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Photos by Dan Bishop

December 2014

Milwaukee Ale House

Grafton residents have always known the village’s downtown district was a diamond in the rough. Now, thanks to recent revitalization efforts, including new streets and sidewalks, a pedestrian plaza and river walk, visitors are discovering this gem of a community. Today, this once-neglected area is thriving with new commercial development, from restaurants to retail shops.

Swathed in earth tones and rustic accents, Allure Salon & Spa (1214 13th Ave.) prides itself on its upbeat, upscale — but never uptight — atmosphere. Take a seat in one of the plush salon chairs and let Allure’s skilled stylists and aestheticians work their magic.

Slow Pokes Local Food

Seeking some seriously good barbecue? Look no further than Atlas BBQ (1304 12th Ave.). With a focus on the three B’s (beer, bourbon, barbeque), you can expect a dining experience that’s nothing short of amazing.

If you’re more partial to pizza, pop into Downtown Pizza (1228 12th Ave.). This relative newcomer to downtown Grafton serves up signature pies with inventive toppings. The Hawaiian Jerk and Pot Pie Pizza are just two local favorites.

Erik’s Bike and Board Shop (1275 Washington St.) is another fresh face in downtown Grafton. Recently voted one of America’s Best Bike Shops by the National Bike Dealers Association, Erik’s caters to new and seasoned cyclists alike.

Erik's Bike and Board Shop

Overlooking the Milwaukee River, Milwaukee Ale House (1208 13th Ave.) is the perfect spot to treat yourself to an awesome burger and a pint of cold beer. With two full-length promenade decks that run along the restaurant’s upper and lower levels, rest and relaxation await.

Opened in 2007, Colectivo Coffee’s Grafton location (12111 Washington St.) marked the café’s first foray outside of Milwaukee County. In the years since, this peaceful, spacious coffee shop has become a welcome respite from the bustling intersection at Washington Street and 12th Avenue.

For inexpensive family fun, you can’t beat Grafton Pub and Bowl (1305 Wisconsin Ave.). The sports bar/family entertainment center offers 10 lanes of bowling. After you work up an appetite, head upstairs to the Heart of Grafton restaurant for some classic American grub.

Sweet Trio

Touting itself as Wisconsin’s premier martial arts and functional fitness academy, Neutral Ground Martial Arts & Fitness (1307 Wisconsin Ave.) offers an impressive menu of classes, including jiu jitsu, judo and kickboxing.

On a mission to help people eat healthier, Slow Pokes Local Food (1219 12th Ave.) stocks organic produce, farm-raised meats and dairy products, all sourced locally. The store also offers classes and advice on topics ranging from eating gluten-free, to managing your digestive health, to scratch cooking.

From its airy loft space at 1218 12th Ave., Stone Manor Bridal is intent on helping brides make memories to last a lifetime. With knowledgeable staff and an extensive offering of gowns, the appointment-only salon offers a truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Visitors strolling downtown Grafton will not want to pass up Sweet Trio (1225 Washington St.). The edible gift shop is a dessert lover’s heaven, offering artisan European chocolates and gourmet caramel apples at affordable prices.



This story ran in the December  2014 issue of: