May is here, which usually means bad weather and Brewers losses. But, at OMC we see a city a-buzz with new places and faces. Here's our monthly look at stuff happening -- or rumored to be happening -- in and around Milwaukee.
RUDY COMING TO BRADY
A 1920s through '50s Hollywood theme bar/lounge called "Rudy Valentino's" is coming to Brady Street on the site of the former DeSalvo and Brennan's, Sherman's on Brady and way before those, Beyond the Sea. The owner is said to be Valentino's great-grandson. The Buzz hears they are looking to open by June 1 for outdoor food and drink. More as we get it.
DISH READY TO DISH IT UP AGAIN
The owners of Redroom will reopen Dish as a restaurant. At least, that's what we hear.
BIG GIG BACKYARD
Summerfest has announced most of the lineup of headliners for The Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard. Two dates -- July 1 and 4 -- will be announced at a later date. Here they are: June 26: The Neville Brothers; June 27: LL Cool J; June 28: Little Richard; June 29: Spyro Gyra and Blues Traveler' June 30: The Moody Blues; July 2: Jessica Andrews and Phil Vassar; July 3: Michelle Branch; July 5: David Benoit and Rick Braun; July 6: Love Monkeys.
HEIDI MOVING TO MAYFAIR
Milwaukee is losing Heidi Gilmore, as the women's apparel maker that was said to be revitalizing Milwaukee Street -- once the home of T.A. Chapman's, Hixon's, Rechmeyer Furs, and Lou Fritzel's -- has closed its space (it was a showroom only) at 715 N. Milwaukee St. in favor of a coming-soon locale at Mayfair Mall. Gilmore hopes to open another downtown location in a few years after she builds her business with the money of those spendy suburban shoppers.
As Heidi Gilmore moves her Milwaukee Street storefront, another will arrive to replace it. Tangerine will be the name a new bar/lounge across the street from Hotel Metro. It may arrive by early summer. Meanwhile, restaurants continue to look at the old Groom space on the street, too. It's right next to Frauchiger's, which is getting a new sign soon and also taking down the fire escape.
SIR CHARLES ON MILWAUKEE
Charles Barkely had some funny things to say about Milwaukee and the Bucks on TNT during the Bucks' brief foray into the NBA Playoffs this year. He took a couple shots at Milwaukee, so we asked him and his "people" for his true thoughts on our city. The usually full-of-wit Barkely took the high road and respond with this: "I really like the city of Milwaukee ... the people have always been wonderful. Even when I was on trial, the people were always great to me, very supportive. I have also always enjoyed the Bucks fans. They've always been very likable people, very friendly to me ... Now, the only negative thing I can say, is about my night in jail there. They would only offer me to eat and drink, was bologna and a glass of milk ... that, I didn't like. But otherwise, I don't have anything negative to say -- great city."
Al Rolandi, who is extremely active in WisItalia, which is working to bring the Italian language to Wisconsin schools, and the National Italian-American Foundation, has been named president of the newly-formed Wisconsin Italian-American Chamber of Commerce. Italian Consul General Enrico Granara made the trip up from Chicago for the official announcement this week at the Italian Community Center. Mention was made of Madison's sister city agreement with Mantova and a budding new relationship between Kenosha and the southern Italian city of Cosenza. As for Milwaukee's sister city status with Parma ... mention was made of jump-starting that one, too.
NEW PATIO AT MILLER PARK
The Milwaukee Brewers and the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District have created a new .300 Club Patio at Miller Park. Located adjacent to the .300 Club fine dining restaurant on the Club level in left field, the Patio will offer three rows of cabaret tables and chairs for seating of 110 fans. This area will be accessible through the .300 Club or from the Club level seating for .300 Club members only.
ENDLESS VACATION, MILWAUKEE
The May/June edition of "Endless Vacation" magazine has a four-page spread on Milwaukee. It features pictures of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Newsroom Pub, City Hall, Pabst Theater, the Lakefront and Miller Park. The article ends, "If Milwaukee needed a new slogan, maybe it would be 'now less beer, more culture.'" Check it out.
CAKE ON THE RIVER
The new public art along The Riverwalk is in the install phase. The first piece, on Kilbourn just West of The Milwaukee Center, is a large, multi-colored birthday cake. Watch for RiverSculpture 2003! to continue to grow in the weeks ahead.
BOOKS ON THE RIVER
The dowtown Borders has its Riverwalk tables and chairs out. Stop by and check out the new Riverwalk bookstore.
ED'S TO BECOME JUDY'S
You read it here first, the former Ed Debevic's on Jefferson St. in East Town will become a family-style, get anything you want to eat place called Judy's Family Restaurant. Hopfully, they'll be open late.
NEWSROOM DROPS GRILL, KEEPS PUB
Speaking of the Newsroom, that cool Milwaukee Press Club bar across from the Pabst Theater on Wells Street... It will soon drop the "Grill" from its name and become merely "The Newsroom Pub." No longer serving food, it's a fitting move. Yet, we wonder why they don't just serve food and keep the name.
POTAWATOMI IS JAZZED
Potawatomi Bingo Casino's Northern Lights Theater is hosting a series of summer smooth jazz concerts in conjunction with WJZI 93.3 FM and the Art Good JazzTrax Summer Concert Series. The series kicked off May 7 with Mindi Abair. Other scheduled acts include: The Rippingtons with Russ Freeman on June 24, Euge Groove with The Paul Spencer Band on July 30, David Sanborn, with Joe Sample and the Crusaders on August 25, and Acoustic Alchemy on September 9.
KOPP'S ON KING
The rumor that Karl Kopp is looking for a location on Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. continues to swirl. Stay tuned.
MILWAUKEE WORLD BACK ONLINE
Milwaukeeworld.com is back with a few new articles from pr guy Mark Kass.
BREAK UP THE PIECES
Pieces of Eight, next to the Milwaukee Art Museum on the Lakefront, has been sold and owners continue upgrades and rehab work. Look for a new name too, Breakwater is what we are hearing.
RADIO DOCTORS SPACE NOW OPEN
It used to be Radio Doctors and most recently Alan Preuss Flowers, but the flower shop has vacated its space on the northeast corner of Old World Third and Wells Streets. No word what's next. We'd love to see a Corner Bakery or some type of breakfast/lunch deli since they are few and far between in that part of downtown.
EAST SIDE ART
Mark May 28th on your Palm or calendar. In the late afternoon will be the dedication of Gail Simpson's "Compass" public art piece on the traffic island at E. North Ave. and N. Cambridge. It will be a great addition to the East Side business district.
FLY BAR COMING SOON
This expected to open by the end or May club, lacks an official name but is across the street from La Fuente under the large glowing fly above the door at 606 S. 5th St. in Walker's Point. It's owned by the people who brought Milwaukee Giovanni's and Centanni, "FlyBar" (or BarFly) promises to be posh alcove identifiable by the glowing fly above its door.
HOOLIGAN'S FACE LIFE
The facade at East Side institution, Hooligan's, is getting a face lift.
Swank, 628 N. Water St., will host a new event called "Swanky Singles" starting May 20th from 5-10 p.m. Complimentary appetizers, drink specials and maybe a meeting with that special someone.
MORE COMBAT ON THE WAY
What's that rumbling in the distance? It's not only the hordes of Harleys descending on our fair city, it's the gang from Bunny Gumbo gearing up for their next installment of Combat Theatre. Eight plays all written, directed and acted within 24 hours; and that's just the first day! No rest for the wicked as the writers must come up with the new plays by the next morning. Milwaukee's most successful show rolls into town July 11 and 12 at the Peck School of the Art's Studio Theater at UWM, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $16, available at the door only.
FUZZY, TOMMY AND MARK TO JOIN GORMAN
The Buzz told you last month that "Stormin" Gorman Thomas was getting the call for the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. He'll be joined by Frederick "Fuzzy" Thurston, guard with Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers from 1959-'68; Mark Johnson, two-time first-team All-American hockey star, all-time leading goal scorer for the University of Wisconsin and the leading scorer on the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Olympic Team; and Tommy Bartlett, iconic showman whose transformation of water sports into spectacle and entertainment became the cornerstone for the Wisconsin Dells tourist industry. The 2003 Induction Ceremony and Dinner is Thurs., June 12, at the Midwest Airlines Center. Nearly 120 athletes have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its beginning in 1951. For more information, call (608) 226-4780.
TWO-WAY THE WAY TO GO
Wells and State Streets west of downtown could go from one-way to two-way later this year under a measure a common council committee approved unanimously. The change would apply west of the freeway, between North 11th and North 35th Streets. The Buzz hopes this change will continue into downtown in the coming years.