My MKE Staycation is an ongoing series on Milwaukeemag.com. We ask writers and contributors to describe their ideal day off in Milwaukee. Catch up on the entire series here.
My husband and I feared the “Sunday Funday” might be a bygone tradition after we had kids and moved to the suburbs. But nothing can stop a pair of nostalgic, over-worked, 30-somethings in search of some gourmet food, day drinking and live music. Luckily, we have plenty of good friends without kids who are usually up for anything.
On a normal Sunday, once noon rolls around, we’ve already been awake for five hours and tried a dozen different activities to entertain our kids. But today, we get to break free at noon to start our day sans kids. Thank goodness for grandparents! We rush out the door at 11:42 a.m. to meet up with our friends.
Brunch at Hotel Madrid (600 S. 6th Street)
We take Lincoln Memorial from the North Shore so we can gaze at the lake. I almost always take this route because it gives me a chance to chill out a bit. Something about the way the water moves relaxes me.
Hotel Madrid is one of our favorite spots for drinks and bar snacks, but I’ve been wanting to go with friends so we could get a huge drink to share and a brightly colored, fluffy stack of fruity pebble pancakes. I have to try the Spanish ham Benedict too because not every restaurant can one-up bacon.
We go all in on the Papa Doble, a citrusy rum drink served in a ceramic Hemingway head. It’s refreshing and goes down quickly with four straws.
Pick up a record at ACME (2134 S. S Kinnickinnic Ave.)
Stomachs full and sporting a light buzz, we head south to Bay View to leisurely browse for some new vinyl to add to our collection. I love flipping through stacks of musty old records in the hopes that I will uncover a gem – something that I never knew I wanted. Case in point: Johnny Cash sings Hank Williams for $10, what a find!
But sometimes, you want that hot new album from A Tribe Called Quest or Maggie Rogers. Luckily, you can find both at Acme. And, you can hang out with the friendly shop dog too.
Shop for something unique at URSA (2534 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.)
I love nothing more than an inviting space filled with unique textures, greenery and earthy aromas. And I love to shop uninterrupted, without an agenda. Since opening in 2017, URSA has transformed into a well-curated shop that carries house-made bath and body products, plants, clothing, home goods and accessories.
I end up buying a pair of boho-inspired earrings for a friend, though I would have kept them for myself any day.
Dinner at Kindred (2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.)
The craft cocktails on their menu are named after women so I order the Betty, in honor of my mom, even though I am not sure what all of the ingredients are (green chartreuse, cocchi americano, demerara?). We order a handful of small plates to share, like the beets, chorizo-stuffed dates, scallops and meatballs – all delicious. But the butterscotch pot de crème is hands down the best dish, and maybe the best dessert I’ve ever had.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones show at the Pabst Theatre (144 E. Wells St.)
If I could go back and live in a different generation, I’d choose the ‘60s so I could enjoy soul music at its peak. Luckily, there is a new generation of artists like Charles Bradley (RIP), Son Little, Leon Bridges, Alabama Shakes and St. Paul and the Broken Bones to rekindle that old soul inside me. And if I am ever going to go out, seeing live music is my absolute favorite thing to do. I was so glad St. Paul and the Broken Bones was rolling through town at my favorite venue.
Just as the theater gets dark to start the show, I crack open my Miller High Life Tall Boy, sit back in my cushy red velvet seat and let the music whisk me away to a euphoric state of mind to wrap up a perfect Sunday Funday.