Bring em in to the Bremen Café
We found some showers at our campsite. After scrubbing ourselves, we were ready to hit the town. A short drive brought us into Milwaukee. We still had all day though. We couldn’t just wait outside of the venue all day. Instead we found a little coffee shop called Rochambo. They had strong coffee, as well as some beer, wine, and coffee based cocktails.
With coffee mugs in front of us, we answered emails and posted blogs for several hours. Next we walk through the streets, seeing sidewalk cafes and restaurants, marinas on the lakefront, and high rise condos. This was a side of Milwaukee that we hadn’t seen before. This was a nice afternoon.
When the time came, we jumped into the van and motored across town to the River West neighborhood. Bremen Café is nestled in the ground floor of a boarding house style building. Inside is a curved bar behind which sits a pretty good sized beer selection. The interior is wood walled, covered in neon beer signs and posters advertising local art openings and concerts. There’s a large chalkboard suspended over the bar communicating the specials for the evening.
We were greeted by Phil and Ryan of 4th Street Elevator. They were opening for us in this evening with some Gypsy Jazz. They introduced us to the bartender, Meghan, and the owner David. Everyone was sitting out on the street, drinking beers. This seemed like our sort of place. Soon we were loaded in, beers in hand, and were meeting everyone around. People were very nice, and everyone seemed to be involved in a band or some studio doing visual art. This was clearly a pretty hip crowd.
Phil and Ryan stepped up and slid through a bunch of jazz standards, a Dave Grisman tune, and some originals. They were very slick. While they were playing, our friends Rick and Sarah popped up. They had seen us the first time we played in Milwaukee, gave us a spot to play for our second, and were now here to see us on our third. They kindly brought some friends along, and before long, the bar was packed.
We stepped up, and played for 2 ½ hours. It was awesome, though exhausting. Unfortunately, the bartender kept telling us to turn it down. The crowd understood however, and stuck with us right to the end. Ryan passed a jar around for tips for us. We also sold some shirts, and so made a good bit of cash. We stuck around for 2 hours, talking to everyone in the place, basking in compliments and finding out what everyone’s been up to for a year. There were many offers of places to stay, but we declined in favor of driving through the night toward Indianapolis, where we were playing the next day. We talked while we drove, about Milwaukee, and how the place has grown on us since that first, terrible show at Linneman's.
Tomorrow… Melody Inn, Cootie Crabtree, and a perfect place to spend a day.