September 2002

Riverwest resident Kris Roberts is planning to open a new bar at 701 E. Center St., in what was until recently Tony’s Bar. The new establishment, The Riverhorse, will offer alcoholic and other beverages, a variety of sandwiches, and pizza. Renovations are underway, and an art deco decorating theme is planned. The licensing process is proceeding with the city, with a tentative opening date in October. Kris made a presentation to the Riverwest Neighborhood Association at their July 16 meeting, outlining his plans and providing a list of near neighbors who support his proposal. Members of the RNA thanked Kris for going through the process, and a statement in the minutes noted that the group at the meeting “knows of no objection” to the plans.

There’s a bit of froth and foment around Closet Classics at 1000 North Ave. lately. If you haven’t visited this fun cafe plus vintage clothes plus cool handbags plus dishy palm garden no smoking hang-out, you’re missing a cool spot in Riverwest. Recently, the owner of Closet Classics was approached by a group that wants to meet in her shop and watch Japanimation films. If you know anything about the young, hip kids who are into anime, you know this is not a rowdy bunch who will leave the place at bar time, hooting and hollering and frightening the horses. However, the owner has been advised that this requires a “Shows and Exhibition” License from the City. She applied for the license, and post cards were sent out to near neighbors. One of the neighbors took the post card, copied it onto a letter from Ald. Johnson-Odom on City of Milwaukee letterhead, and added a note at the bottom, pointing out that this permit allows “…side shows, wrestling shows, traveling caravans, vaudeville acts and any trained animals, wild animals, menagerie or other objects of curiosity, all of which are operated or exhibited for a profit. This is an unlimited yearly permit with outdoor use requested. Potential uses: Non Alcoholic Strip Club, Teen club, DJ, or live bands indoors or out.” (Just for the record, no events of these descriptions are planned for Closet Classics in the foreseeable future.) This flyer was distributed to residents in a three-block radius of the coffeeshop, with the suggestion to attend the hearing at city hall. Why not stop in for a cup of coffee at Closet Classics and see what’s really going on there? The Utilities and Licensing Committee hearing is coming up Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. at City Hall, Room 301 B.

Mad Planet was packed Sunday night, Aug. 25th. Inquiries revealed it was the site of a unique wedding and reception. If you’re looking for an interesting site for your wedding, inquire by calling 263-4555.

Bella Luna, Riverwest manufacturer of premium pasta, has been purchased by Mondo Brothers, Inc., a company operated by local restaurateur Russell Davis, according to an Aug. 23 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Mondo’s operations include Cafe Vecchio Mondo, 1137 N. Old World Third St.; Lakefront Palm Garden, 1872 N. Commerce St., and Riverwalk Boat Tours. According to Davis, the Bella Luna operation will remain at 2074 N. Commerce St. The retail outlet has reopened and will have a patio added for samplings and tours. Bella Luna pasta will continue to be sold in supermarkets throughout Wisconsin and in other states. The business was founded in 1984, and had been owned since 1993 by the Krasno family.

Rumors of new businesses in Riverwest include a nail salon on Bremen Street just north of Center and a laundromat on Pierce and Wright Streets in the building that used to house Dreamcatchers tavern. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 8 – September 2002