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By Anna Kasper There is a beautiful white building downtown that exudes an iconic feeling. It’s not the Calatrava or Discovery World, but The Cudahy Tower, located at 925 East Wells. I felt automatically attracted to this building, so much so I convinced my boyfriend, Michael, to move into it over a year ago. The […]

By Anna Kasper

There is a beautiful white building downtown that exudes an iconic feeling. It’s not the Calatrava or Discovery World, but The Cudahy Tower, located at 925 East Wells. I felt automatically attracted to this building, so much so I convinced my boyfriend, Michael, to move into it over a year ago. The building includes apartments and condos, but most importantly, the Bartolotta restaurant and bar, Bacchus.

We enjoyed wonderful dinners in the dinning room at Bacchus before he moved out, but oddly enough we never tried the bar. Perhaps in the beginning I was shy because it seemed uptight or expensive, but knowing better now, I decided to begin my writing at Bacchus. The food is incredible, so the bar probably is too, right?

After several outfits I settled on a blue ruffle top tucked into a white stretchy pencil skit and a pair of purple Cole Haan shoes and felt pretty good about it. We parked our car, walked through the lot and were greeted by a familiar faced Valet and a man and his dog Cinnamon, a chow chow. Dogs are allowed in the building, so it’s not unusual to walk past one in the lobby, however, that wasn’t the case Saturday night, though we did see a family who looked as though they stepped out of a Brooks Brothers photo shoot.

I told Michael I wanted to stop and use the restroom before we went inside. I was disappointed to see that no one cared to replenish the hand towels as I waved my wet hands in the air to dry them. But oh well, I was there for the drink, not facilities.

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We walked past the Brooks Brothers family and into the bar. It seemed very quiet for a Saturday. The dark, sophisticated bar looked empty, but was actually full and no side by side chairs were in sight. We took our seats in the brown leather chairs at an odd little triangular table a few steps away from the bar. A waiter took our order. I ordered a Virginia something. Bad reporting right? Sorry, I didn’t bring my notebook to the bar and thought I could remember. Next time I’ll write the name on a cocktail napkin and throw it in my purse. Just look for the word Virginia out of the 10 cocktails on the menu. It tasted great and included Crème de Flora, a liqueur that, according to the waiter, includes 13 different flowers. Think cucumber spa water at Kohler Water Spa mixed with a bunch of gin. All cocktails on the menu are $10.

Even though there were people there it just felt lonely and empty. We asked if it was ok to sit on the balcony. We did, and sat on chained up chairs. They were ready to close up, I think. A lonely rich guy (who lives in the building) sat at the chained up table next to us smoking a cigar, enjoying (?) the night with a glass of wine. He left shortly after and we admired the reddish moon together and talked about why a bar should be so empty on a Saturday night. Was it the lack of class in Milwaukee who all fled to North Ave or Water Street? We didn’t want to think that. Perhaps it was that Bacchus is their food, above all else. No drink specials and noise needed to attract customers. Maybe the revamped bar and menu need a few more months to catch on. Until then, I’ll think of it as a calm little gem in a sleepy city.

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About the Author
Anna Kasper loves traveling, making her friends try her fabulous cocktail recipes, cooking, HGTV, writing, and coming back home to Milwaukee. She has a Visual Art degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a real estate license. She models now and then as Milwaukee’s fashion industry’s token short girl and also sells designer clothes and jewelry online. She lives at home (to save up for wedding and house) with Mom, boyfriend Michael Shapiro-Barr, cats Kipper and Autumn, and dog Eddie.

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