Food & Drink

Strangers become friends over food, paint and travel stories

Last week, artist-in-residence Stephanie Barenz, executive chef Brian Frakes and I hosted an evening of painting, eating and travel story telling. Nine people attended the event, called “Gathering Of The Senses,” which took place in Stephanie’s studio.

Each participant submitted a photo from a recent vacation to…

30 Jan 12:21 PM 4 Read More...

Would you put this in your coffee?

In my eight months as the Pfister Narrator, I’ve learned a lot about traveling, hotels, art, people and, just last night, trends in coffee.

I sat down next to Ron and Jonathan in the Lobby Bar and noticed they were both enjoying tall, black coffees. We started chatting and…

22 Jan 2:41 PM 0 Read More...

Discussing dentistry: from the art of whitening to biting down on that goop

For the second year in a row, the Pfister hosted employees of Henry Schein, a worldwide distributor of medical, dental and veterinary supplies. Although the company is based in New York, the dental headquarters are in West Allis, which is what brings the workers to Wisconsin.

Last night at the…

15 Jan 2:21 PM 0 Read More...

From facelifts to world peace: What Pfister guests want for the holidays

A couple of nights ago, I went to the Pfister’s Lobby Bar and Blu and randomly asked visitors and guests what they wanted for the holidays.

“You know, if I were Santa or Oprah and the sky was the limit,” I said.

I was surprised, amused and touched by…

15 Dec 5:11 PM 1 Read More...

His shocking story sparks inspiration

Ranachith “Ronnie” Yimsut is a genocide survivor, an orphan and a refugee. He is also a brother, husband, father, architect, author, teacher and social justice activist.

But more than anything, Ronnie is an inspiration.

I met Ronnie in the Cafe at the Pfister and I don’t think I have…

30 Sep 1:52 PM 0 Read More...

Partyin' with the boss

Imagine seeing your coworkers only once a year. Such is the case for Sue, Nancy and Missy, who work in the banking industry from their homes in three different states.

Once a year they meet in Milwaukee, at the Pfister’s Lobby Lounge, to connect in person. Nancy lives in…

10 Jul 1:08 AM 0 Read More...

Minnesotans, motorcycles and the Mall of America

A few years ago, I went to the Mall of America in Minnesota for the first time. I was surprised to see a kiosk featuring shirts that read “friends don’t let friends drive to Wisconsin” and merchandise embossed with other playful-but-rivalrous messages.

I turned to my partner…

20 Jun 5:32 PM 0 Read More...

The dancer, the drag queen and the mystery woman

Recently, I had my first mohawk spotting at the Pfister Lobby Bar, and so, naturally, I had to chat with the man rocking the spiky hairdo.

“So how long have you had a mohawk?” I ask him.

“For forever,” he says. “I just got it redone yesterday. I’m a…

18 Jun 1:25 PM 0 Read More...

A birthday celebration sparks good conversation with a banker

During my first month as the Pfister Narrator, I have already spent a lot of time hanging out at the Lobby Bar, Cafe and Blu, talking to guests and hearing what brought them to the hotel.

Recently, for the first time, I went to Mason Street Grill. It was my…

28 May 12:40 PM 0 Read More...

The Pfister Five: Meet international model Raengel Solis

Welcome to a new series on the blog called “The Pfister Five.” Occasionally, I’ll post a five-question interview with a guest. To kick this off, here’s a chat with Raengel Solis, an international model who stayed at the Pfister recently. 

Raengel was born and raised in the…

11 May 1:11 PM 0 Read More...

Talking New York City, identical twins and happy hours with the McDonoughs

It was clear Mary and Tim McDonough were having Date Night at the Lobby Bar. Snuggled closely on the couch in front of the fire, Mary cradled a glass of Shiraz and Tim held a Sambuca with three coffee beans. Engrossed in quiet conversation, they paused only to laugh.

Of…

08 May 12:10 PM 0 Read More...

The three-hour Milwaukeean

After I overheard – OK, totally nosily dipped into – Mario Guerra’s cell phone conversation when he was sitting next to me at the Lobby Bar, I gleaned he had recently moved to Milwaukee.

“So how long have you lived in Milwaukee?” I asked Guerra, who was wearing a nice suit…

06 May 9:55 AM 0 Read More...

Pfister Files: A Tradition of Fine Dining

Over the next few months, I will be dusting off pages from the Pfister’s history books and sharing bits of the Pfister’s prolific history. This is the third post in this series.

The Pfister Hotel was and still is a mecca of fine dining.  The holy grail? A…

25 Apr 8:45 PM 0 Read More...

A Master and His Admirer

Dr. Jeffery Hollander has had a prolific career in addition to his 30-year tenure as the Pfister Hotel’s Musician-in-Residence. “He is so talented, I love the way he interprets the music. No one else plays like he can.” Natalia will be the first to tell you…

21 Apr 11:59 PM 0 Read More...

5 O'clock Coffee Talk

It’s happy hour! What are we doing drinking coffee? It’s the kind of Friday night that calls for a martini – straight up.

I take my usual seat at the Lobby Lounge bar, looking around at the flurry of activity as hotel guests arrive for the weekend and the…

09 Apr 4:34 PM 0 Read More...

Carla and Tommy

“I made a song!” she declared with a Christmas-morning smile. Dan invited her over to the piano in the lobby to play a few notes. “He knows that Jeff always plays ‘Summertime’ for me, because that’s the song my mother used to sing to me when I was…

03 Apr 10:34 PM 0 Read More...

Working to Give

Proudly showing off her black fleece sweater with the embroidered Pfister logo, I may have just met the Pfister’s biggest fan tonight. She and her husband were certainly fans of Jeff. Like any good bartender, he took to the attention like a moth to a flame and kept them…

24 Mar 5:51 PM 0 Read More...

Brothers Reunite

All nine of them were huddling around the wide velvet couches like a football team reviewing the game-winning play.  Then, they broke up to line up like soldiers in front of the fireplace and posed for a picture. One slight problem, the gentleman who volunteered to take the picture…

17 Mar 9:53 PM 0 Read More...

The Art of Storytelling with Ex Fabula

No professionals needed – just enthusiastic amateurs. That’s my kind of club. ExFabula has been organizing live storytelling events in Milwaukee since 2009. Founding member Megan McGee takes pride in helping people discover that they have a story to tell and showing them how to do it. There is only…

09 Mar 3:42 PM 0 Read More...

#MKE Foodies Take Over Mason St. Grill

In case you need any more proof that digital media is changing the way we do everything, here is a story of a food group that started on Twitter. Digital followers turned real-life friends, #MKE Foodies now meets offline once a month at a restaurant in Milwaukee to dine…

24 Feb 11:29 AM 0 Read More...

Love is in the Air

Although it’s still one week from Valentine’s Day, there is love in air at the Pfister Hotel tonight. Romantic love, Milwaukee love, Latin music love.

“Guajira,” scrape, boom, swoosh, “Guajira,” scrape, boom, swoosh…It’s the type of sound that crawls under your skin and tickles until you…

10 Feb 9:02 PM 0 Read More...

Jay and John

There are two types of people in this world: those who hate being in the spotlight and those who love it. I am usually able to tell the difference within about two minutes of telling people that I am the hotel’s staffer dedicated to writing about guests.

“Oh I…

28 Jan 9:47 PM 0 Read More...

Keeping a Watchful Eye Over the Cafe

John Miller has been coming to brunch at the Pfister Café every Sunday with his family for the past eight years. It’s a post-church tradition that has continued to grow, along with with his family.

Henry Miller (the superhero-in-training, not the author) is 16 months old…

10 Jan 8:03 AM 0 Read More...

Alivia and Elly

There was no dance floor so they created their own. Their dance moves were abstract, like the jazz. They were show stoppers – at just two feet tall. Who were these two little angels dressed in matching zebra print and ruffles at the Mason Street Grill? “People often mistake them for…

03 Jan 11:38 PM 0 Read More...

Christmas with the Tamscins

I think most people who’ve hosted a large gathering will agree that not having to cook on Christmas is a gift in itself. Being able to celebrate with your family, minus the grocery shopping, prep work and dishes leaves you a lot more time for holiday cheer.

One thing…

28 Dec 6:29 PM 0 Read More...
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