New “Brew Crew” alternate uniforms pay tribute to the 414, tailgating

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The Milwaukee Brewers unveiled their Nike “City Connect” uniforms Friday, showing off a flashy combo that pays homage to the city’s industrial history and its affinity for tailgating at the stadium.

The powder blue jerseys with yellow and navy trim connect past and present versions of Brewers uniforms. Across the chest reads “Brew Crew,” the beloved nickname of the club that has called Milwaukee home since 1970. On the had is MKE in yellow, with a subliminal “414” woven into the design. A “grill patch” on the right sleeve cleverly ties a baseball into the design.

“Wisconsinites wait all year to fire up the grill,” the launch site explains. “This brand-new shoulder patch is a nod to the city’s rich tradition of grilling out and summer living.”‘

Milwaukee is the 14th team to debut a City Connect uniform, an initiative started by Major League Baseball in 2021. Each team works with Nike and local designers to create a customized look.

Radio Milwaukee on-air host Marcus Doucette helped announce the design in a video recorded from the 88Nine studios.

“Milwaukee, we’re doing our thing, man,” Doucette says in the clip. “It’s a big-city vibe, but everything’s close-knit.”

The Brewers will rep the 414 at most Friday home games for the remainder of the season, plus every remaining Community Night. Here are the dates:

Friday, June 24 vs. Toronto
Saturday, June 25 vs. Toronto
Sunday, June 26 vs. Toronto
Friday, July 8 vs. Pittsburgh
Friday, July 22 vs. Colorado
Friday, August 28 vs. Chicago Cubs
Friday, September 9 vs. Cincinnati
Friday, September 16 vs. New York Yankees
Saturday, September 17 vs. New York Yankees
Friday, September 30 vs. Miami

You can shop the entire collection of hats, jerseys, shirts, socks and more at the Brewers Team Store at American Family Field or at MLB.com.

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‘Brew City Battle’ will bring Badgers basketball to American Family Field

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For the first time in history, a basketball game will be held at American Family Field, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Wisconsin Badgers men’s team will take on the Stanford Cardinal November 11 in a primetime game. Additionally, The UW women’s team will face off against the K-State Wildcats in the opening game of the evening.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 26.

A temporary basketball court will cover the infield, with additional temporary seating installed along second base. You can see a rendering below, along with the official press release.

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Brewers

COLLEGE HOOPS ON THE DIAMOND

The 2022 Aurora Health Care Brew City Battle features a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader on Friday, November 11, 2022. The Wisconsin Badgers men’s team will take on the Stanford Cardinal in the primetime game. The UW women’s team will face off against the K-State Wildcats in the opening game of the evening.

American Family Field will transform into a unique basketball venue for the first time in the stadium’s history. The court will be positioned across the infield, with center court near the pitcher’s mound. Temporary seating will be installed just beyond second base to provide a premium fan experience, along with additional field-level seating around the court. Tickets for on-field seats will be all-inclusive with a variety of food and beverage options, and nearly all of the existing seating areas of American Family Field will be available.

Tickets will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, July 26.

Final game times and television designations will be announced at a later date.

Men’s Game: Wisconsin Badgers vs. Stanford Cardinal

Women’s Game: Wisconsin Badgers vs. K-State Wildcats

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Alphonso’s, home of the massive mozzarella sticks, is re-opening this month in West Allis

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Editor’s note: Alphonso’s The Original re-opened for business on Tuesday, June 28.

In mid-April, a few Radio Milwaukee staffers headed out to S. 108th St. in West Allis with eyes and appetites on Alphonso’s The Original, home of the famous footlong mozzarella sticks.

But there was a “CLOSED” sign on the door.

That’s because owner Tim Szuta has been hard at work preparing to open a new location at 9130 W Greenfield Ave., and after two months being closed, Alphonso’s will be ready to reopen in mid-June.

Alphonso’s isn’t any old pizza shop for one big reason. You may remember it went viral in 2020 for its mozzarella sticks the size of your forearm.

Tim Szuta, owner of Alphonso’s The Original, with his famous mozzarella sticks and pizza sauce. Credit: Erin Bagatta

“Not every stick is created equal,” says Szuta. Hand-cut by the owner himself, the colossal cheese vessels typically range from 10 to 13 inches and can weigh in at a pound or more.

Szuta trademarked the Lightning Rod Mozzarella Sticks name after his product made the rounds on TikTok, Facebook and Reddit. He was also featured by the New York Times and OnMilwaukee, among many others. Szuta says customers have made trips from all over – including Texas, Canada and South Dakota – to try the cheese.

“​​Instead of saying ‘have a nice day,’ it’s like ‘have a nice stay in Wisconsin,’” he quips. “People are coming from far and wide for these things.”

The biggest order Szuta can remember was a wedding party that drove up from Chicago specifically for the Lightning Rods. He says they ordered around 100 sticks.

“They basically had a party right in front of my restaurant,” he recalls.

The approximately 1,000-square-foot building at the corner of W Greenfield Ave. and S. 92nd St. showcases Szuta’s personal memorabilia from the 1980s and early 90s, such as He-Man and WWE action figures, comic book covers, arcade games, “Star Wars” plush pillows and a “E.T.” section in the counter display, including a replica 1981 Kuwahara bicycle from the movie. And in the parking lot will be a 1969 Z28 Camaro and 1968 Chevelle that belonged to the restaurant’s namesake.

Szuta has his personal collectibles on display at Alphonso’s. Credit: Erin Bagatta

Behind the counter, Szuta will work with a refurbished pizza oven and three fryers to serve up sticks at $7 a piece. Alphonso’s will only offer pick-up and delivery to start, with hopes to add up to 18 seats for dine-in.

With Lightning Rods in high demand and supply chain costs, Szuta has decided to “streamline” his menu, though it still features his signature classic car-themed pizzas, like the GTO (green peppers, tomato and onion) or the Firebird (buffalo chicken with bacon, red onion, black olives and green peppers), plus appetizers and a selection of sandwiches.

An update on Tuesday, June 28 said the shop is now open with limited hours:

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Honky-tonk bar ‘Nashville North’ opening next month on Brady Street

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It’s time to dust off your dancing boots and get ready for the long-awaited grand opening of Nashville North, a new honky tonk-style bar headed for Brady Street.

Opening Wednesday, June 15 — a nod to Nashville’s 615 area code — the bar will feature live music, food and an extensive beverage list.

Marketing manager Marie Schneider says the bar draws inspiration from the many honky-tonks that line Nashville’s famous Broadway, while the goal is to feature about 60 percent country music and 40 percent other genres.

“The vibe is very Broadway, but in terms of how we support the music industry is very Blue Bird Café and old-school Nashville,” Schneider says.

The fully redone building at 1216 E Brady St. will have two stages — one in front and a larger concert stage in the back — and a dance floor, with capacity for up to 120 people. Schneider says there are plans for garage windows that invite the public to hear live music, much like at bars you’d find in Nashville. And if you’re looking for a dancing fix, two-step and line dance lessons are in the works.

Charcoal Grill founder Jeff Marsh planned to open Nashville North last fall, but COVID, building permit and construction setbacks all contributed to a delayed opening.

Marsh’s menu will feature handhelds including smash burgers, turkey legs and, of course, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches. The bar has six taps with a cocktail menu and an extensive canned beverage list, according to Schneider.

The grand opening on June 15 will begin with Milwaukee-based country band Road Crew Acoustic at 3 p.m. followed by Wisconsin-based band Bella Cain headlining at 6 p.m. Find the full opening weekend lineup and more at nashvillenorthmke.com.

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Summerfest offering $25 tickets for most amphitheater shows, one day only

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In celebration of national concert week, Summerfest is offering fans a $25 “All-In Ticket” for select Summerfest concerts. 

A limited number of tickets will be available May 4, 2022, at 9 a.m., while supplies last. Tickets will be available online only at Ticketmaster.com.

Image credit: Summerfest

$25 All-In tickets are available for the concerts listed below at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater during Summerfest (admission to Summerfest on day of show is also included):

  • Jason Aldean with Gabby Barrett, John Morgan – June 23
  • Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Wu-Tang Clan – June 25
  • Machine Gun Kelly with Avril Lavigne, Iann Diorr – July 1
  • Halsey with the Marias, Abby Roberts – July 2
  • Rod Stewart with Cheap Trick – July 7
  • Backstreet Boys – July 8
  • Thomas Rhett with Ryan Hurd, Rhett Akins – July 9

Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance will take place over three weekends (Thursdays through Saturdays) June 23-25, June 30-July 2, and July 7-9, 2022.

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Celebrate Arab American Heritage month by listening to these artists

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It’s Arab American Heritage Month, a celebration of the rich and diverse culture. Part of the fabric of the culture is our music; typically, Arabic music focuses on melody and rhythm rather than harmony. The richness of Middle Eastern sound has also been a critical component in shaping Western music.

The Arabic Folk song “Misirlou’, played with an electric guitar instead of the oud, gave cinema an iconic sound when Quentin Tarantino used it in the opening of “Pulp Fiction.” The opening strings of Aaliyah’s hit “More Than A Woman” sample “Aloui Ansa,” a classic by Syrian artist Mayada El Hennawy. “Erotica” by Madonna sampled Fairuz’s Arab Christian hymn “El Yom ‘Ulliqa ‘Ala Khashaba.”

I crafted a list of Arab musical artists you should know to kickstart your next playlist to celebrate this month.

Nancy Ajram

When I first thought about this list, my mind immediately went to the “Queen of Arab Pop.” I mean, I had to put some respect to her name. In 2020, Billie Eilish gave a shoutout to Ajram and praised the song “Fi Hagat” on the podcast “me & dad radio.”

“I love this song and I love the melodies and I love the way she sings,” Eilish said in the episode. “I’m playing this because it puts me in a better mood.”

Both artists made efforts to collaborate; however, the pandemic stopped the project. Ajram is perfect for your pre-game tunes, a Bellydance battle or even jamming alone in your car.

Mashrou’ Leila

Mashrou Leila is a Lebanese four-member rock band formed in Beirut, Lebanon. The band received backlash for having an openly gay lead singer, but now the band is the new face of Middle Eastern pop musical activism. Known for sensuality and a dazzling aura, Mashrou’ Leila is a voice of their generation.

DAM

DAM is the first Palestinian hip-hop crew and among the first to rap in Arabic. Their sound is unmistakable, fusing musical elements from the east and west. Mainly focusing on the ongoing apartheid, their lyrics go beyond and support global movements such as LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter.

Tamino

This Belgian-Egyptian singer reminds me of Jeff Buckley with his incredibly rich falsetto. Having staged a small tour around the Middle East and opened for Lana Del Rey, Tamino quickly became a force with his ballads.

Gaidaa

Sudanese singer-songwriter Gaidaa puts her heart into her music, unleashing a wave of neo-soul that commands our attention. She released “Morning Blue” as a love song for her native country after #BlueForSudan trended in a show of solidarity with Sudanese activists.

Fairouz

In my household, I reserve my Sunday mornings for Fairouz and a cup of mint-infused Arabic tea. However, across the globe, almost all Arab radio stations start every morning with Fairouz (also spelled Fairuz or Fayrouz) songs in their daily broadcasts. With a career spanning over six decades as the highest-selling Middle Eastern artist of all time, Fairouz continues to teach us the power of resistance. 

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Chill on the Hill is back! Here’s the lineup.

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Chill on the Hill will return to Bay View’s Humboldt Park this summer. Beginning on Tuesday, June 7, the weekly outdoor concert will feature a family friendly, picnic environment and live music.

The Bay View Neighborhood Association shared the lineup Wednesday, which includes a lovely cross section of Milwaukee music.

Shows at Chill on the Hill begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Humboldt Park.


2022 Chill on the Hill Line Up

June 7: The Lauryl Sulfate Show featuring the LOL, Fun Bois, Black Challenger and Grim Paddle

June 14: Fellow Kinsman / No Seatbelts

June 21:  Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

June 28: American Legion Band 100th Anniversary Celebration

July 5:  Orlando Pena and the Midnight Purchase / Whiskeybelles

July 12:  Wise Jennings / MilBillies – New Business Night

July 19: Secondhand Souls / Local Legends

July 26:  Moonglow / El Sebas – Humboldt Hustle

August 2:  Peshtigo / Gego y Nony – Kids and Family Night

August 9:  Loud Library / Blind Fiction – National Book Lovers Day

August 16:  Paul Cebar

August 23: The Breadmen / Ethan Keller

August 30:  Jalen Romell Acoustic / Tigera / Vincent Van Great and Amanda Huff

All acts are subject to change without notice.

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4 options for alcohol-free activities in Milwaukee and beyond

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Milwaukee’s drinking culture and history as “Beer Capital of the World” is well documented. After all, Brew City is its most common nickname.

An annual report ranked the Milwaukee metro area the 14th-drunkest city in the U.S. in 2022, rising – or stumbling, depending on how you look at it – from the No. 17 spot in 2020, joining the likes of Racine, Sheboygan and No. 1 Appleton. The study found that 25.4% of Milwaukeeans engage in “binge or heavy drinking,” up from 23.3% two years ago. And with bars and breweries in every neighborhood, sometimes within feet of each other, residents and visitors have plenty of options to wet their whistle.

But what about those who choose not to drink? Uniquely Milwaukee last week discussed the city’s sober living community with three individuals who shared their alcohol experiences and the various reasons they no longer partake in bar culture. Dozens more chimed in on social media showing support.

And while there are plenty of sober activities in general anyone could do (exercise, a trip to the movies, etc.), there are few dry gatherings that cater to a sober crowd. 

Here’s a list of alcohol-free activities in the Milwaukee area:

The Daily Bird

While there are dozens of alcohol-free coffee shops and cafés throughout Southeast Wisconsin, The Daily Bird stands out in more ways than one. Its yellow-painted design inside and out makes it hard to miss even in the vibrant Riverwest neighborhood, and the walls feature words of encouragement for patrons. Owner Dan Zwart, a recovering addict himself, serves up a selection from Anodyne Coffee and food provided by HoneyBear Baked Goods.

Go: 818 E Center St., Milwaukee

The Phoenix Active Recovery

Sure, you could go for a jog by yourself on the Oak Leaf Trail or watch a pre-recorded yoga video at home. But The Phoenix offers a community for those in recovery to get active together. This national organization has a Wisconsin branch and features an array of classes in the Milwaukee area, including crossfit, yoga, indoor rock climbing, basketball, bike rides and more.

The Phoenix – Milwaukee Facebook The Phoenix meets in the Milwaukee area for a variety of activities. Credit: The Phoenix Milwaukee Facebook

Alano Club of Waukesha

The Alano Club of Waukesha is one of several in the area helping those in recovery. Aside from including free daily meetings such as AA, NA and Al-Anon, this club provides members with a space to hang out with TVs and a pool table. Similar recovery clubs in the area include Alano Club Milwaukee, Twelve Step Club, Friendship Club, Pass It On Club, How To Club and Lake Area Club.

Go: 318 W Broadway, Waukesha

Inmoxicated

Would you believe that of all the bars in Milwaukee, none are completely alcohol-free? Inmoxicated opened in Racine in December 2021 to fill some of that void. The dry bar offers craft sodas, alcohol-free wines, beers, mixers and ready-to-drink mocktails, plus tasting events every Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Go: 329 Main St., Racine

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Bucks to give away 10,000 replica championship rings at Thursday’s game

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If you’re heading to the Milwaukee Bucks game on Thursday, show up early to pick up some hard-earned bling.

Photo courtesy of The Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks are giving replica 2021 Championship rings to the first 10,000 fans who attend the Bucks-Washington Wizards game on Thursday, March 24 at Fiserv Forum.

The limit is one ring per fan with a ticket.

The replica rings are presented by Bally Sports Wisconsin and West Bend Mutual, according to press release.

Tickets for Thursday’s game are available here.

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John Mulaney will headline Fiserv Forum in August

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There are only a handful of comedians who can headline arenas, and John Mulaney has reached that level. The comedian will headline Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum on Saturday, Aug. 20, he announced today. He’ll be performing as part of 16 additional shows that were added to his ongoing “John Mulaney: From Scratch” tour.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. at fiservforum.com.  

John Mulaney | Courtesy photo

Mulaney will return to host “Saturday Night Live” for the fifth time on Saturday, Feb. 26.

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