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De Von Dent, co-owner of Pajé.
De Von Dent, co-owner of Pajé.
The space is open and inviting.
The space is open and inviting.

Pajé moves into Soche space

Pajé Supper Club opened at the end of last week in the former Soche space, 2213 N. Martin Luther King Dr.

The restaurant, owned by Temacca McMurtry and De Von Dent, will offer a Southern-style menu featuring grilled bourbon maple salmon served on wild mushroom risotto, mac-n-cheese topped with lobster, grilled pork chops, deep fried rib tips, a New Orleans'-style oyster or shrimp po' boy sandwich and more.

"Our food has a Southern flair. It's not soul food, rather more like New Orleans-style cuisine," says Dent.

McMurtry, who is the former manager of Soche, named the restaurant after the village in Africa where her family came from. She owned a restaurant of the same name years ago in Chicago.

Soche closed in 2010 after a four-year run. Dent and McMurtry leased the space in January, and although much of the decor is the same – the Soche owners sank a sizable amount of money into the space six years ago – after experiencing flooding at one point the carpeting and flooring needed replacing.

Currently, the Soche sign is still in front of the building, but Dent says they will soon have a new sign reflecting the name of the business. Pajé has two floors of dining and a patio.

"I see it as an urban Elsa's," says Dent. "It's a social spot with good music, good food and good conversation."

Pajé is open for lunch and dinner, Monday-Friday. Breakfast, including red velvet waffles with Southern-fried wings, is available on Saturdays and Sundays. Pajé is open well into the evening every night of the week.

Have you noticed a lack of blue mailboxes?

I've noticed a few conversations on Facebook regarding blue corner mailboxes and how they seem to be "disappearing." In Riverwest, for example, there are at least two mailboxes I can think of that are no longer in service.

When I moved to Walker's Point a year ago, I was surprised by how few collection boxes were in the neighborhood. I actually go to the post office which is about six blocks from my house to send mail.

According to Sean Hargadon, spokesperson for the United States Postal Service, there have not been any changes in the number of collection boxes in Milwaukee during the past year. He did not have statistics on the removal of boxes prior to a year ago, however.

Hargadon says the post office sometimes conducts "density tests" to determine if a particular mailbox is getting enough action.

"A collection box might be removed if it doesn't get 25 pieces of mail or more every day for two weeks," he says.

Interesting. But has anyone else noticed a shortage of mailboxes in your neighborhood?


How do we do it?

Years ago, when I had two baby boys – one strapped to the front of me and one strapped on my back – other parents, usually moms, said, "How do you do it?" or "I don't know how you can do it!"

This was always funny to me, because the only way I "did it" was by having no other choice.

A bizarre set of circumstances (in the form of a surprise pregnancy) left me with two baby boys very close in age. Even though it was exhausting and challenging (parents of multiples, you hear me!) there was no choice but to soldier through the days and do what needed to be done to keep them alive.

Oh, and the coffee helped a lot. And the wine, the after-bedtime wine helped, too. To this day I believe there's a St. (Two Buck) Chuck.

I had a darker "I don't know how you can do it" experience years later, when my divorce and my father's funeral fell on the same day. I woke up that morning and thought, "I can't do this," but then, guess what? I did it. And even though it was a terrible day, it makes a great life story – one that is mine forever.

Despite my experiences with challenging situations, I still hear about things like a child passing away or people living with extreme physical limitations and / or illnesses and I find myself saying, "how can they do it?"

And then I remember how they do it. They just do it. (No Nike reference intended here).

It always goes back to what we often hear about the resilience of the human spirit. This is said so often because it is true. We humans are made of such soft meat, but when push comes to shove, we're a planet of tough cookies.

Simon Oliver opened in 2009.
Simon Oliver opened in 2009.

Simon Oliver folds

Simon Oliver, 338 E. Silver Spring Dr., a menswear store in Whitefish Bay, closed quietly a few weeks ago. The future of the online business has not been determined.

"It's a tough business to be in and traffic was down," says former owner Perry Newsom.

Newsom has accepted a position as a buyer and salesperson at Roger Stevens, an upscale menswear shop in the lobby of The Pfister Hotel, 428 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Prior to owning Simon Oliver, Newsom was the president of Suitors of Brookfield and he also worked at Harley's For Men, 3563 N. Oakland Ave., for 13 years.

This is too bad. I always hate to see a local, independently owned shop of any kind not make it. Best of luck to Newsom.