Since its founding in 1974, the nonprofit organization Historic Milwaukee has tirelessly advocated for an awareness of historic preservation and promotion of Milwaukee's built environment. The organization lifts the veil on Milwaukee's buildings and the people of its past through neighborhood walking tours. Throughout the year, special tours take visitors on bike excursions and deeper explorations of more focused historical topics. To further engage history buffs, Historic Milwaukee also helms events ranging from a panel discussion series on city history to a citywide open house featuring more than 150 buildings.
Riverwest Yogashala focuses on Iyengar yoga, a composite of ancient yoga practices and contemporary innovation, in its weekly classes for all experience levels. Master molders lead body-bending sessions that incorporate a series of standing poses to improve flexibility, increase strength and balance, and align spines for easier overcoat maneuverability. Props such as blocks and straps buoy pose performance throughout each muscle-strengthening class level. Expectant mothers and newly minted moms can attend pre- and post-natal classes to embrace bodily forms and boost personal health. A nonprofit yoga center, Riverwest Yogashala schedules multiple classes daily, and offers free sessions every month to encourage first-time yogis to reap the benefits of regular back bends, downward-facing dogs, or salami salaams.
Art Bar, called a "Painter's Paradise" by Urban Milwaukee magazine, isn't your typical watering hole. In its enchanting interior, hundreds of soda bottle caps create an argyle pattern on pillars, wine corks stud an oval-shaped bar, and paint-by-number pieces—depicting everything from horses to the Virgin Mary—plaster a wall.
The kitschy aesthetic offers a glimpse into the creative mind of owner Don Krause. Krause left his former career as an interior designer for Ethan Allen to brave the trials of opening a bar in Riverwest. And he did it his way: His joint pours more than 40 microbrews by night and Alterra coffee by day in a space adorned with the rotating creations of local artists. The beer lineup includes seasonal brews from Bell’s, Founders, Lakefront, and New Glarus, as well as “mystery beers” served for three bucks cloaked in a crumpled brown bag—the way Wisconsin dignitaries drink. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel describes the venue as “a feast for all senses” and “one of the hottest spots in Riverwest,” thanks in part to its comedy, musical, or artistic events.
Bremen Café's cadre of sandwich sages heap hearty portions of veggies and deli meats onto hoagie rolls to round out an inventive menu. Silence maundering appetites with meal-prefacing portions of mini Pit-Zas ($4), which set zesty pizza fixings atop 10-foot wide pitas before a shrink ray zaps them down to a more manageable size. The Turkey Delight unites italian hoagie halves with a stack of smoked turkey, pesto mayonnaise, and muenster cheese ($6.50). Instead of staying dry—like cities during prohibition and squirt guns during groundings—the Bremen Beef sandwich anoints tender roast beef, peppers, and onions with piquant chili butter ($6.50). Achieve meatless munching by choosing vegetarian options such as the Burn Mama, Burn ($5.75), which ferries grilled cabbage and giardiniera peppers into mouths on a hoagie roll to launch surprise attacks on taste buds.
Steve Shapson has always taken a do-it-yourself approach to his food, having cultivated wild mushrooms and started his own home-brewing store. One day, a customer entered this brewing facility in search of a thermometer, and Steve quickly discovered the man had something other than brewing in mind. As the customer explained his newfound passion for amateur cheese making, Steve enthusiastically dove into the concept, inviting the fellow foodie to his store to help him discover the process. Since then, he's become The Cheesemaker, striving to pass on hard-earned knowledge that he maintains can't be found in conventional cheese-making guidebooks.
Steve teaches techniques for making hard and soft cheeses, butter, yogurt, and kefir in onsite workshops that last either just a few hours or a full weekend. During hands-on workshops, he explains both proper and improper techniques, often citing mistakes he's made in the past as examples and telling cautionary tales about arranging rival cheeses next to each other on a serving platter. To supply his workshops and fill out his take-home cheese-making kits, Steve gathers a range of cultures and inoculants necessary for developing different cheeses, as well as basic-to-advanced gear such as curd knives, strainers, and warming vats.