13)
  3. The polar vortex strikes Milwaukee with obscenely cold temperatures (January)
  4. '90s rapper/Fyre Festival collaborator Ja Rule performs the halftime show at a Bucks game (Feb. 23)
  5. Milwaukee gets the Democratic National Convention (March 11)
  6. Milwaukee restaurant icon Joe Bartolotta passes away at 60 (April 22)
  7. The Bucks run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, winning their first playoff series in years before getting halted by the Toronto Raptors. Afterward, Giannis wins MVP (May-June)
  8. statue tribute to wrestling icon The Crusher is revealed in South Milwaukee (June 8)
  9. Mindy Kaling needs help deciding where to get lunch in Milwaukee while in town for Baird's 100th (June 14)
  10. Christian Yelich goes naked for The Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine, shocks Roxane in process (Aug. 28)
  11. Miller Park nixes Friday’s for … Restaurant to be Named Later? (Oct. 8)
  12. "Hamilton" finally comes to Milwaukee, is great (Oct. 22-Nov. 17)
  13. Brewers reveal new uniforms, throwing back to an updated version of the ball-and-glove logo (Nov.  18)