The past and present coexist happily in this community.
Like the older carnival rides at its famed fairgrounds, West Allis has long been considered a little frayed around the edges – a once-booming steel town slowly rusting.
“I think the city is perceived as being run-down and full of fast food restaurants,” says Mayor Dan Devine. But many new businesses have opened in the area in recent years, and Devine believes the city has outgrown its “Dirty Stallis” image. To get the word out, he’s hired Savage Solutions – a marketing agency whose clients include the municipalities of Oak Creek, South Milwaukee and Waukesha – to rebrand the town.
“We’ve been asked to do a lot of city rebrands. We don’t say yes to all of them,” company founder Cory Savage says, adding that he was impressed by the hospitality he experienced whenever he dropped into one of West Allis’ many mom-and-pop businesses, and the friendliness of the residents.
“The brand is really the people – we want to let the people of West Allis tell their own story.”
Where to go
New and Noteworthy
Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli
6125 W. Greenfield Ave.
You can’t miss this nostalgia-inducing sandwich shop – or the gigantic mural, of an astronaut reaching for an ooey-gooey PBJ on an exterior wall. The store’s nut butters are made in house daily, and its jams and jellies come from local farms.
The Milwaukee Maze
8214 W. Cleveland Ave.
In May, a local couple built a 10,000-square-foot wooden maze in West Allis’ McCarty Park. Public response was so positive that the couple – Matthew and Krizty Zaccone – expanded the structure by 5,000 square feet less than a month later, and lowered the entrance fee from $10 to $5.
Tried and True
5901 W. National Ave.
Members of the Kegel family have been quenching Stallis thirsts since 1924, when beer brewed in the basement was served to Prohibition-era tipplers. Today, the tavern earns high marks for a welcoming interior (paneled walls, stained glass windows), German menu and Friday fish fry.
Hawkins Clock Center
7301 W. Greenfield Ave.
Time flies at Hawkins, where about 4,000 clocks vie for visitors’ attention. Be sure to check out some of the rare models, like The Nightingale, a gold-plated timepiece that tracks not just the time, but the day, the month and the phase of the moon.
More than a million people are expected to visit the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis this month. Here’s a breakdown of last year’s 11-day extravaganza.
Raked in at the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction
Trips down the giant slide
Cream puffs consumed