The Charleston Cafe opened last week in Cudahy at 3465 E. Layton Ave., making it the first coffee shop and eatery of its kind in the city-to-our-south. It's owned by Peter and Brenda Piparo and run by the couple along with their five children.
"We're all in on it," says Peter Piparo.
The cafe is 1920s-themed, complete with replicas of vintage streetlights and cars. The floor is made of pennies, all of which were hand placed. Charleston's is currently running a contest asking customers how many pennies were used in the project and the winner will get a free cup of coffee.
Outdoors is a comfortable patio with a waterfall and, as of this fall, a fireplace.
The menu includes myriad coffee drinks including lattes and mochas, chis, smoothies and, for a limited time, "state fair" lemonade. This fall, the Piparos plan to secure a liquor license and will offer beer and wine. Karaoke nights and fundraising events are also penciled in for the future.
As for food, homemade paninis, sandwiches and soups are available.
Peter grew up in Cudahy – his parents owned a tavern called Piparo's – and he wants to revive Cudahy's celebratory past.
"There used to be a bar on every corner in Cudahy – more in our town than anywhere else in the world. I've had so many wonderful times in Cudahy and now I want to have even more," says Piparo. "I'm a fan of eating, drinking and being merry with as many people as I can."
Charleston Cafe's hours are currently from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Next week, they will begin opening at 5 a.m. and will eventually extend hours into later in the evening. Stay tuned to the Facebook page for these developments and more.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.