By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 19, 2019 at 10:03 AM

After an extensive renovation, the downtown Port Washington hotel at 135 E. Grand Ave. that once operated as a Best Western and as a Holiday Inn, has been rebranded The Harborview Hotel, and just in time for Port Fish Day, which takes place on Saturday, July 20.

S&L Hospitality, based in Verona, has owned the hotel for 21 years and now has reimagined this Lake Michigan waterfront property, creating a boutique-style hotel right in the middle of town that also includes a restaurant with a lake view.

In addition to new decor, modern furniture and fixtures, as well as artwork and photography by local artists in the common areas, the hotel now has high-efficiency windows, as well as upgraded bed linens and towels and premium bath products in its rooms, as well as sofa beds in the suites.

Outside, there’s new landscaping, new signage and enhanced lighting and a made-over patio area. The restaurant also has an outdoor deck with fire pits and views of the Port Washington harbor, with its distinctive lighthouse at the end of a breakwater you can stroll out onto, and the nearby Rotary Park.

The new Beacon Restaurant & Bar focuses on Wisconsin specialties, and there’s also a pool, a party room, new meeting and event rooms, a business center, fitness room, free WiFi and new shop with grab and go snacks.

"Deciding to renovate and rebrand as an independent boutique-style hotel allows us to offer unique amenities and further partner with local businesses," said Eric Lund, chief executive officer of S&L Hospitality, in a statement.

"We have made so many positive changes and we are thrilled to invest in beautiful Port Washington with a new restaurant, new meeting space and a revitalized hotel."

While you’re in Port, stroll to the north – or drive, if you prefer – to check out the cool Inventors Brewpub nanobrewery located in the last remaining building of the Lakeside Brewing Co., founded in 1847.

Barely a block from the hotel is the Port Washington Exploreum, in an old men's club with bowling alleys, with exhibits about the Great Lakes.

For more information or to make a reservation call (262) 284-9461 or visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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.