Every Friday, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.
• Milwaukee, you’ll be shocked to discover, is building a lot of new shit. A good chunk of that new shit is hotels. According to BizTimes, downtown Milwaukee has added 1,350 hotel rooms since 2012, including the 381 new rooms at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Then there are the hotels that are being planned or constructed as we speak: a 119-room Potawatomi addition, a 150-room Hyatt Place, a 200-room Drury Hotel, a 220-room hotel conversion of the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center, and more. It’s gotten to the point where the market is “starting to show some signs of oversaturation.” Hotel occupancy in downtown Milwaukee, for instance, was 62.6 percent for the first six months of 2017, down 4.9 percent from the same period in 2016. Clearly, Milwaukee has too many hotels.
Except Milwaukee needs more hotels, apparently. That’s what a consultant to the Wisconsin Center District says in a recent $58,900 (plus expenses) report, arguing “expanding Milwaukee’s downtown convention hall by up to 215,000 square feet and adding 1,000 ‘convention quality’ hotel rooms are key strategies—but not the only ones—for increasing the city’s convention business.” [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Hello Falafel, Drink Wisconsinbly Pub, and Lakefront Brewery were featured on an episode of the Cooking Channel’s Cheap Eats. Northpoint Custard, meanwhile, was featured on an episode of the channel’s Seaside Snacks & Shacks. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, OnMilwaukee]
• Key to Change, a program designed to combat chronic homelessness, unveiled seven key-shaped parking meters on Wisconsin Avenue. All change placed in the meters will go to the Housing First Project, “a two-year-old initiative with the overarching goal of trying to give the chronically homeless housing first and then taking on other issues they face.” [Urban Milwaukee]
• A new Milwaukee “supergroup,” Sundial Mottos, released a self-titled debut EP straight out of 1994. And oh buddy, it is gooooooood. [Shepherd Express]
• FAMS Week, a free, week-long, all-ages blowout, begins September 18. FAMS is a “cross-promotion between four independent events and venues: Freespace, After Gallery, Music Lab and Scratch Sessions.” Says organizer WebsterX, “When I was coming up there was never an easy way to bridge that gap if you were underage. So we wanted to make it simpler for them. If there are kids or people in the scene who want to get involved, we wanted to make sure they were included.” [Shepherd Express]
• The Original, located in the old Red Dot building at 2498 N. Bartlett Ave., will open for business Thursday, September 21. What to expect from the new restaurant/bar, both inside and out? “We didn’t want to grab onto things that were trendy, that might not be around in three or four years,” says general manager Craig Rzepka. “Instead we stuck with elements that will stand the test of time.” [OnMilwaukee]
• In related news, THE EAST SIDE ISN’T DYING YOU GUYS PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT. Anyway, a national pizza chain, Jet’s Pizza, is set to open this fall in the old Melthouse Bistro space, 1857 E. Kenilworth Pl. LONG LIVE THE EAST SIDE. [OnMilwaukee]
• Twin Brother released a new song, “Bombs Will Fall,” from the upcoming Alone In Austin EP. [Bandcamp]
• “Going to a show or listening to music on the bus…These moments can be transcendent. Growing up is hard and changing your life is hard. I am trying to stay positive.” So says Juiceboxxx, who plays the Cactus Club tonight. [Explain]
• Pizza Shuttle “ticketed” a bunch of vehicles near UWM and everyone flipped out. [UWM Post]
• Has Milwaukee never had an official karaoke league? According to Milwaukee Magazine, the answer is no. Weird. Anyway, Yokohama is starting one beginning Tuesday, September 26. [Milwaukee Magazine]
• Speaking of Milwaukee Magazine, how about some mural news? Two new mural have popped up in the city—one of the outer wall of the Penfield Children’s Center, 833 N. 26th St. (painted by Stacey Williams-Ng), and another inside the Eastcastle Place senior living center, 2505 E. Bradford Ave. (painted by resident Harriet Herrick). [OnMilwaukee]
• The BMO Harris Bradley Center is gearing up for its 30th and final year. Katy Perry, Guns N’ Roses, Janet Jackson, Lorde, Cirque du Soleil, and more will play the soon-to-be-retired arena in 2017-18. A “series of public open houses and a season-long fundraising campaign” culminating in an “April 11 civic gala” are also on the calendar. [OnMilwaukee]
• With Miami recovering from Hurricane Irma, this weekend’s Milwaukee Brewers/Florida Marlins series has been moved to Miller Park. (Tickets are all but gone.) On top of that, the Brewers have released their schedule for 2018, opening the season with a three-game series in San Diego. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!