The Pfister Picks: Summerfest’s 45th Anniversary

Peter Mortensen, our Chief Concierge at the Pfister, knows a lot about Milwaukee. He’s been helping people have a great time in this city for over 25 years. While he knows the ins and outs better than most, it doesn’t take a concierge to know that Summerfest is the biggest event in Milwaukee all year!

Watch as Peter gives a little history lesson about Summerfest’s origins and speaks with John Boler, Summerfest’s VP of Sales & Marketing, about what’s new this year!

This is a special year in Summerfest history; it’s the 45th anniversary. In celebration of the Big Gig’s 45th birthday, Discovery World is showcasing a special exhibit featuring Summerfest memorabilia including autographed instruments, photographs and much more. The display will go on through the fest and into September.

Summerfest is also creating an interactive timeline to be displayed at the fest as well as online. Explore tons of photos taken over the course of the festival’s history and even submit your own photos.

What concerts are you looking forward to the most?

Enjoy The Fireworks In Blu

Once again, festival season in Milwaukee is upon us. It’s our favorite time of year! There’s nothing better than good food, good music, and to top it off, a great fire works display.

Are you ready to OOOH and AHHH?

Why weed the crowds, hunt for a good parking spot, or fight the heat and humidity when you can enjoy the fireworks from the best view in the city with a cocktail in your hand.

Join us in Blu for each and every firework display happening at the Henry Meyer Festival Park and throughout the rest of the festivals on the lakefront.

  • 6/27 – The Big Bang
  • 7/3 – Lakefront Fireworks
  • 7/13 – 7/15 – South Shore Frolics
  • 7/19 – 7/22 – Festa Italiana
  • 7/27 – 7/28 – German Fest
  • 8/19 – Irish Fest
  • 9/7 – 9/8  – Indian Summer

(Fireworks start at dusk, times subject to change)

For reservations, please email Alicia or call 414-273-8222 x 2801.


We’ve Won the ‘Stars of the Industry’ Award

We’re proud to announce that we’ve won the national ‘Stars of the Industry’ award from the American Hotel & Lodging Association in the category of guest relations for a large property. The awards program recognizes lodging employees and properties that best symbolize the quality service of the industry.

“We are honored to have been recognized with this prestigious award, which is a testament to our dedication to service,” said Joe Kurth our general manager. “We’re proud of the unique guest programs we’ve incorporated over the past few years, and would like to thank our guests for their ongoing support.”

The award in the guest relations category is given for programs that develop a climate conducive to new or repeat business, create goodwill among guests, or provide special services.

We’re all very excited to win this prestigious award.

Get to Know Timothy Westbrook, the 2012 Pfister Artist in Residence

Many lovely guests and passersby have come to enjoy the creation process with me. A few questions keep coming up so I thought that I’d share my answers with you so you can get to know me better. Feel free to e-mail any other questions to or come visit the studio and we can chat in person. I’m in daily Monday-Saturday and Sunday by appointment. Hours change day to day. You are welcome to request my presence in the studio by e-mail the address above.


When did you start sewing?

My grandmother taught me when I was five. My mother realized my interest and set me up with sewing lessons when I was nine with a local quilter. I’ve been sewing ever since.


Where did you get the idea for cassette tapes?

In eighth grade, I participated in a wearable art recycled fashion show. Being a “Purist” at the time, I couldn’t possibly sew with thread because it wasn’t recycled. I used the cassette tape as sewing thread. With that outfit I used woven plastic bags as a belt. I took a weaving course my junior year of college at Syracuse University with professor Sarah Saulson.  I made my first costume with the material for a student production of The Magic Flute opera. You can view it on my personal website here.

 When did you start weaving?

In third grade, I had a simple weaving tutorial. In eighth grade, I received my first floor loom from my friend Angie Oliver of Packbasket Adventures. My first formal weaving training wasn’t until my Junior year of college.

Are you from Milwaukee?

I am from the quiet town of  Wanakena, NY.  It’s a tiny town comprised of 62 year-round inhabitants located in the north foothills of the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. It’s worth googling images or coming into the studioto see the photograph of my front yard. Here are some charming spots in my hometown to check out.

Are you only making costumes/fashion?

I am taking commissions for wedding gowns, evening gowns, ready-to-wear, scarves, hand bags, costumes for stage, costumes for isolated performance art, and costume for private commissions. The main goal is to create Victorian style ball gowns out of material I will be weaving out of cassette tapes combined with natural fibers.

How long are you here?

I will be here for one full year; my first day was April 2nd 2012, and I’ll be hanging out until end March of 2013. To learn more about the program I am participating in click here. 

Who is doing the weaving?

I am weaving on a four-shaft floor loom from my good friend and previous studio mate Elin Sandberg.

Who is doing the sewing?

I am sewing on my non-electric sewing machine. I have a manufacture date estimated between 1885 and 1895.

And with one last parting word, Guido Pfister is a fan of what I’m doing and requested to wear one of the scarves I have for sale in the studio.

More sites to peruse

The main Pfister Artist-In-Residence Website 

My online portfolio

Like me on Facebook

Timothy Westbrook Explores & Exhibits at the Geneva Lake Museum

The emphasis of the Artist in Residence program here at the hotel is to remind us all that art is living and breathing and not just another layer of wallpaper.

I have seen first hand how this program allows guests to get a hands-on experience of my work. I love to see guest reaction when they encounter my work up close and personal.

The best part of the studio is that you never know who will pop in. It continues to be one of my favorite parts of the experience.

Around the start of my second month, ed I had an epitomizing moment when Karen Walsh of the Geneva Lake Museum stepped into the studio. An instant friendship blossomed and a month later I showed an exhibit at their “History Loves Company Celebration.”

Not only were there replicas of 1900’s style Fire Stations, Law offices, buy viagra Schools, Farms, Kitchens, etc. but they also had displays of turn of the century home craft, photography equipment, dentistry, boating, and the military.

If you have a passion, obsession, profession, or hobby, they will have the turn of the century counterpart. It is worth it to see the history of your work in physical form. Google-ing it online can only take you so far, in the words of the new director of the museum, generic Karen Walsh, “If you touch history, history will touch you.”

Here are some of my favorite sights from the trip.

The "General Store" had a great collection of fabric and thread.
A wedding gown for the average early 1900's woman.
Display of turn of the century shawls in the "seamstress's room"
Skating is my second passion & these skates from the 1920's are amazing!

My exhibit for the “History Loves Company Celebration” was a miniature version of my studio in the Pfister.

My display in the museum.

My set up was a fun compliment to the fiber art display they also had in the museum.

One of my dresses and jackets inspired by the 1920's was also on display.

On semi-permanent display will be an exhibit of costumes that I’m making in the studio.

It was a wonderful experience and I hope to share many more during my residence. And, as always, please stop in, my door is always open.

– Timothy





The New Café Pfister CinnaBar

Who doesn’t love a cinnamon roll? For generations they have been a staple in kitchens in Northern Europe and North America.

There are few things that can beat the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and freshly baked, view buttery bread. Then you finally get to taste the warm, sweet and gooey creation that pairs so perfectly with a cup of coffee or glass of milk.

It’s a classic for a reason.

For years, the Café Pfister has offered classic cinnamon rolls, but executive Chef Brian Frakes and his team decided to put their own, delicious spin on the classic.

He and the pastry team sat down and created a menu item that promises to become a staple for the Café. But what could be such an item that would showcase the team’s amazing pastry chops and elevate the Café Pfister dining experience?

Thus the CinnaBar was created.

This pastry innovation begins with a house made, buttery Danish-inspired dough that is run through a machine called a sheeter, giving the cinnamon rolls their light and fluffy texture. From there we begin layering the dough with butter, sugar and Saigon cinnamon from the Spice House. But this is just the beginning.

What makes the cinnamon roll complete are the array of fresh homemade toppings on the Cinnabar from which you can choose to add to your roll that best suits your taste buds.

You can select from three decadent toppings:

  • Wisconsin maple cream cheese icing
  • Fresh raspberry cream cheese icing
  • Vanilla cream cheese icing

But the fun doesn’t end there. You can top your personal creation with an array of wonderful accoutrements, including:

  • House-made candied pecans
  • Chocolate chips
  • Raisins

Stop by the Café Pfister to build your own soon-to-be world famous cinnamon roll! Served daily, we have one of these delicious creations waiting for you.

We look forward to seeing you soon.


Super Speedway Screening Ticket Give-A-Way

Milwaukee Indy Fest is right around the corner. To get you in the spirit, decease Marcus Hotels and Resorts is giving away three pairs of tickets to the screening of Super Speedway on Tuesday May 29th at the Marcus Majestic Cinema.

This special event will give race enthusiasts the chance of a lifetime to meet Michael Andretti and New York Times Best selling author, viagra Jade Gurss.

Here’s how to enter…

1. Follow The Pfister Hotel on Twitter (@Pfisterhotel)

2. Tweet: “Hey @Pfisterhotel I want to win a pair of tickets to see the Super Speedway movie via @mke_indyfest #IndyFest ”

3. Keep tweeting. Enter once a day through Friday May 25th at 3pm CST.

4. We will select a random winner Friday afternoon and they will be notified via Direct Message.

Good luck everybody.

Congratulations Alicia

Meet Alicia. If you have dined in the Café Pfister over the last two years, sovaldi you may recognize her. She has been instrumental in helping us carry out the Salve motto, giving  our guests a level of gracious service indicative of the hotel.

Because of her great work, see we are proud to announce that Alicia has been promoted to Food and Beverage Manager. In her new role she will oversee Blu, the Lobby Lounge and Café Pfister.

We are excited to have her in this role because, she will help bring out the strengths in these three very diverse outlets, helping to create even more memorable Pfister experiences for our guests.

Currently, she is working closely with Chef Frakes on a new happy hour menu including our newest addition, Fondue in Blu as well as unique drink specials in Blu and the Lobby Lounge.

But don’t worry, she hasn’t forgot about the classics. With all the changes planned, staples like Blu’s extensive martini menu including Alicia’s favorite, Savior Faire, a signature martini featuring the sweet flavor of St. Germain balanced with the crisp flavor of blood orange finish, will still be a focal point of the experience.

And while some things may change, one thing is for certain; the view in Blu will always be the best in the city.

So next time you’re in Blu, the Lobby Lounge or Café Pfister, say hi and congratulate her on her exciting new adventure.

Congrats Alicia, we know you’ll do great.

A Glimpse into Timothy Westbrook’s First Month

My first month as Artist In Residence has been action packed. While it has been a whirlwind to get here, cialis I could not have asked for a better start.

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting some wonderful people and attending some great events, making my transition into this position smooth and fun.

I’ve been introduced to a lifetime of memories. The beauty is each one is new, unique and provides me with a bit of inspiration.

Pfister Artist in Residence
Lola played dress up with Timothy & named his mannequin Marlene

Some of my favorite moments include:

  • Being graced with the presence of a Klondike Katewho offered to sing me one of the songs of her performance.
  • Meeting the brilliant Lola. A seven-year-old that told me all about her life as the malevolent little sister and shared her evil laugh. She also named one of my mannequins, troche Marlene.
  • Being invited by a lead a member of the Intermezzo String Quartet for a day of antique store shopping the next time I’m in Madison.

I will never forget the night I finished my first weaving. I was joined by a kind but quiet woman who was captivated by the process. She had seen every fiber process leading up to weaving. Her sister has sheep so she has seen sheering, carding and spinning (all processes involved in making yarn); after about an hour of vigilantly watching she shared that it was her birthday.

Sharing a special bonding moment with the birthday girl that night was fantastic. She cared as much about the weaving as I. And the next day, she continued on with her life but profoundly moved me in the moment that 28 feet of woven cloth escaped the restriction of the loom.

The following day a couple came in who had lived together in Milwaukee from the time they were born to the time they were somewhere in their thirties. It has been 26 years since they had been back and they said the Artist in Residence programs was one of their favorite changes to the city.

Easter was my day off. And by day off, I mean I only was in the studio seven hours instead of 10-14 hours and I was sketching and putzing instead of energetically sewing and weaving.

A very creative five-year old joined my favorite part of that day. We worked on some new sketches and her sense of positive and negative space with the use of neon pink was very inspiring.

A well known singer in her home town, Sherron, had a late flight into Milwaukee. Still awake from jet-lag, we took a midnight tour of the art collection. That night two weddings had happened. We enjoyed the view of the ballrooms as the clean up crew collapsed the tables and shared stories about the fun the bridal party had.

As I worked steadily the days leading up to my opening gallery night show, the studio was visited by high school guidance counselors, bankers, knitters, family members of people who once had a sewing machine, or once had a loom.

That “Big Night” came with my first visit of friends that might as well be family. My mother’s childhood friend stopped in with her partner and their child, who is now eleven. This was my first time meeting her. What an amazing event for a reunion.

After a wildly successful premier gallery night, HOW could this residency possibly get any better?

Pfister Artist in Residence
Model, Rose, dons Timothy Westbrook's First Gallery Night Piece

Easily. A lovely poised, elegant, woman whose great aunt was an on-call tailor in the early days of the hotel, walked into my studio. She shared stories of women who would tear their dresses when a miss step of the heel caught the hem of a train. A tailor would be on sight to quickly mend the tear then send them back to the dance floor.

Shortly after, a leading frame historian who also works in art frame restoration came in the space, sat down on the floor cross-legged with me and we discussed history, art preservation, textiles and museums. It was truly an honor.

Later that week, an incredible group of people started to filter into the hotel – championship dancers. This was the 25th year of the Wisconsin State Dancesport Championships. I enjoyed our former Narrator Ed’s perspective he describes it perfectly.

Pfister Artist in Residence
Timothy meets a legendary opera singer

My first month has gone faster than the dancers can spin. Just when I thought it could not get any better, late in the evening on the last day of April in walks the first opera singer into the studio. Thirty-six years ago, he performed as Papageno in a production of the Magic Flute in Milwaukee. What a magical way to end what has been an extraordinary month.

I’ve enjoyed it all, from every conversation to the few people that popped their heads in long enough to put a smile on my face. Even some of the late night wise guys quotes have been great. Some of my favorites have been:

  •  “Can you make a jacket with bird cages on the shoulders?”
  • “What man, did you get in a fight with all your cassettes?”
  • “What looks better, country or rock and roll?”

Thanks for making my first month so memorable.

Looking forward to sharing my work with you! Stop by anytime, my door is always open.

– Timothy