NEWaukeean: Cristian Vega
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
I’m one of the co-owners of Screaming Tuna Sushi. Nearly everything about this role makes me one very lucky guy. From the friends & family we’ve made, to the success we’ve been able to celebrate as a company, to the doors it continues to open for me personally, it’s a blessed place & position to be in.
What do you love most about MKE?
When I moved from Chicago in 2010, it took me about 3 years to finally fall for Milwaukee. Now, I love my new home. A big reason why: the good people helping push the cultural momentum in this city, with initiatives that are inclusive, positive & just plain cool. Groups like NEWaukee, P3 & Radio Milwaukee … I want to collaborate with as many of these difference makers as possible to produce more reasons for people to fall in love with this city.
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
One of my great passions is music. I’ve been able to live out a mini-dream of mine as a local DJ, & a big part of that dream is to help grow the House Music scene in MKE. I wouldn’t call it completely “missing”, thanks to local House pioneers like Chris V, Jessica “Fortune”, Uncle Ryan & more. But when you experience the awe-inspiring House scene in places like Chicago, NYC & Ibiza, you want to bring THAT kind of musical energy & enlightenment to your home.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
As a walking paradox, a vegetarian who owns a sushi restaurant, I thought it could be interesting to share some of my favorite spots. It’s impossible to pick one with so many great options, so here’s an unofficial Top 10: The Noble, Fuel Cafe, National Cafe, Urban Beets, Camino, Centro Cafe, Story Hill BKC, Odd Duck, every place from the “Snack Boys”, & for hospitality: the S.E.D. (Movida) group.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
I truly believe that it’s an amazing time to be in Milwaukee. It’s a city on the rise in many ways, with a lot of potential to be better. My hope is that as it ascends to new heights, it’s able to lift up as many of it’s Milwaukeeans as possible. I want the developmental renaissance we’re seeing to reach ALL our Greater Milwaukee neighborhoods & benefit ALL our residents. It’s why I work with groups like MKE United, so that hopefully, a better Milwaukee is better for everyone.
What is your favorite MKE tradition?
I’m going to be biased & say that my favorite MKE tradition-in-the-making, is the one I was fortunate/crazy enough to help create: Walker’s Point 5th Street Fest. Through the Walker’s Point Association, I was thrust into the driver seat to collaborate with countless community members to finally bring our neighborhood it’s own signature street festival. It was a showcase of the people, culture, food, brewers, arts, music & more that make our community so special. Making the vision come to life nearly killed me in year 1, but was all worth it in the end & I can’t wait for a bigger, better Year 2.