By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 02, 2022 at 12:27 PM

The longtime Water Street home to A. Werner Silversmith – just about the last family-owned non-tavern business on Water Street – is going to become ... wait for it ... a bar.

The Journal Sentinel reports that Steggeman Investments LLC plans to open Water Street University, a bar, at 1241 N. Water St.

The company’s plans were listed on a building permit application filed with the City of Milwaukee, the paper reported Monday.

The 3,520-square-foot boomtown-style building and adjacent parking lot was listed for sale last year for $990,000.

The building likely dates to the 1880s and in the 1890s was home to a saloon.

Werner Silversmith, founded by Austrian immigrant Adolph Werner in the 1880s, occupied a number of previous locations before landing in this space – previously home to a diner – in 1956.

You can read a much longer history and description of the building and the business in this Urban Spelunking article.

The sale of the building is in the works, according to Kasey Haggerty, head of administration at commercial real estate firm The Barry Company.

"A. Werner is under contract but has not yet officially closed," Haggerty said, "currently set for sometime in July, but this can change."

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.