NEWaukeean: Michael Fisher
Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
I’m currently one of the owners of This Is It. I’m definitely more than happy to be able to work at a bar that’s so historic and involved in the community here in Milwaukee. With us celebrating our 50th year open this year and having an expansion coming in our near future, the journey I’ve been able to have so far with this place has been an incredible one and I’m even more excited for what else is to come.
How long have you lived in MKE & what brought you here?
I grew up in the suburbs outside of Milwaukee ever since I was born, but moved downtown as soon as I was out of my parents house. I always visited downtown growing up and the amount of foot traffic and unique culture that my hometown seemed to lack is what really drew me in to the downtown area.
What do you love most about MKE?
The thing I love most about Milwaukee would have to be how much seems to always be going on, especially in the summer months. No matter what day of the week, if you’re looking for something to do, you’ll usually find something unique and exciting.
What is something that is missing from our community that you would love to see implemented?
The thing that I think is missing from or community the most is something that I, in all honesty, have been seeing implemented a bit more lately actually, which is amazing. The amount of local street art is something that I think all cities should have and I personally think that Milwaukee could use even more. It’s always an incredible way to attract attention and pay tribute to the talents of local artists.
What is one word that you would use to describe MKE?
Where do you see MKE in 5 years?
Definitely growing quickly in size and in numbers. I’ve lived downtown here for about 7 years now and even in just that short amount of time the amount of progression that I’ve seen is awesome to watch. From new businesses, new ways of of local transportation, new festivals and arenas, it seems like Milwaukee is taking a step in the right direction to becoming a more progressive and exciting city.
If you could create one thing in MKE, what would it be?
One thing I would probably create more of in Milwaukee is parking and parking structures. In all honestly I myself don’t have a car because I don’t feel the need to have one with my current situation, however I hear constantly from all Milwaukeeans that it seems to be an issue for them.
What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
I am a huge fan of Balzac off of Brady Street. Small plates is the way to go for me because I enjoy eating a lot of different foods and they definitely offer that. Not to mention they have an incredible Sunday evening special that helps use and not waste products.
What is your biggest hope for this city?
My biggest hope for Milwaukee is that it continues to grow and prosper as a city, but that Milwaukee and it’s citizens also always keep their Midwestern charm and manner. A lot of times when traveling I’ve been asked if I’m from the midwest and when answered I hear, “I can tell.” From the tone in their voice I usually take it as a compliment.
What is your favorite MKE tradition?
Some may not even call this a tradition, but the first hot day of the year when everyone and their fifty best friends seem to go to Bradford Beach is always a memorable day for me. It’s usually quite crammed, but not a single person seems to have a negative bone in their body at the beach on the first hot day of a Milwaukee summer.
What does your ideal MKE weekend look like?
I generally am bartending at the bar most weekends, but if I have time off I do like to try to go out or attend events or shows I might not normally see. Milwaukee does have a lot to offer when it comes to things to do on the weekend, so I really try not to miss out.
What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
I live in Cathedral Park area and it’s definitely a plus living so close to my bar, but it’s also just a beautiful area in general. There’s plenty of local eats and unique places to grab a drink around the area, which is always convenient. The park itself always has something fun happening or new decorations up for a holiday. There even are some beautiful rainbow crosswalks that I heard were recently installed that I think just looks wonderful.
What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
I don’t know if I’d quite say they are a “hidden gem”, but I think Milwaukee’s local theaters are definitely gems in my opinion. From the Avalon Theater to Pabst Theater, from the Oriental Theater to the Off The Wall Theater, Milwaukee has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and culture.
What do you think is going to be a game changer for the city in the year of 2018?
I definitely think the new street car, “The Hop”, is a huge game changer for what else is to come in Milwaukee. I know this is also only “phase one” of where the street car will run its route, so I’m sure there will be even more to see from it.