Though no one should risk life and limb by messing with the ice on the Milwaukee River, especially as a polar vortex begins to give way to warmer temps, you can’t help but admire the moxy.
Over the weekend, someone who loves Major Goolsby’s legendary Westown sports bar, 340 W. Kilbourn Ave., skated out onto the Milwaukee River just north of the Kilbourn Avenue bridge and wrote “Go to Goolsby’s” in the fresh snow atop the ice.
At the very least, it makes you wanna grab some mozzarella sticks and bask in the glow of televised sports at the bar that has been a fixture since it was opened in 1972 by Jerry Cohen. Among its many national accolades, the bar was named the No. 4 sports bar in America by Sports Illustrated.
“I absolutely do not condone the risky and unsafe behavior of the individual that did this,” said Cohen in a statement on Tuesday. “No one should be going out on the river.
“However, I applaud their creativity and initiative. The pandemic has obviously negatively affected our business, but it’s thinking like this that has allowed us to thrive all these years. We need our customers now more than ever, and people should absolutely heed this message, and go to Goolsby’s!”
I visited Goolsby’s for a Facebook live a couple weeks ago and talked to GM Marty Petricca, who says that they’re eager to welcome fans back in, socially distanced and masked and with limited capacity.
“Especially with more activity Downtown since fans are now allowed to attend Bucks games, we encourage everyone to check out the river, and then come by for food and drinks,” Petricca said.
“We feel we have the best social distancing setup in the city, and that going
to Goolsby’s is a safe and responsible choice.”
Major Goolsby’s is currently open Tuesdays through Saturdays, plus Bucks game days.
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.