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Former Milwaukee hotel GM basks in "The Bachelor" limelight in Iowa

There’s a Milwaukee connection to ABC’s "The Bachelor" this season but it’s not a contestant.  

The connection is Dwight Hopfauf, the general manager of Hotel Julien Dubuque, the hotel that’s been featured on the show.  Hopfauf is a former Milwaukee resident and the former assistant general manger at Milwaukee’s Hilton City Center in Downtown.  

So, needless to say, Hopfauf and his team are head over heels with the current bachelor Iowan Chris Soules, aka "Prince Farming."  

"We are thrilled to be featured in such a popular series.  The opportunity to showcase our elegant, historic property, which underwent a $34 million renovation to restore its 1915 grandeur and is now celebrating its 100th anniversary, is truly exciting," Hopfauf, also a former board member at the Westown Association in Milwaukee, told me via email.  

"Our ownership, management, and staff are delighted that viewers will get to see the beautiful setting that we are all so very proud to be a part of at Hotel Julien Dubuque."

Hotel Julien was featured in a February episode already, but will star in the season finale of the 19th edition of The Bachelor that will air on Monday, March 9

Soules elects to hold the final rose ceremony in his home state of Iowa, marking the first-ever domestic location for the show’s closing episode.

Will he propose?  Will she accept his rose or ring?  Sorry, I don’t know or really care.  But, I do like Dwight and am truly happy that his hotel is in the spotlight.  And, since my wife’s a fan of the show something tells me that we’ll take a trip to Dubuque this summer to check it out.  Hopfauf assures me that I’ll love the city and the hotel’s Riverboat Lounge, a local hot spot for live music and craft cocktails.  So, I’m in and will report back to you once we take our mini Iowa vacation. 

Over the years, Hotel Julien Dubuque has welcomed its share of dignitaries too including Abraham Lincoln, "Buffalo Bill" Cody and Mark Twain, and the notori…

The Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the March edition of GQ, digital and print.
The Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the March edition of GQ, digital and print. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

In GQ, Giannis "gets Buckets" with Malin Akerman

The photo cut line in the March digital and print editions of the "celebrities" section of GQ merely says, "Who's this guy?! Giannis Antetokounmpo is six feet eleven and still growing – and each of his hands is the size of GQ magazine. Really." 

Yep, Wisconsin's own, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, is featured in two photos from Art Streiber in the latest GQ. 

Antetokounmpo is paired with the focal point of a Kevin Lincoln story about Swedish Canadian actress Malin Akerman and her new Yahoo! series "Sin City Saints."  

Read the story, "Watch Malin Akerman Get Buckets" and see the photos with Antetokounmpo and Akerman here.

Don't drink and drive.  Ever.
Don't drink and drive. Ever.

A hard, local lesson that should make us all think

"Bar Month" at – brought to you by Stoli Vodka, Altos Tequila, Fireball, OR-G, Jim Beam, Plymouth Gin and 2 Gingers – is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun articles on bars and clubs – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!

Of all the local stories that come across our news feeds, one titled "Hard lesson for otherwise law-abiding man who drove drunk," really made me think. 

Nutshell. Out for a few beers. Boom. Killed a young woman, and the driver's off to jail.  Maurice Lard, 48 was, "a regular hardworking, churchgoing, married Milwaukee man. In June, he drove after leaving two bars and he ran into another car, killing 19-year-old Julian Hicks."

Many of us have done it. Drink, drive. No problem. Wisconsin seems to practically condone it with its mild rules and slap on the wrists for first time offenders. Wisconsin, if you didn't know, is the only state in the union that does not criminalize a first OWI offense.  Drinking and driving is wrong.  It's sad.  It's incredibly dangerous.  And, we shouldn't even have to mention that it's also against the law. 

My general rule of thumb is no more than two drinks on a night out when I'm driving. Maybe 10 years ago, I'd break this rule often but now, never.

I really don't drink that much anymore even though I love beer, and do enjoy sampling all the new brands and flavors.  But, the risks and even some of the hang overs just aren't worth it and stories like Maurice's scare me.  Sadly, as an alcohol counselor told Jim Stingl, the journalist who did the story about Maurice Lard, many aren't scared by such stories. 

I'm not perfect, and probably like you I've driven when I shouldn't have. But, today there's just no excuse to do so. So, don't. 

My dear Milwaukeeans (and others), as Bar Month at enters its final week let's cheer …

I've been seeing more Bucks apparel out and about lately.
I've been seeing more Bucks apparel out and about lately.

Bucks hats are green and growing

The future of the NBA is f@cking COLD. 

That's a direct quote from this story on Grantland by Andrew Sharp. Cold doesn't bother us, though. We wear hats. And, these days, Bucks hats seem to be everywhere,

Sure, the team did a promotional giveaway recently but I can't help but notice an increase in Bucks gear on the streets. 

I've always lamented the fact that it's nearly impossible to find Bucks stuff at area stores and places like Sports Authority don't even seem to not know we have an NBA team in Wisconsin. Plus, it's rather hard to buy things at the BC, especially on non-game days.

Compare the retail at Miller Park and Lambeau Field to that of the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Enough said. This will, of course, change as part of a new arena complex.  And, the Bucks new merchandising department and marketing initiatives are helping too. 

I also noted this Bucks hat uptick on my Ash Wednesday walk to church today. As I just tweeted...

I was bundled up and sporting my reversible adidas Bucks hat as I passed a Milwaukee police officer. I nodded and said, "hello officer." He nodded back, pumped his fist and said, "Go Bucks!" Loved it! 

I know that the cold brings out more hats in general and I might have a bit of the red car syndrome going on here. You know that feeling when you buy a red car and suddenly all you see are red cars. That might be happening, to an extent, with Bucks hats as I own several. 

Regardless, there does seem to be a new gear to Bucks gear these days.  Personally, I think it's good for the community and the second half of the NBA season that begins tomorrow with a free afternoon practice at Marquette's Al McGuire Center.