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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

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Dave Chappelle cracked up the audience every night of his six-show run at The Pabst Theater. (So far, anyway.)
Dave Chappelle cracked up the audience every night of his six-show run at The Pabst Theater. (So far, anyway.) (Photo: CJ Foeckler)

Chappelle packs the Pabst

In 2005, after a two-year run on the incredibly popular Comedy Central series, "Chappelle's Show," comedian Dave Chappelle abruptly ditched the limelight and went to South Africa.

After nearly 10 years of more or less being off the radar with the occasional stand-up gig, comedian Chappelle decided to embark on an earnest comeback tour and many presumed – although some questioned if – he could bring it back.

The answer is yes. Tonight’s show was one of six sold-out Milwaukee Pabst Theater performances that have so far received rave reviews and social media commentary.

Indeed, Chappelle delivered many laugh-out-loud lines and scenarios. In true Chappelle form, he talked frankly, intelligently and hilariously about race relations, Paula Deen, family life and more.

Chappelle opened with Milwaukee-flavored comedy that, at first, seemed forced. Open with the same local-specific jokes over several nights and they are bound to get better, but an example of the strengths Chappelle provided throughout the night is when he revisited the joke referencing the one black character on "Happy Days" (Sticks, the drummer in Richie’s band). Chappelle brought up how supporters had to fight for the Sticks character and also how it’s equally challenging for a "Sticks" to exist in modern-day Milwaukee.

Making people laugh is one thing, but getting them to think and converse after the show is another. And this, perhaps, is Chappelle’s greatest gift.

There were moments that were downright hilarious. He admits to putting one of his sons in public school and one in private school "as an experiment."

But there were also moments that were at best complicated and at worst questionable.

He includes in one run a bit about being lost while traveling and how finding a Starbucks in Mississippi made him feel relieved, because a gay man working behind the counter is like a "canary in a coal mine" (if he isn’t scared to be there, a black man shouldn’t be either).

Yet, at one poin…

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Mr. Webo's opened in early 2013.
Mr. Webo's opened in early 2013.

Mr. Webo's appears closed

For the eighth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Locavore, the newest restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2014."

For part of September, Mr. Webo’s Mexican restaurant, 2301 S. Howell Ave., had irregular hours. Then a sign appeared on the door saying it was closed for remodeling. Now the signs are off the building, there’s paper on the windows and the phone number has been "changed" with no forwarding number.

According to Wisconsin Court System Circuit Court Access records, building owner Parshotam Singh and Mr. Webo's Roman Torrez have a jury trial scheduled for Nov. 3-5c.

Things aren’t looking good for Mr. Webo’s. The space, which is centrally located, seems to turn over every few years. (Guanajuato had a good run and moved only after the owner bought a building a few doors to the south.)

I checked out Mr. Webo's when it opened and had a good experience. Subsequent visits were less impressive and the general opinon of the place was spotty.

Bay View finally got an Indian restaurant with Cafe India but some residents still wish for a Thai or Japanese place. What’s next for this high-profile space?

A decoration from the original Kooky Cooky House.
A decoration from the original Kooky Cooky House.
The new house, still under construction, is very similar to the old one.
The new house, still under construction, is very similar to the old one.
It's a dream come true for Gino Salomone.
It's a dream come true for Gino Salomone.
The Kooky Cooky House opens on "Black Friday."
The Kooky Cooky House opens on "Black Friday."

Kooky Cooky House returns

Many Milwaukeeans who grew up in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s remember the Kooky Cooky House – an electronic gingerbread cookie factory that featured dozens of moving parts – that was located in the now-defunct Capitol Court Mall.

This year, an updated version of the Kooky Cooky House returns to Discovery World on Friday, Nov. 28 and will remain open until sometime in January. 

"This is a great fit for Discovery World and the community," says Joel Brennan, president and CEO of Discovery World. "It provides a sense of history and a sense of nostalgia – and it also brings a new audience."

Discovery World guests will be invited to walk through the house and observe dozens of components cranking out cookies. On Saturdays and Sundays, fresh gingerbread cookies – courtesy of Bartolotta catering – will be available for sampling.

Gino Salomone has been instrumental in the recreation of the Kooky Cooky House. In 2002, Salomone – while on the air with WKTI’s Bob Reitman and Gene Mueller – mentioned the Kooky Cooky House and the station received tons of calls from people with a great fondness for it.

Salomone was later contacted by a representative of Capitol Court who told him the mall was going to be torn down and he could have the Kooky Cooky structure – which was still in the basement of the mall – if he could move it within two days.

"I got goosebumps when I saw the structure," says Salomone.

Salomone went back on the air, asked for help with moving and storing the structure, and Kallas Honey offered to store it. The structure later moved to the Milwaukee County Zoo and for a while there was talk of reopening it there.

Salomone later received a box of slides featuring images of every angle of the Kooky Cooky House and decided to rebuild it instead of repair the original structure. A team of two are in the process of building the new "cookie factory."

The new structure is very similar to the old one, and will include a few original decorati…

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Mango's is a dream come true for Edwin Ordonez.
Mango's is a dream come true for Edwin Ordonez.
Much of the space is Caribbean themed, but there's also a tiki lounge, dance floor, VIP area and more.
Much of the space is Caribbean themed, but there's also a tiki lounge, dance floor, VIP area and more.
"We have a crazy lighting system inside and out," says Ordonez.
"We have a crazy lighting system inside and out," says Ordonez.

Mango's combines night club, tiki lounge, sports bar and Caribbean restaurant

For the eighth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Locavore, the newest restaurant at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2014."

Seven months ago, I visited a Puerto Rican restaurant called La Caribeña, 1704 S. Pearl St., because it was new and generating a positive buzz.

While there, I met co-owner Edwin Ordonez, who shared information about his interesting and challenging past, the story of how his restaurant evolved and the fact he wanted to someday open a much larger restaurant, sports bar and nightclub.

Tonight, Ordonez – along with his two business partners – will open Mango’s Tropical Bar & Grill, 721 S. Cesar Chavez Dr.

"This will be the most unique sports club and night club in the city," says Ordonez. "We want to bring something new to Milwaukee."

Ordonez owns the business with Frank Sandino, who also owns Milwaukee's Bamboo Lounge, and Greg Kieckbusch, who formerly managed Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants and created much of the Mango’s menu.

Mango’s is based on a Florida establishment of the same name. It’s located inside a massive space featuring two stories and three bars, each with a different theme (including a tiki lounge). The interior is equipped with a full kitchen, a small casino, "video walls," murals and more.

The large, free parking lot in front of the club will definitely be an asset.

Mango’s menu features "bar food with a tropical twist." Highlights include wings, Caribbean shish-ka-bobs and "Juicy Lucy" burgers, which are hamburgers stuffed with melted cheese.

There’s also a menu item called "The Tsunami" – a one-pound cheese-stuffed burger topped with two fried eggs, pork shoulder, avocado and more.

"Anyone who can eat it in under 15 minutes gets it free," says Ordonez.

Ordonez hopes Mango’s will serve as an enterta…

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