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Friday News Drop: Let’s get together for drinks, games and block parties

Westown Association / Giving Tree Garage / MKESports Alliance

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

Walker’s Point beer gar…age?

Betcha thought I was going to say “garden.” Nope, this project from the mind of Draft & Vessel owner Nathaniel Davauer is more gearhead than greenery, as he plans to build the Giving Tree Garage beer truck park at 902 S. 2nd St.

The site is currently occupied by, well, nothing, making it the perfect place for Davauer to roll out a concept that puts an interesting spin on the very Milwaukee activity of getting together someplace outside to drink beer.

He’s already held a trial of sorts with two vehicles. There’s the 1941 Ford pickup with eight tap lines stationed outside the Milwaukee Public Market dubbed the Draft Patio. Then there’s the Rk'd (arcade) Bar, a 1969 van that looks like the ideal tour vehicle for an ’80s hair band except for the 12 tap lines and retro gaming capabilities. So, actually, the absolute ideal tour vehicle.

The Giving Tree Garage will double that fleet for a total of four vintage units, all with tap lines that will offer a variety of beverages to patrons who can enjoy them in an adjacent outdoor area. You can check out an artist’s rendering of the concept in the gallery below, as well as a potential new addition to the beer fleet. To follow along with Davauer’s progress, check out @givingtreegarage on Instagram.

Esports community gathers again

A year after its successful inaugural event, the Wisconsin Esports Summit makes its return next Monday, March 6, from 1 to 5 p.m. at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. The MKEsports Alliance put together the now-annual gathering as a way to bring together people from throughout the rapidly growing industry and ensure that Wisconsin is a major player.

The event is open to the public and will host more than 200 leaders from education, business, tourism, traditional sports and esports for panel discussions, breakout sessions and other idea-sharing opportunities. Inarguably the flashiest part of the day, however, will be a Wisconsin Collegiate Rocket League match featuring six Wisconsin University teams that’ll be live-streamed and displayed on the arena’s Jumbotron.

“Esports globally has reached the highest peaks of success in revenue, viewership and overall interest,” MKEsports Alliance’s Brandon Tschacher said in a release. “We’re excited to see it expanding with similar velocity here in Wisconsin, necessitating an event like the upcoming summit.”

You can relive last year’s event below and pick up tickets to the summit here.

Mark your calendar for the Night Market

Westown Association announced the return of the shopping/social/block party that is the Milwaukee Night Market, which will take place between 5 and 10 p.m. on four different Wednesdays this summer: June 14, July 19, Aug. 16 and Sept. 13.

Last year’s events attracted more than 100,000 people to a two-block stretch in front of The Avenue on West Wisconsin Avenue between North 2nd Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue. Nearly 150 local vendors participated in 2022, and if you’d like to join them this year, you have until the end of the day March 24 to apply on the Milwaukee Night Market website.

American Family Insurance will cover the fees for five BIPOC vendors at each of the four markets. Vendors who want to be considered for the program can indicate their interest as part of the overall application process.