Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Short trips: Out and about in West Bend

Just for fun!, Short trips, TRAVEL

The weather promises to be beautiful this weekend. How about a short trip to the north?

My sister and I recently took a little jaunt to West Bend. Our mission was to visit the Museum of Wisconsin Art and hopefully do a little digging into some background information on Wisconsin artist Francesco Spicuzza.

Our grandfather was a friend of the artist. We did not find what we were looking for that day...must dig deeper!

The museum features Wisconsin artists. Their main collection is of Carl Von Marr's work. He painted in the late 1800s and his work is quite remarkable. I love his use of light in his paintings, and his people have a real sense of life to them. If you are in the West Bend area, the collection is worth seeing.  

The museum is located at 300 S. 6th Ave. (6th and Poplar St.)There are some playful frogs sitting on a bench on the north side--be sure to take a picture with them.

Museum Hours: Wed. - Sat. 10 am - 4:30 pm, Sunday 1 - 4:30 pm. They are closed on holidays. 


Just a half block east of the museum on Poplar Street is a restaurant, the Poplar Inn, 518 Poplar Street, 262-335-6302. It is in an old brick house and it was very charming.

We had a delicious lunch there--price range was from $5 - $11, I think. The menu offered sandwiches, salads, soups, and great desserts. We shared a chocolate gannache dessert after our lunch. Very tasty, especially when paired with the Alterra coffee they served.

The restaurant decor featured antiques and faux painting. There was a bar upstairs, but we did not venture up there.




Even the ladies room was decorated in a clever way. They used an old copper wash tub and wringer to hold folded sage green fingertip towels!

By the way, this was not a ladies only type place--there was an extended family there and also another table with a married couple in addition to a few tables of women when we first arrived.


I got the sense this was a place visited by the locals. I like supporting good restaurants that are not part of a chain.


Our next notable stop was a very cute shop called Somedays: simple luxuries for life at 305 W. Kilbourn, 262-334-3480.

If you leave the Poplar Inn and walk east, you will run into it (where Poplar meets Kilbourn and South Main.)

The owner, Kim Hahn, was a former teacher and we quickly were chatting about this and that.

I enjoyed the way she displayed her inventory; Kim did it in a very artistic way. I really didn't need anything, but a tiny 6 inch old fashioned wire hanger with hanging clips somehow popped into my hand. It was only $2.50, but what could I use it for?

Ah, I know! I could hang vintage postcards from it as a unique way to display them on the wall instead of using a frame. Sold!

Now for the fun part. Kim gave my little purchase all the attention a $100 purchase would have commanded! She gave me the full treatment: printed tissue, mini shopping bag, tag, and ribbon bow!

My sister and I continued looking in various shops on South Main, but we did not find any as fetching as Kim's Somedays.

Ah, time to head home. It was a pleasant way to spend the day. Let me know if you have a favorite shop or restaurant in West Bend. We might have to go back for more "research."

Post Script: Kim from Somedays emailed me with this restaurant suggestion: Cafe Soeurette. It is located at 111 N. Main Street. 262-338-2233 She recommended giving them a call first, because their hours vary.


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