The Fonz has hit Rock Bottom.
When a life-size statue of Arthur Fonzarelli, the iconic TV character from the show "Happy Days," portrayed by Henry Winkler, is dedicated this summer in Downtown Milwaukee, it will call the Rock Bottom Brewery's Riverwalk location home.
According to Visit Milwaukee, the bronze Fonz will be situated on the south end of Rock Bottom's outdoor seating area (on the west side of the river, just south of Wells Street) and set against the backdrop of the Milwaukee River.
A number of Riverwalk locations were scouted to determine the best fit for the statue. The site committee consisted of Dave Fantle, VISIT Milwaukee, Dean Amhaus, the Spirit of Milwaukee, Marsha Sehler, the Riverwalk District, Beth Nicols, Downtown Milwaukee, Stacie Callies, Westown Association, Kate Borders, East Town Association, Gerald Sawyer, the project sculptor, and David Gordon, former director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
"The Fonz embodies fun and we thought siting the project next to a Microbrewery is fitting and will generate additional foot traffic for the Riverwalk and throughout Downtown," said Stacie Callies, executive director, Westown Association. "The location will also provide an attractive photo opportunity that will showcase the city via countless posts on the Web."
Rick Mitchell owns River Bank Plaza, the building that houses the Rock Bottom Brewery. Rock Bottom management was excited to host the Fonz, said Mitchell, as it gives the statue a "recognizable" location and blends in perfectly with the Brew Pub theme of the restaurant.
"When visitors want to find the Fonz, the Rock Bottom location will provide that instant point of reference. Brew City and the Fonz go hand-in-hand."
A dedication of the statue is tentatively planned for Tuesday, Aug. 19 with Winkler and most of the "Happy Days" cast in attendance. A public event is being planned as part of the dedication ceremony.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.