"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
As a jewelry maker, Desiree Silva appreciates the creativity involved in working behind a bar.
"I love to improvise and make a drink based on the person’s likes or dislikes," says Silva.
Silva started working at Stage Right – the bar attached to the Miramar Theater at 2844 N. Oakland Ave. – at the end of 2014, but she already feels at home in the space and has visions for it.
"I’d like to get more local beer on tap, maybe a Milwaukee Brewing Company product, and although I love the art on the walls, I can think of other artists whose work would look really good in here, too," she says.
Stage Right is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., regardless of whether or not there’s a performance at the Miramar. Acoustic musicians and DJs perform on Tuesday evening.
OnMilwaukee.com recently stopped in for a chat and a glass of wine with Silva, who was in a particularly good mood because it was the night before she left for a long-awaited vacation to Denver and Los Angeles.
OnMilwaukee.com: Why are you going to Denver and L.A.?
Desiree Silva: Friends, family; the mountains, the ocean. I want to move to Denver someday to study metal work and there are a lot of inspiring people who live there. I have a lot of family in L.A., I lived there until I was 13, and I have not been back since I was 15. Some of my cousins have never even met me.
I’m really excited. I’ll be gone for nine days. In L.A. I’m going to rent a car so I can travel and see everyone and go to San Diego. And, you know, so I can get stuck in traffic on an eight-lane highway.
Also, dry heat will be nice. My hair hasn’t seen that in awhile. And I can’t wait to eat tacos in Los Angeles – I love tacos so much that I even named my wiener dog Taquita.
OMC: Where are your favorite places to get tacos in Milwaukee?
DS: El Local on Mitchell Street is amazing. I live in Riverwest and I like Cafe Corazon, too.
OMC: Are you Mexican American?
DS: My father was born in Michoacán. His family is originally from Brazil. My mother is black, Native American, German and Italian.
OMC: What brought your family to Wisconsin?
DS: My mother was from here originally. She graduated from Shorewood High School and UWM.
OMC: Where did you go to high school?
DS: I went to Brookfield East for a year and then a small college-prep school in Hartland.
OMC: What do you like about working here?
DS: I like the customers and I really like bartending. I helped out behind the bar at other serving jobs I’ve had – like when I worked at Crisp on Brady – and I always had fun so I got my bartending license and finally got a job here. It’s tough starting out as a bartender with little experience, but I think it’s going pretty well. I know my pours.
OMC: What do you like to drink when you’re not working?
DS: I’m a big tequila fan. Milagro, Cazadores. I went to an excellent tequila tasting at Mexican fest but I might have been too hung over to really enjoy it.
OMC: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
DS: I also serve at AJ Bombers, which I love. My coworkers are great.
I recycle vintage jewelry and create my own pieces – necklaces, bracelets, earrings, headwear, ankle bracelets, hand chains.
Some friends and I just started a cooperative called The Regular Room Wedding Cooperative. We have a make-up artist, photographer, seamstress, florist, stylists – I do jewelry. We just started out with our first wedding, but it's for people who like and appreciate handmade things but don’t want to spend a ton of money. People who love Pinterest.
OMC: Anything you'd change about this bar?
DS: I really like this bar, but I wish more 88Nine-type bands would play at the Miramar. It’s such great space. And then more people could stop in here for a drink.
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.