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Friday News Drop: Park by the park, stars and snakes

Three side-by-side photos include a restaurant with a light brick exterior, a male basketball player in a blue jersey and a green anaconda submerged in water.
People's Park / Milwaukee Bucks / Milwaukee County Zoo / Facebook

Milwaukee’s a big city with a lot going on. Catch up before spending your weekend either purposely or accidentally ignoring the news.

Two closings … continued

In last week’s FND, we told you about Flannery’s and Wahlburgers shutting down. While the sadness over the news still lingers (maybe a little more for one than the other), it was tempered somewhat by the very rapid reveal of what will replace both locations.

The former Flannery’s on Cathedral Square sounds like the more ambitious of the two, with Jim and Dan Taylor (who operate Taylor’s next door with Jim’s wife, Susie) planning to double down on their People’s Park concept from the solo Waukesha location currently in operation. Jim told BizTimes they have bigger plans for the corner of Wells and Jefferson — or at least taller, which they’ll accomplish by adding a rooftop space with all the fixins:

  • An indoor-outdoor bar
  • Large windows and glass garage doors that open to the elements
  • Restrooms and elevator access

Quick reminder: Flannery’s will serve throughout the weekend, so you still have time to give it a proper goodbye.

As for the no-longer-Wahlburgers in the Third Ward, Benson’s Restaurant Group will have something up and running by summertime, although what exactly that is remains to be seen. The group has a bunch of eateries under its umbrella, including the nearby Smoke Shack, Blue Blue Bat Kitchen & Tequilaria, and AJ Bombers.

Giannis is an all-star(ter)

It’s becoming an annual occurrence, like the Packers bowing meekly out of the playoffs (or earlier) and the Brewers acquiring someone we’ve never heard of who winds up hitting 30 homers. Milwaukee Bucks wunderkind-turned-übermensch Giannis Antetokounmpo is an NBA all-star starter for the seventh straight season and one of the captains for the third time.

With the nod, Giannis broke the franchise record for most all-star appearances, previously held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with six. As captains, he and LeBron James will hold a fantasy draft of sorts to fill out the benches for their respective teams right before the game tips off Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.

She’s a cold-hearted snake

As cold-blooded animals, aren’t all snakes cold-hearted, technically? Anyway, take a look at this thing I’ll imagine every time I open a closet door for the next couple days:

If you’re a frequent visitor to the zoo, you know the anaconda exhibit has been anaconda-less since the euthanization of former resident Mo (although a red-tailed boa was keeping things warm in there). As of this week, Olive more than fills that previous void as the longest snake in Milwaukee County Zoo history at 15.2 feet and tips the scales at 120 pounds, which she maintains by eating one frozen rabbit a month.

You can learn more fun facts like that about Olive — and gain a new appreciation for the glass between you and the animals — on the Milwaukee County Zoo’s website.

Rallying for Lopez Bakery

Got brunch plans for Feb. 19? You do now. From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. that Sunday, Emerald City Catering will host an event that’s as selfless as it is delicious: a “pay as you may” brunch to benefit Lopez Bakery & Restaurant.

Located on the corner of Historic Mitchell and 11th streets for the past 50 years, Lopez Bakery has suffered a barrage of ill fortune recently, including flooding, a broken oven and the death of a family member. Shortly after the bakery broke the news of their temporary closing Wednesday, Emerald City Catering’s Steve Ozbolt announced the benefit brunch, with all proceeds going to his fellow member of the culinary community.

If you have the means to help, you can head down to Emerald City Catering at 3555 S. 13th St. on Feb. 19 for a brunch spread prepared by Ozbolt and other talented chefs. You can also give directly to Lopez Bakery via Venmo.