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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Moxy, on Farwell, has closed.
Moxy, on Farwell, has closed. (Photo: Jeff Sherman)
The Corner will reopen in August with a new name, owners.
The Corner will reopen in August with a new name, owners. (Photo: Jeff Sherman)

The Corner bar and the East Side's Moxy are closed

In another sign that Water Street might be shedding some of its just-for-boozing mentality, The Corner, a mainly college-aged bar, has closed.

The Corner, at the intersection of Water and Knapp, was known for its drink specials and its "Bring Your Own Shoe" nights where bar patrons could drink free out of their, you guessed it, shoes.

"After six years, it's time for a change," The Corner owner Joe Sorge said last week when asked about the bar at 1247 N. Water St.

The Corner is officially closed and will re-open with assistance from the owners of the Eastsider, 1732 E. North Ave., in August, according to Sorge.

Sorge and his wife Angie also own and operate Water Buffalo and Swig, both in the Third Ward.

"Standards are changing (on Water Street)," noted Sorge, citing the new, upscale Fat Abbey Biercafe, 134 E. Juneau Ave., and the under-construction Residences on Water, a mixed-use project with a 121-unit Staybridge Suites by Intercontinental, 14,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and two levels of parking at corner of Water and Juneau.

In other news, Moxy, 2219 N. Farwell Ave., also closed. Most items have been removed from the East Side space, the store's Web site is down, owner Tyler Reiter hasn't returned e-mails and the voice mailbox at the store is full.

I'm always a bit saddened when a local retailer shuts its doors, but Moxy can be proud of its position as a fashion pioneer in Milwaukee. It sold higher-end denim, great T-shirts and funky accessories during a time when few other independent stores in the area were doing so.

One reason for the closing could be the one-way traffic on Farwell. Former East Side Ald. Mike D'Amato said as much to OnMilwaukee.com's Molly Snyder Edler in November 2007.

"I can't tell you how many people come to me saying they want to open a retail space in the area, but not on a one-way street. One-way streets kill retail. The day that we change Farwell to a two-way street, the value of tha…

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Sprecher root beer named best in America.
Sprecher root beer named best in America. (Photo: sprecherbrewery.com)

NYT.com says Sprecher Root Beer is "No. 1" in U.S.

Milwaukee will always be Brew City, and now it's also "Root Beer City" as The New York Times (NYT.com) hails Milwaukee's own (Glendale, if you want to be picky) Sprecher Root Beer as the best in the county.

In a story and taste test called "Sodas of the Times: A Drink in Search of a Frosty Mug," chief wine critic Eric Asimov and Times dining section staffers Florence Fabricant, Julia Moskin and Kim Severson tasted 25 different root beers. Sprecher took the title.

"Our No. 1 root beer, from Sprecher in Wisconsin, a wonderfully balanced and complex brew, uses a combination of corn syrup and honey, while our No. 2, the restrained and flavorful IBC, uses only corn syrup. So, even with the importance of the sweetener, something more is at play with root beers," wrote Asimov.

IBC, out of Texas, also rated highly.

Live local music with The Gufs and the MSO.
Live local music with The Gufs and the MSO. (Photo: mso.org)

The Gufs kick off concert series with MSO tonight

The Gufs kick off a four-concert series with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra tonight at Boerner Botanical Gardens. The 7 p.m. show is free.

All four concerts (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday) take place in Milwaukee County Parks and are part of The Gufs' 20th anniversary.

The shows were inspired by the group's 2006 disc "A Different Sea." On it, a few tracks were mixed with string arrangements performed by select MSO musicians.

The concerts feature The Gufs' songs and orchestral classics from movies and signature composers.

The shows should create a cool sound and attract a new audience for the symphony.

"This year's unique collaboration with the Gufs allows the MSO to reach new audiences who like to hear classical music with a twist, " says Jenna Kashou, corporate relations manager at the MSO.

The gigs:

Wednesday, June 25 -- Boerner Botanical Gardens, 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 26 -- Milwaukee Lakefront (just north of the Brady Street foot bridge), 8:30 p.m.

Friday, June 27 -- Washington Park, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 29 -- Milwaukee County Zoo, 2:30 p.m.

Germania and Cawker, better views driving west.
Germania and Cawker, better views driving west. (Photo: Jeff Sherman)
The Pabst Theater sits proudly on Wells Street.
The Pabst Theater sits proudly on Wells Street. (Photo: Jeff Sherman)
You'll even be able to see the Hyatt when driving west on Wells.
You'll even be able to see the Hyatt when driving west on Wells. (Photo: Jeff Sherman)

Views you'll hopefully see soon on Wells Street

Today the City of Milwaukee begins to complete the job it started several years ago, changing Wells Street  -- along its entire stretch -- to a two-way street. 

The City's Public Safety Committee will hear comments on Alderman Bob Bauman's ordinance "relating to traffic controls on East Wells Street and West Wells Street between Prospect Avenue and North 6th Street" at 9 a.m.

As a passionate Downtown resident, I believe the city has an obligation to finish what it started (it changed Wells west of 6th to two-way years ago) and to follow the Downtown Master Plan that states, "as many streets as possible be converted to two- way streets."

I believe that one-way traffic is bad for business, bad for the Bradley Center and M&I Bank (way too confusing) and limiting for the views of The Pabst Theater and the new, taxpayer-funded City Hall rennovation. Not to mention that a one-way Wells Street also will drastically limit access to the Bronze Fonz.

Currently, visitors to the Downtown area are forced to go around blocks to reach their destination or to find parking. Under this plan, which was former Mayor Norquist's vision when he changed Wells to two-way west of 6th Street years ago, accessibility to the neighborhood and businesses will be improved by eliminating the inefficient circulation of traffic to reach destinations. The Kilbourn and State bridge closings have made this change more important, too.

Anyway, hats off to the city for finally getting religion about the need to kill one-way streets in our Downtown.

Now, check out the views in the photo gallery above to see what you'll soon (hopefully) be able to see when you drive west from the lake on Wells Street.