Earlier today, at a press conference at the 5th Street Fuel Cafe, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett officially declared Wednesday, February 13, 2019 to be Fuel Cafe Day. All Milwaukeeans are encouraged to enjoy Fuel’s killer coffee, bemoan Fuel’s “lousy service,” and remember the way the original Fuel in Riverwest used to smell when you could still smoke there. Remember that?

But seriously: Why is today Fuel Cafe Day? Because the Walker’s Point restaurant has officially “flipped the switch” to start powering itself with 60 solar panels installed on its roof. The panels were installed back in November, and were already operational by the end of January. Nice! According to Fuel:

The café’s solar PV system is 19.8kW (kilowatts) and produces about 25,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) annually. This is equivalent to not driving 14,700 miles per year or not burning 33,000 pounds of coal annually. The system will save up to $6,000 per year in energy bills for a total cost savings exceeding $100,000 over the course of 30 years and pay for itself in just five years.

“We’re already reducing waste through our composting efforts, using environmentally friendly products and local vendors for produce and products and this effort is one more way we can have an impact,” Fuel Cafe co-owner Kristyn Eitel said in a press release.

Fuel joins Bounce Milwaukee and the Riverwest Co-Op as the only three Milwaukee restaurants to use solar power. Only six restaurants in the entire state use solar power, says Fuel.

So happy Fuel Cafe Day, Milwaukee! Here’s the text of the mayoral proclamation. Also, those giant breakfast boxes are no joke.

WHEREAS, The City of Milwaukee proudly joins dedicated staff, patrons and community members in celebrating the installation of solar panels at Fuel Café on Wednesday, February 13, 2019; and,

WHEREAS, Fuel Café is a locally owned business that has welcomed all walks of life to share conversation, enjoy “killer coffee,” delicious food and drinks within a calming environment since 1993; and,

WHEREAS, Fuel Café is committed to an eco-friendly business model, using environmentally-friendly products whenever possible, reducing waste through composting and choosing local vendors for produce; and,

WHEREAS, Fuel Café expanded upon their eco-friendly commitment and mission to reduce their carbon footprint by installing solar panels in order to conserve and preserve energy through solar power; and,

WHEREAS, The City of Milwaukee commends Fuel Café for its many years of dedicated service and leadership, recognizes its outstanding contribution to the community and wishes it many more years of success;

Now, Therefore, I, Tom Barrett, Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, February 13, 2019, to be


throughout the City of Milwaukee.

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Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.