By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 09, 2024 at 9:01 AM

Downtown Port Washington, which recently saw the opening of a large, brand-new Inventors Brewpub and Edison Hall events space, is now about to get a wine bar, too, as Kelly Brown – the owner of the Locally Inspired gift shop – will open Cavelier Wine Bar this month.

Newport Shores rendering
A rendering of Newport Shores. (PHOTO: RINKA)

The bar – named for 17th century French Great Lakes and Mississippi River explorer and fur trader René-Robert Cavelier – will be located near the lake, just a block from the new Inventors, at 407 E Jackson St., in the RINKA-designed Newport Shores development.

In addition to serving wine and craft beer, Brown says she plans, “equal emphasis on zero-proof cocktails,” and she worked with Lost Whale’s NiteCap Beverage Consulting to create, “unique zero-proof cocktails that have all the taste and allure of their spirited versions.

"These alcohol-free concoctions will offer all patrons an opportunity to be part of the experience, whether they choose to indulge in spirits or not.”

Cavelier will have full-height windows to capitalize on its lakeside location.

Kelly Brown
Cavelier owner Kelly Brown.

 “Our location is more than a setting," Brown says. "It's an integral part of the experience."

The space was designed by Samantha Smith of One Smith Studio – whose work also includes The Little Village Play Cafe in Wauwatosa – and she used hand-painted, vintage-inspired tileowrk and nautical inspired lighting to create a mix of old-world and modern elements.

Brown plans to host a soft opening on Monday, May 20 at 3 p.m., with a Grand Opening slated for 3 p.m. on Friday, May 31.

"My vision for Cavelier is to be more than a bar. I hope it will be a testament to the power of community and the beauty of shared experiences," Brown says. “I love being a part of my community, so much so that I wanted to double down on my investment.

“I’m passionate about creating unique, memorable experiences for people and I want to accommodate all the members of this community and its visitors.”

Brown says Cavelier is the culmination of more than two years' planning and work.

"I can’t wait to bring the community and visitors together in this stunning, inclusive, lakeside space," she says.

For more on Cavelier, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.