Hey Joe Biden, Here’s Your Guide to Visiting Milwaukee

With the DNC dialed back, Milwaukee is pretty much just hosting Joe Biden, so one of our editors wrote him a rambling letter full of suggestions for his visit.


Welcome to Milwaukee, homeslice. Oh, jeez, I probably shouldn’t be calling you that, Mr. Former Vice President. It’s just that I’m so excited to welcome you to the good ol’ swing state of Wisconsin.

Almost a year and a half ago, we heard that we were getting the full Democrat shebang – 50,000 delegates storming our city to nominate a candidate. I’m telling you, Mr. Biden, I could smell that sweet D.C. money from half a country away.

We had all kinds of plans for you. Our magazine was going to be at the convention every day. We were going to hit you with all the info you and your cohort might want – where to eat, where to drink, what to do. But alas, along came disease and disaster, and now a “mostly virtual” convention.

Regardless of our disappointment, we’re glad you’re still coming to our city to accept the nomination, and we figured you could use a few paragraphs of wisdom on how we Milwaukeeans live.

Right off the bat, let us just say this: please don’t mention Laverne (or Shirley). And no obesity jokes. We’re sick and tired of it, and we’re in a real bad mood right now, so tread lightly – unless you’re feeling lucky with our 10 electoral votes.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about cheese curds! You can get ’em squeaky, which is to say just the cheese, or you can get ’em beer-battered and fried, which is to say way better. On your way into town, stop off at Mars Cheese Castle (2800 W. Frontage Rd., Kenosha). You can give the Secret Service a heads up that it’s not a real castle – no need to worry about swords or axes, but they might want to keep their eyes on that dude Reggie who hangs out at the Renaissance Faire and really does not like the government.

We found a picture of you from 2016 eating two ice cream cones at once (or maybe you were holding one for Obama – either way, no judgment), so we were going to recommend that you try our frozen custard. But it came to our attention that back in 2010, you went to Kopp’s (5373 N. Port Washington Rd., Glendale; 18880 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield; 7631 W. Layton Ave., Greendale) and called their custard “ice cream” … come on, man! We think you owe them a do-over. Jeez.

In our research, we also found out you don’t drink, which honestly wipes out a bunch of our favorite recommendations. To quote my father, after he moved here from Texas, “These people won’t stop talking about booze. It’s like an actual derangement.” So how about heading to Sprecher Brewery (701 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale), which kills it in the beer game and the root beer game. (FYI, we call it “soda” not “pop.” That’s Illinois. They’re insane down there.)

Quick hits: Take in the Milwaukee Art Museum (700 N. Art Museum Dr.). A drive-by is fine – its best work of art might be the building itself. Check out the Bronze Fonz (on the RiverWalk at Wells Street). It’s super kitschy and slightly disturbing – that’s why we love it. Be sure to visit Sherman Phoenix (3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave.), a venue that opened after the 2016 Sherman Park unrest, which provides a valuable space for small businesses-of-color, like Lush Popcorn and Confectionately Yours. (Don’t pretend to be too cool, Joe – we know you love cupcakes and puns as much as anybody.) And last but not least, stop by the Mitchell Park Domes (524 S. Layton Blvd.). They’re pretty awesome and might shatter into tiny pieces in a few years if we can’t pay to fix them, so get a look at them while you can and maybe funnel a little under-the-table SuperPAC money their way.

All right, sir, that’s all I got. I wish you the best in our city. May your cheese never mold.



(and his colleagues at Milwaukee Magazine, who felt it necessary to add that they “categorically do not stand behind whatever that weirdo said in his stupid letter.”)

P.S. I’ll be free the night of Tuesday, Aug. 18, if you want to maybe grab a burger or something. I’m not saying that I’m the best choice for secretary of the Interior, but…

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s August issue

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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.