"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
The City of Milwaukee’s Historic Preservation Commission will hold a special meeting on Friday, March 16 at 3 p.m. to discuss a resolution to give temporary historic designation to the Kneisler’s White House tavern building, 2900 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., in Bay View.
The building has been home to a tavern for 127 years. Folks I talked to about it Thursday night in Bay View assumed the White House was already designated a landmark.
Owners Sean Raffaelli, who bought the White House in 2006 from members of the extended Kneisler family, announced that the building was for sale last summer, and in December said that it had been sold and would close at the end of that month.
At that time, Raffaelli told OnMilwaukee that the bar would close for remodeling for an undetermined amount of time.
The application for temporary historic designation was made by 14th District Alderman Tony Zielinski, in whose district the White House is located.
"I was concerned they were going to make serious changes to the historical architecture," Zielinski told me via email.
The current owners of the property, HCI Properties in Franklin, were alerted via a letter from the City Clerk that the application was filed and that the meeting is slated to be held in room 301-B of City Hall.
HCI told BizTimes Milwaukee in January that it will renovate the building but has no plans to make major changes, beyond converting the vacant second floor apartment space into a dining room.
"They never responded to my request to speak to them until I filed. We are meeting next week," Zielinski said.
HCI did not respond to a request for comment.
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.