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M IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

By JOAN ELOVITZ KAZAN

April 2017

 

Illustration by STEPHANIE STEINHAUER

“If you build it, they will come.” This iconic line from the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” refers to a baseball field in Iowa, but it could easily be about the Menomonee Valley. When Miller Park opened in 2001, who could have imagined what this area would become? Today it’s a destination for baseball fans, bikers (both motor- and pedal-powered), beer lovers, nature enthusiasts and more.
 

See & Do

At the Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee Valley branch, sustainable features like Solatube lights coexist with reclaimed wood from the building’s former life as a tavern. Rent a canoe to launch at nearby Three Bridges Park, or take a hike through this outdoor urban science classroom. The park sits on 24 acres — a place where hands-on educational experiences, recreation and a love of nature intersect. 3700 W. Pierce St., (414) 431-2940, urbanecologycenter.org

Save the date: On April 23, Brew City Safari will host a Menomonee Valley Night Hike, free of charge. Visit the organization’s Facebook page for more event details.

The Harley-Davidson Museum is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s no surprise that it is loved by bikers, biker babes and even non-hog enthusiasts, who all get a kick out of the museum’s one-of-a-kind exhibits and special events. A Milwaukee-themed menu is on tap at the museum’s MOTOR Bar & Restaurant on Spring Bike Night, April 13 — the evening before Milwaukee Day. Take advantage of free museum admission on Gallery Night, April 21. 400 W. Canal St., (877) 436-8738, harley-davidson.com
 

Eat & Drink

Fresh off its Feb. 1 opening, City Lights Brewery Co. is the newest addition to the city’s plethora of local craft beer options. The brewery is housed in the former Milwaukee Gas Light building, where City Lights’ brewmaster Jimmy Gohsman pours four beers: an amber ale, a brown ale and two IPAs. Tours are held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the $10 ticket includes a glass with the brewery’s logo and one beer. Saturday’s noon tour is family-friendly. 2200 W. Mt. Vernon Ave., (414) 436-1011, citylightsbrewing.com

What happens when two camp friends grow up with a shared passion for beer and the desire to open a business in their beloved hometown? They open a brewery, of course. Brewmaster Kevin Wright and self-proclaimed “recovering attorney” Andy Gehl are the proud owners of Third Space Brewing, which features a tap room, tours, and a kid- and dog-friendly beer garden. 1505 W. St. Paul Ave., (414) 909-2337, thirdspacebrewing.com

The newest dining establishment within Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is Bella Italiana, an Italian-inspired eatery located on the casino’s third floor. Chef Maggie Haller serves up signature fare, including chicken or veal Parmesan and crispy cheese and mushroom risotto, at affordable rates. 1721 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7626, paysbig.com
 

DID YOU KNOW?

The Menomonee (also spelled Menominee) tribe is a federally recognized nation of Native Americans, and the word “Menomonee” originally meant “wild rice people.” Three Bridges Park sits on the site of a former wild rice field, which later became a rail yard, and then sat abandoned for decades. It’s now a thriving destination for business, restaurants, nature and recreation.





 

This story ran in the April 2017 issue of: