Curt is Chicago native - but don't hold that against him. After stops in Madison and California, he moved to Waukesha in 2004 to open a downtown business.
We ended our last blog at the world famous Five Points Intersection in Waukesha, the unofficial “heart” of the downtown. Years ago a gazebo stood in the center of this intersection and caused more than its fair share of traffic issues.
After careful consideration, the city- along with a generous grant from the Huelsman Family- relocated the gazebo to an area more suited for its historic design. It now sets along the shores of the Fox River, just east of Waukesha State Bank. Along with some nice trees and beautiful flowers, it has been the focal point of many a wedding photo and a great place to enjoy a relaxing lunch on a summer afternoon.
And now that the Five Points is gazebo free, people can race through the intersection at high rates of speed without worry of crashing into a historic city landmark.
With that being said, the Five Points is also home to many great new businesses as well.
On the northwest point of the intersection sets the Clarke Hotel.
The Clarke Hotel
Across the street on the northeastern point is where Three Sisters Spirit is located. Listed under health, wellness, professional services, and retail, the Three Sisters offers gifts, individual services, and classes or workshops designed to relieve the stresses of daily life. I have also heard rumor that in the basement of Three Sisters there may be a long forgotten passageway that runs under the streets of downtown. I don’t know if there is any truth to this, but the downtown is home to more than one secret underground passage.
Generations at Five Points
As we head further east along the Five Points, we come to Generations at the Five Points. Voted the 2009 “best tapas” by wisn.com, this sleek restaurant bar is a very trendy addition the downtown. And for those of you asking yourself what tapas are, it’s simply a fancy way of saying “delicious, well presented appetizers”. As a matter of fact, the entire menu is appetizers, which can be a really nice way to enjoy a lot of different tastes in one evening.
Across the street from Gen 5 is one of the coolest and most recent additions to downtown.
The Pink Poodle
What was once a dying little ice cream store for many years has been reborn into sloppy Joe’s and the Pink Poodle. The Poodle specializes in serving hotdogs, Sloppy Joes, ice cream, and soda fountain drinks, all with a retro 1950s flair. I am hooked on their chili dogs.
Following the clock around the point we come to Bieg Boutique on the southwest corner of the Five Points.
Bieg has captured a feeling that has not been around the downtown in a very long time. It has the essence of the long gone department stores that used to grace Main Street years ago. Bieg offers exquisite clothing designed for women with fuller figures. Honestly I can’t say as I have ever been in the store- I am skinny and I am a guy- so Biegs really isn’t my cup of tea. But I have peered in the windows plenty, and it looks quite exceptional.
Biegs is also located in a building that has undergone an extensive renovation. Owned by the Huelsman Family (same ones who helped move the gazebo) this structure fell victim to the horrible architecture designs that the 1970s plagued the world with. Upon removing some of this "décor", the building owners found a remarkably well preserved storefront. And after a long summer of construction and Plan Commission approvals, the building has a beautiful new grand entrance, updated windows, and a historic look that complements the downtown.
The world famous Five Points Intersection has come a long way from where it was only a few years ago. And like the rest of downtown, it is finally becoming a place for everyone to enjoy.
Next time we will stroll up and down Broadway, home to some of my favorite places.
And we still have yet to cover Main Street east of the Five Points, South Street, Grand, and the riverfront. Or perhaps we should spend a little time discovering what lies beneath the streets in those hidden tunnels!
Oh…and there have been some changes on the west end of Main you should know about as well.
Good thing I have nothing else to do with my spare time…