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3 Local Notables on Why They Live in the Burbs

Paul Bartolotta, Kendra Whitlock Ingram and Steve Scaffidi chat about the opportunity, community and charm of the burb life.


This story is part of our Best of the Burbs feature from the April Issue of Milwaukee Magazine. To read our full guide to the finest that Milwaukee’s suburbs have to offer, order your copy today



 
 
1.

Fox Point

Kendra Whitlock Ingram
President and CEO, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts 

Moving here from Denver, I knew I wanted to live in an area with plenty of nature. I love city living, but when my husband and I started thinking about where we wanted to end up, Fox Point fit the bill.

When we started looking for a home in 2021, we wanted an environment we’d enjoy coming home to each day. We found a home with a big backyard, where the previous owners had cultivated bluebirds coming to the feeder. (Now, I’ve gotten into it, too.)

The area is very walkable and bikeable, and everyone’s always outside, especially in the summer. We’ve also got the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center nearby, which has awesome trails – plus, the lake is so close. 

Fox Point is a nature-lover’s dream, but it also has plenty of amenities. We have lots of great retail and restaurants, and Mequon and Milwaukee are close by if we need to venture out. We were lucky to find something with everything we wanted from a quality-of-life standpoint.


Fox Point Rec: The Calderone Club on Port Washington and Bradley is great for dining and take-out. I love everything on their authentic Italian menu, but I often order the pizza


Kendra Whitlock Ingram; Photo by CJ Foeckler


 

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2.

Oak Creek

Steve Scaffidi
On-Air Host, WTMJ-AM

I grew up in Oak Creek, attended UW-Milwaukee, and then moved out of state to work in network television research. In the early 1990s, I returned to my roots and settled my family down in my hometown. 

I’ve always seen potential in Oak Creek, and until recently, I think it was underdeveloped and underappreciated. That’s why I ran for mayor in 2012. 

During my tenure, I saw the city grow. We now have a downtown area, Drexel Town Square, a business hub and home to our civic center. We’re also becoming more diverse, which makes Oak Creek much stronger and more fun. The interchange around IKEA is starting to develop, and our undeveloped lakeshore is a huge opportunity. 

Through every transformation, I’ve been reminded of what I already loved: the quality of life. I’m a bit biased as the husband of a retired teacher, but our schools are great. The city’s laid out and landscaped well, with plenty of parks, and the location couldn’t be more convenient, right off the highway and near Downtown. 

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the forward-thinking leaders I’ve worked with. Now, if you mention the city of Oak Creek, people have a higher level of appreciation than they did 20 years ago.


Oak Creek Rec: I love Valentine Café, a funky little addition to our downtown area. The bakery, coffee and atmosphere are fantastic. I usually order a café au lait with a chocolate chip cookie when I’m there for breakfast meetings.


Steve Scaffidi, Photo by CJ Foeckler


 
 
3.

Wauwatosa

Paul Bartolotta
Chef and Owner, The Bartolotta Restaurants

My parents bought a duplex in east Tosa when our family outgrew the apartment above Connie’s Rumpus Room, the tavern my dad owned. He always said “home is a place you can always go back to,” and I guess he was right. 

For years, I traveled between Las Vegas, Italy and Wauwatosa, and I permanently relocated here in 2019. Until recently, I lived in that same duplex, which is owned by my sister. I have so many fond memories of growing up in this community, and returning has reminded me why I love it. 

You can’t beat the location, right between Lake Country and Lake Michigan, surrounded by freeways. It’s also a great place to raise a family. The local leaders have done so much over the years to elevate our schools and downtown area. We’ve got charm, but it’s also forward-thinking – like a cosmopolitan hamlet. 

I commonly hear people from other areas of the city say, “We want to do what Wauwatosa’s doing.” I think we set the tone for the suburbs in many ways, and it’s inspiring.


Tosa Rec: My first kitchen job was at age 14 at Balistreri’s Pizza on 68th and Wells. It’s the kind of pizza that brings back memories of my childhood, and I’ll always go there. I also love Ted’s, a breakfast/burger place on North Avenue. You need to go there and order the double patty burgers with pickles and raw onions.


Paul Bartolotta; Photo by CJ Foeckler


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s April issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop

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