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 started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.