I Brought Something Back From My Trip For You – (Main Street Readers)

You’ll do whatever it takes to get to a granddaughter’s wedding even if it is in Milwaukee in January. My fur coat that hangs out in the back of my closet was delighted to be needed again as in days of regular outings in winter weather on the North Shore just beyond Chicago. It was only after a safe trip from Raleigh to Atlanta and on to Milwaukee that a storm began making big news with a predicted snow fall  of 10.” or more. Our flight was cancelled before the festivities had hardly begun. The only answer, a flight on Monday that went from Milwaukee to Fort Lauderdale with a change over to Raleigh. (Figure that out!) Someone else would have brought you delicious Wisconsin cheese or a bag of oranges from FL.  I brought something better.

I brought a few photographs of a repurposed home/restaurant for inspiration. Our own Tap 1918 at the Mill is a perfect example of preservation at work, the beautiful saving of the house, the repurposing, and you have a restaurant that is part of a success story and source of pride at  The Rocky Mount Mill.

North of Milwaukee, we had lunch at a place called “The Cheel.” or in English, “The Eagle.” A rare 1890’s Victorian home, once a dilapidated yet charming building, a couple with entrepreneurial spirits got interested. The building’s central location and deep history invigorated their creativity and drive. Their goal was to revive this once esteemed local landmark, and celebrate with the community their unique dining traditions. The food was excellent, which is a must for success. I loved seeing the Wisconsin folks gathered at the tables with their beers, some wearing knitted stocking hats along with boots made for snow, not looks. It felt like I had stepped back into a black and white photo that could only have been taken in Wisconsin.

The Cheel is located at 105 S. Main Street in downtown Thiensville. Lovingly restored and re-imagined, the eclectic décor includes an original art deco bar, high tops and banquets, and a covered 4-season outdoor patio. Here is another example of a Main Street endeavor that makes me believe that anything they can do, we can do better.

PS: It was a beautiful wedding weekend with lots of love all around. Thankfully, the snow fall did not live up to expectations, that fact too late to save our flight. After a few special days, I am home again, home again, jiggly-jig, a bit tired around the edges, but happy for granddaughter, Sally, and her wonderful young husband, Trevor. I hope you like what I’ve brought you – inspiration to save and repurpose a dilapidated yet charming old something!




2 thoughts on “I Brought Something Back From My Trip For You – (Main Street Readers)

  1. I love this, Stepheny. I have never visited Wisconsin, yet somehow I felt transported back there; like I had been there before and was “homesick”and can’t wait to get back. I can envision that beautiful Victorian building as a home for a bustling family once upon a time. A home that now has new life and gives a “I am part of the history that made Wisconsin charming” feel. Seeing the pictures, imagining the great food and hearty laughter, the patrons fitted in their cold weather gear, it has all given me cause to put Wisconsin on my flight list. It may only be for the cheese on a 2 hour layover, but with eyes closed and cheese in hand, I will visualize this charming building and the vivid story told, along with the images, and for just a moment I, too, will be a part of the current culture, the restoration, the indicative charm and history.


  2. I am from Milwaukee and there is a lot of wonderful architecture there. We go back each December but this year it was in the 50’s when we went back 🙂 I remember many storms in Milwaukee. I am glad you had a good time there.


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