Every Friday, Stuff We Missed looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for, well, stuff we missed throughout the week.
• It should be simple: Milwaukee is hosting the 2020 Democratic National Convention July 13-16. Like other cities that have hosted Democratic or Republican conventions, Milwaukee wants to temporarily extend its bar hours to 4 a.m. in order to accommodate—and cash in on—the event’s expected 50,000 visitors. So make it happen, Wisconsin lawmakers!
But, like politics, love, and that speeder bike level in Battletoads, it’s not that simple. Earlier this year, a bill was introduced that would extend bar hours throughout the entire state of Wisconsin during the DNC. However, the bill was stuffed with a number of unrelated proposals, including creating new licensing fees for “wedding barn” operators. The extra junk was the bright idea of Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander), a former Tavern League president and current owner of a supper club in Rhinelander. Bar owners and Democrats were not pleased.
The wedding barn stuff was eventually removed, and, after Republicans scaled back the scope to apply to only 14 southeastern Wisconsin counties, the Assembly approved the bill late Thursday night by a vote of 84-13. Yeah, there’s still some unrelated stuff about serving alcohol at Wisconsin State Fair Park and Road America, but there you have it.
So good news, right? NOT SO FAST. The bill still needs approval from the full Senate, and that approval is in serious doubt. Why? Because Senate Republicans are suddenly very concerned with “public safety” in Milwaukee. Here’s a stupid quote from Van Wanggaard (R-Racine):
“There will be people, if it stays open longer, that will be driving drunker drunker and drive on our roads. It’s absolutely unconscionable…I don’t care if this is the DNC, the (Republican National Convention)—whatever kind of convention it is.”
Here’s a stupid quote from Senate Majority Leaders Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau):
“To be honest with you, it’s kind of lost a little bit of steam. I’ve had members approach me (saying) what the fallout could be about the extension whether it’s a high-profile case of drunk driving. There’s some concerns (about) why is this only being done for this convention and does it make sense?”
Here’s a stupid quote from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester):
“I think it’s going to be fantastic for the state of Wisconsin to be able to see how crazy Bernie Sanders is, (and) how the people who support him are clearly out of step with reality and there’s a lot of people in this state who once they hear him speak are going to say, ‘I need a drink.'”
And here’s…wait, a sensible quote from Swearingen?
“Everybody’s money is green. Let’s show these people a good time not only in Milwaukee but all over Wisconsin.”
And here’s…wait, another sensible quote from Rep. Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin):
“To me it doesn’t matter if you have an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ after your name. The Democratic convention is going to bring 50,000 people to not only Milwaukee but southeastern Wisconsin—and the whole state of Wisconsin is going to host. We will be on the big stage.”
The full Wisconsin Senate will reconvene in late March. If the bill makes it past the Senate, Gov. Tony Evers has said he will sign it. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• DEER CAMP—the new all-caps bar/venue coming to the former Trio space, 1023 N. Old World 3rd St.—will open on Friday, February 28. [OnMilwaukee]
• Speaking of openings (sorry if that sounds weird), a new “opulent Spanish tapas bar” named Cavas will open on Tuesday, February 25 in the former home of Batches Bakery, 401 E. Erie St. [OnMilwaukee]
• A custom candle-making bar is coming to Walker’s Point. FINALLY. Glassnote Candle Bar will open this spring above Movida, 524 S. 2nd St. [OnMilwaukee]
• A documentary about the rise and fall of Coo Coo Cal, The Rise And Fall Of Coo Coo Cal, is streaming on Amazon Prime. [88Nine Radio Milwaukee]
• Bon Iver will play shows in La Crosse, Wausau, and Appleton on October 5, 7, and 8, respectively, BUT “fans must pledge to vote in order to gain access to presale tickets for all three shows before they go on sale to the public this Friday, Feb. 21.” Don’t disappoint Bon Iver, folks. Vote. [88Nine Radio Milwaukee]
• The 2020 Wisconsin State Fair is firming up its music lineup. Boyz II Men, Brothers Osborne, the (Brian Wilson-less) Beach Boys, and more will play the big West Allis/Milwaukee cream puff shindig. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• The same Minneapolis-based investors who are redeveloping the old Grand Avenue mall have purchased a four-story, 7,000-square-foot building in Walker’s Point. The investors aren’t sure what they’re going to do with the building, located at 235-237 S. Second St., but they “love the neighborhood.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Oh, and speaking of the Grand Avenue, THEY DISCOVERED A NEW/OLD ROOM IN THE BASEMENT. [BizTimes]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!