Here’s What You Missed in Wisconsin This Week: April 29

Willem Dafoe is awesome, among other news.

A New Gigantic Mural

If you saw a giant, blank silhouette going up on the side of 600 E. Wisconsin Avenue this past week, you probably thought, “Finally, someone’s painting the massive mural of Willem Dafoe that this city deserves.” Well, actually it turns out that the silhouette was of Giannis Antetokounmpo, and that the mural of the Bucks star is going to be completed next week by Mauricio Ramirez, a local artist. Cool, but when are we finally getting that Dafoe one?

Photo courtesy of Nelson Schmidt

Speaking of Willem Dafoe…

The man himself is coming to UW-Milwaukee to speak at commencement. Some people are more excited about Dwayne Wade coming to Marquette, but those people clearly have never seen The Lighthouse.

Gif via Cinestudio

A Bartolotta Restaurant Group Stand Is Coming to McKinley Marina

The Bartolotta Group is opening a small new restaurant, “The Roundhouse” at McKinley Marina this summer. The location will be offering pick-up counter service, with beer, wine, cocktails and snacks. I’m hoping that eventually we’ll get another full-blown Ristorante on the marina someday. As a proud Italian American, I’ve tried cooking up some ciammariche al sugo dell’alta valle del velino by myself, but I usually just end up creating a sludge that eats through metal and smells of sulfur. Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I could sure use some Bartolotta cooking.

A Wu-Tang Billboard Goes Up on Appleton and Burleigh

Watch out Gruber. A new contender for Milwaukee’s biggest billboard star is coming for your crown. And he ain’t nothing ta f’ wit.

I’m sorry for that joke. It wasn’t good, but I felt that it couldn’t be avoided.

Anyway, a realtor named Jon Frost put up a billboard on the corner of Appleton and Burleigh this week that reads, “Low mortgage rates are temporary. Wu-Tang is forever.” The phenomenal billboard went semi-viral and has already netted Frost a huge response. And we’re not surprised. The Milwaukee housing market is hellish right now, and even knowing that, we kind of want to buy a house with this guy. Can you imagine how much more fun it would be? “Did our offer get accepted?” “No. Someone put in an offer 80,000 over asking with no contingencies.” “Shoot. Well … Wu-Tang!” “Wu-Tang!”

The Bucks Beat Chicago

Basketball – what a sport! The way they dribble and, you know, cross-check and … reverse hook layups. I was jumping around like a madman when the Bucks beat Chicago this week in the game they were playing, which I am told was very important in the progression of, um, basketballs. As someone who once injured himself trying to play pickleball, I’m not exactly qualified to write sports blurbs, but it’s always fun to see Milwaukee beat Chicago. City of big shoulders? More like city of not winning at basketball this previous week! Roasted.



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Movie Theaters Are Not Doing Well

The “State of the Arts” report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum came out this week. According to the report, the arts are still facing serious setbacks, but are overall recovering since the April 2020 crash. But, unfortunately, movie theaters are still in dark days. While arts and museums gained sales tax revenue, movie theaters dropped 25.3%, as viewers chose to stream at home rather than go out. 

You know one possible solution? Everyone needs to go watch The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, in which Nicolas Cage stars as Nicolas Cage, immediately. Right now. This should be the biggest movie to ever hit screens, and somehow it’s running behind The Secrets of Dumbledore. Is Dumbledore’s secret that he’s actually Nicolas Cage? No? Then who cares?

Campbell’s Irish Pub is Closing

Once known as “Packy’s Pub,” this Howell Ave. haunt changed its name in 2014 after a visit from Jon Taffer of “Bar Rescue.” The reality TV revamp led to a remodel and rebranding as Campbell’s, but the property was put up for sale in 2017 and sold this month to Guaves Homes LLC, which doesn’t plan on opening a bar in the spot.

This obviously is disappointing. And “Bar Rescue” is a damn entertaining show, by the way. Taffer’s method of rescue – screaming epithets at someone, then calming down in order to explain precisely why they suck and the steps that could be taken in order for them to suck less – is quite enjoyable to watch. I even tried it out on my wife when our marriage was on the rocks. I live in a storage unit now, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad method.



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.