Yesterday’s “smudging” ceremony was truly special. Despite a dose of skepticism from many (including maybe even me), this Native American tradition paid homage to the heritage of the Menomonee Valley and was solemnly enjoyed by all. Jimmy welcomed all of the guest with his opening remarks. There was a wide variety of people in attendance: representatives of MVP Partners, M7, Gary DeGeorge from Johnson Brothers, the architectural team from Rinka Chung, the graphic design team from CYD, shareholders and key stakeholders. Also on hand was Dr. David Ryder and his lovely wife Vera.  At the ceremony’s conclusion, David gave a brief speech enthusiastically echoing his excitement for City Lights and the success of the business was toasted with his delicious Old Wisconsin Farmhouse beer. We are grateful to have David along with us on this journey.

I have attached the meeting notes from last week’s summit with the Rinka team. We now have a standing Tuesday afternoon meeting as the design and build-out process moves forward. The preliminary design concepts are magical. (I’m getting the impression that Rinka Chung is to architecture what Nureyev was to dancing, what Picasso was to painting, what Beethoven was to composing and what Joey Chestnut is to speed-eating hotdog competitions!) Yesterday, Jimmy met on-site with Adam Kirschner (Principal of ADK Designs-our General Contractor) and the various subcontractors who will be bidding on the project. Adam has worked in collaboration with Rinka on most of their previous hospitality build-outs. There was incredible excitement expressed by all as they view this project as both marquee and signature.

Kris Hinrichs continues to chronicle the project photographically with her magically creative eye:

We are meeting next week with the engineers from Poblocki to discuss the permanent signage atop the Tower building. The temporary “City Lights Brewing Company – Coming Soon!” sign should go up next week and we’ll whet the thirst of the inhabitants of the 300,000 vehicles passing by each day.

With the cooperation of the weather, we look forward to hosting shareholders Chuck and Marilyn Appeldoorn this week. We’ve got an exciting agenda planned for Wednesday afternoon to showcase the City Lights’ campus and demonstrate that “Wisconsin nice” is almost as friendly and welcoming as “Minnesota nice.”

We continue to meet with the owners and managers of leading on-premise accounts and collaborate on promotions and marketing initiatives. Our efforts to date and been extremely well received and we’re locking down key on-premise tap line commitments.

As news of City Lights spreads, we’ve been contacted by various individuals and groups about special events. Based on the initial (and unsolicited) inquiries, I am confident that we will have a robust special event business.

Lastly, a special congratulations to our good friend and valued City Lights’ partner Michael Drescher on his impending induction into the Dominican High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Have the best pre-Super Bowl weekend ever!