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December 08, 2005



ESPN Zone? Gameworks? House of Blues? "The city doesn't need another 'neighborhood' - it has plenty already." How very sad and uncreative of you to think that way, and to think that an ESPN Zone would enhance this city in any way. A giant sports video game complex. Ooooo... culture. There's a reason why it's in Downtown Chicago. Let the true sports fans head downtown to go to an Admirals, Bucks, or Brewers Game. A House of Blues?? A chain nightclub which might bring in ... who? Acts who otherwise wouldn't dare play at places such as the Rave, the Pabst Theater, Shank Hall - places where legends have played. Places were legends got their start. I like HOB Chicago. It's good fit for, again, downtown Chicago. It's a large city, a large condensed downtown area, and it's a good sized venue without being an "arena." As as for Milwaukee having enough "neighborhoods," that's like saying we've had enough "diversity." Anyone I've ever met who has ever visited Milwaukee with low to no expectations of liking it has been overwhelmed by the beauty, charm, and character of this city. Anyone who has ever been "charmed" by Chicago has been so, not by it's ESPN Zone or it's Hard Rock Cafe (gag!), but by it's abundance of neighborhoods, each one with it's streets lines with banners letting you know exactly which neighborhood you're in so you remember where you want to come back to.

While I hate to see nothing done to this area, we certainly don't need this overdeveloped, overly shiny "chain" area. Milwaukee needs to get creative and figure out how to keep the area alive without selling out and sacrificing those things have made Milwaukee the mix of culture and tradition that it is.


Since it's been stated earlier that posts won't be censored or deleted, let me begin by saying...

Scotti, you're a dick, and an elitist dick at that. Where's your brilliant, creative ideas?

Historical or not, that area has been barren for years, and you're a fool if you think that thousands of jobs is a better than an empty, broken down building. Of course those are going to be mostly service jobs (minus the construction), but jobs are jobs.

We've got scores of people at the casino and at conventions and in town for a game, and they've got very few places to go. We've got tons of *families* in the suburbs who never seem to make it downtown to spend their cash. Even if tourists and families wanted to go to the places you listed (they don't seem to), how many people are you going to jam into a place like Shank Hall? Capacity is 300, FYI.

It basically comes down to this. For years, there's been nothing in that space. For years, nobody has been spending money downtown. Whatever people have been trying is obviously not working. Someone sees opportunity in our struggling city and comes in with jobs and business development and you chuckleheads blow it.

Either come up with some good ideas, or get the hell out of the way. Christ, how many condos do you people think we need?


Elitist, no. Idealist, yes. Dick? "I know you are, but what am I?" nice... It's a real intellect who comes out guns blazing, firing insults in defense of his blogger friend.

The point is, we are NOT Chicago and we shouldn't try to be Chicago. Milwaukee is a much smaller, much more conservative town. We're not flashy city. Also - all chains aren't bad, but those mentioned (and the context in which they are stated "we don't need another neighborhood") - they're gaudy and really would hurt other businesses.

I realize the area has been depressed for some time. I also give the City more credit than to think it needs big money, shiney chain crap to bring in money into the city. Look at something as simple as the Public Market. Simple, cool, trendy, bringing in business to downtown. It's ideas like that which will help the area.

As for my ideas for the area, I will submit them to the site where they will matter, not on this blog. I just happened across this blog, saw an entry and decided to respond to it. I won't be back, unless I need something to help me fall asleep.


Thanks for replying to help prove my "elitist dick" comment correct.

You have no substance to your claims. I don't necessarily believe that we're a more conservative city. I also don't know what businesses would truly be hurt by bringing in more people (with more attractions).

These businesses aren't really competing with anything that exists here already. People who go to their local sports bar to watch the game aren't going to be tripping over themselves to feel anonymous in ESPN Zone. Where do we have huge gaming places? I mean, have asian restaurants dispeared because we have PF Changs? Thank god, no.

Think about the metro area and how you'd describe it... industrial, midwestern, suburban, sports-oriented. You can't convert them all into Ikea loving, Public Market shopping, Walmart hating drones. There should be a place for diverse people in Milwaukee, and that includes the family of four in an SUV.


I don't see anything wrong with a little expansion, and a metropolitain city should boast the ability to offer MANY different things to its visitors (and locals). Sure a Gameworks, or an ESPN zone is a bit mainstream but welcome to the United States of America, home of consumerism.

As for the neighborhood factor, I don't see why a city can't have both?! In fact, I lived in Chicago for 3 1/2 years and never once were the Big Business ventures harmful to the charm and character of the city. In a city such as Chicago you get a little bit of everything...DIVERSIFICATION!!! get the quaint city neighborhoods with tree lined streets and you also get your balls out, over priced food and beverage venues such as House of Blues and Hard Rock Cafe. It has something for everyone!

Why shouldn't Milwaukee have a taste of that as well? If you're not into the mainstream lifestyle that's great for you! That's why venues like the Rave exist...for people not into that lifestyle. But just because it doesn't fit your personal belief system on how a day-in-the-life should be spent, doesn't mean that thousands of other people should miss out on something that they would truly enjoy either.

I say, do what you do Milwaukee. I trust you =)

Sarah Mankowski

It's interesting you mention this - I was just driving by the Schlitz development w/schools, restaurants, etc. and commenting to my supervisor - who's from Madison - that the Pabst City, which is even older and more expansive, is slated for demolition at some point in the future. She was aghast, to say the least, and it reminded me how strongly I feel too. Granted, where the mountains of money to develop/restore the site would come from - there's the million dollar question, but can't we at least brainstorm on this a bit, rather than throw up our hands and give up? Just a thought from a pie-eyed idealist.


Milwaukee is certainly on the verge of a major explosion and we NEED places like Pabst City to provide more options for entertainment.

Sorry, but Milwaukee has some of the worst music venues out of any major city I have ever lived in or visited. The Rave is disgusting. Shank Hall? Laughable. What's next, the Mirimar Theater? Please. The only decent music venue is the Pabst Theater. Of course the Pabst is far beyond decent, it's flat out amazing. But in my opinion, we are in dire need of a large music venue to accomodate the city's needs. Since when was competition frowned upon so fiercely anyway? When they build a restaraunt in a neighborhood, it's not like a new one can't ever come in down the block.

Sure, it's not the greatest thing in the world that Pabst City fell through, but it's not the end of the world either. At least there's hope in the fact that a private developer is moving forward with plans for the site.

I just hope that whatever comes through is going to be along the lines of what we need. With all the expansion we're seeing these days - From Kilbourn Tower to University Club Tower, from the new Park Lafayette proposal to the Lake Bluff proposal, Milwaukee is booming. We need entertainment. My god, we don't even have a decent movie theater (and I'm not talking about movies that play at the oriental or downer).

Not everyone is going to agree on every proposal that comes through... it's just part of the process. It's just a shame that people that disagree always tend to have the loudest voice.

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