Will Public Market Expand?
The fish market wants to expand outdoor cafe. And Chevy Johnson kicks off campaign for alderman.
The Milwaukee Public Market opened in October 2005 in a sleek Kubala Washatko building that incorporated a number of green features. The building has evolved with the times, with a series of changes, including new doors and a tiny pizza oven expansion on its north side.
Freeway construction over the past year has delayed plans for a few other improvements to the market, and two proposals for changes were presented to the Historic Third Ward Architectural Review Board on Wednesday, October 14th.
Patrick Nedobeck of the St. Paul Fish Company, one of the first tenants at the place, asked for “ideas that might be acceptable” to expand the business of his outdoor “Tiki Cafe” and to extend it on both ends of the seasons.
“The wind, the cold, and the shade” are a problem for the popular outdoor bar, and Nedobeck said his brother-in-law Tim Collins, St. Paul’s owner and 30-year fishmonger, “wants to come up with something that would look O.K. We are willing to spend the money,” Nedobeck added. He has already spent $3,000 on an outdoor heating system, he said.
He is toying with ideas like repurposing plate glass commercial doors, or perhaps rigging together an assembly that would include the existing planters and new, moveable garage doors in the temporary structure which is located on the public right of way. If the resultant structure could be open all year, “I would welcome it,” Nedobeck said.
Since the board lacked a quorum, the meeting was strictly informational. Member Greg Patin suggested that what Nedobeck proposes “would be an addition.” He suggested that an architect be hired. “I wouldn’t want a screened enclosure from West Allis to be plopped down here,” he said.
Nedobeck said the proposed door system “would exactly mirror the structure itself,” and would “add visibility” to the market, which is set back from the street on N. Broadway. The city is also proposing to turn that portion of the street into two-way traffic under the freeway, where the market is located.
Nedobeck says his visible tiki bar “draws people to the market from the Third Ward,” and says he gets dozens of reviews of his restaurant from tourists. The corner will also be on the streetcar line, adding to the visibility of the market and any addition.
As Patin concluded, “the question is how to do it so it doesn’t ruin the good parts of the market.”
Nedobeck promised to return in two weeks for the next meeting of the board with proposals in hand.
Storage Shed Sought by Market
A second, somewhat related proposal was heard by the ARB Wednesday. Market manager David Ware told the committee that now that the dust has settled from the freeway work, it was time for the market to get a storage shed for its maintenance equipment. It would be located just to the north of the proposed fish market expansion, in a separate structure.
Ware said he had found an old metal barn type shed that he hoped to clean up and repurpose for the site. This rus in urbe proposal went absolutely nowhere with members of the ARB in attendance.
Member Greg Patin dismissed it out of hand, saying he had little use for such rusticisms in the Historic Third Ward, which is the essence of urbanity. This led to a bit of head scratching about the suitable materials and design for the temporary structure. I suggest the management consider the Rivershed building located across N. Water St. from the market. It is of simple slat construction, and was built contemporaneously to the market. Nobody would ever mistake it for a rural Wisconsin farm shed. Another design inspiration along similar lines might come from the Milwaukee Rowing Center further upstream.
In fact, it might be best to tie the storage shed in with the design for the proposed addition to the fish market and build the whole as an integrated unit.
One plus about the proposed storage shed: it is planned to include a Fixit bicycle repair station similar to that installed in Juneau Park.
Johnson Kicks off Campaign
Chevy Johnson kicked off his campaign for 2nd District alderman with a fundraiser at O’Lydia’s, 338 S. 1st St. Among the attendees who listened to speeches as a mile-long freight train laden with Baaken Crude rumbled by on the adjacent tracks were Reps. Jonathan Brostoff and Evan Goyke, along with community supporter Wallace White, 5th District county board candidate Michael Glabere, and Lynell Carlson, Todd Miller, Erika Stanley, Austin Kieler and Dwayne Hardwick. Rep. Goyke’s dad Gary Goyke, himself an ex-rep, also appeared.
Johnson said he has knocked on 3,000 doors in the district, where he hopes to replace Ald. Joe Davis, who is running for mayor.
“Some people want to see me, some want to shoot!,” he joked.
He has been to some doors three times, he said, while his opponents have not been doing this necessary rite of electoral office at the municipal level. “Some folks call it their monthly checkup,” he said. “They say they’ve never seen any other candidates.”
He credited the YMCA as being a strong influence in his life with its “Sponsor a Scholar” program that enabled him to “get off the block” and to see the nation and the world, with stints including rebuilding New Orleans, and fighting poverty in England. Should he be elected, a focus of his would be public transportation, Johnson promised. “It is one thing to have an opportunity, but you have to be able to get there. I wouldn’t be here tonight without public transportation,” he said.
“Invest in transportation,” Johnson said. “It’s not the end of the world.”
Photos from Johnson’s Kickoff Event
Scene On The Streets
Rep. Jonathan Brostoff held his 32nd birthday party at 42 Lounge Thursday, October 15th, drawing a full house to the techno bar. Among attendees was former Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, who has announced his plans to run for the county board for the seat held by Gerry Broderick, who is retiring. Also in attendance was state Sen. Chris Larson, who is setting his sights on becoming County Executive. … The roof at Brostoff’s E. Pleasant St. residence is being torn off and replaced. Leaks had long plagued the historic building, honored in House Confidential. The roof was indeed very porous as could be seen with the shingles removed. … Construction is underway at Angelo’s Piano Lounge, 1686 N. Van Buren St. New owner Nate Fried has crews at work cleaning out the old place and restructuring it for continued use. Fried also owns the Hybrid Lounge next door.
Photos from Rep. Brostoff’s 32nd Birthday Party
The Badger Guns Verdict
A nationally heralded civil case in which Badger Guns and Ammo and related parties were sued for damages for injuries sustained by Milwaukee police officers in a shooting was decided in favor of the officers last week by a jury in the courtroom of Judge John DiMotto, Branch 41.
There will be a hearing on December 14th, 2015 to consider post-verdict motions by the parties.
If Badger Guns hopes to prevail in an appeal based on judicial error by DiMotto, expect some rough going. From 2000 to 2006, DiMotto’s opinions were subject to appellate review 46 times with no reversals, a record streak. He was partially affirmed and partially reversed the next year, and the record shows a reversal in 2014. DiMotto said in an article in the Wisconsin Law Journal. “I analyze every case very carefully and try to make the right decision.”
I ran across Chief Ed Flynn while grocery shopping Friday at the Milwaukee Public Market and told him that DiMotto is rarely reversed. “That’s good to hear,” the chief said.
See You Wednesday
I hope to see you on what will be a busy Wednesday, October 21st at the Urban Milwaukee Annual Party featuring John Norquist to be held at Screaming Tuna Sushi & Asian Bistro, 106 W. Seeboth St. [Here is a link to the invitation.] The party runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., but I will be splitting a little bit early to make my shift as a Celebrity Bartender for “A Night OUT at the Cabaret,” a fundraiser for the Cream City Foundation. That gig will be held at Casablanca, 728 E. Brady Street. My shift will begin at 7:30 p.m. and continue until it’s time to go at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, and I hope to see you at either (or both) events.