In Dining

Karen breaks it down on a recent Milwaukee Food & City Tour.

Eat, drink and learn with Milwaukee Food & City Tours

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Recently, I went on a Milwaukee Food & City Tours in the Third Ward with host Karen and a half dozen other folks. I knew Featherston and I would get along when she said, "I'm Italian, and if I don't feed people every 30 minutes, I get nervous."

During the tour we walked from Smoke Shack to Hudson Business Lounge Cafe to Cafe Benelux and finally the Milwaukee Public Market. At each locale, we sampled food and drinks – including a Bloody Mary at almost every location – and in between indulging, Featherston provided historical information and stories about the Third Ward.

I found the event really interesting with so much food for the mouth as well as the mind. For example, I learned that the fading painted signs on buildings are called "ghost signs," and they are protected from being removed or painted over by a Third Ward ordinance.

After the tour, I contacted the owners of Milwaukee Food & City Tours, Wade and Theresa Nemetz, for more information.

OnMilwaukee: How long have you had this business?

Theresa Nemetz: We started it in 2009 as a hobby, and it has over time developed into a full-time business and year-round operation. We will be celebrating our 10th anniversary next year with several trips, including culinary vacations to Poland, Germany and Italy!

How many different tours do you offer and how often? Do you offer them year 'round?

We have six walking tours, 11 bus tours and three Christmas tours. With the exception of a few of our walking tours, we do offer most tours year-round. We also offer day trips and workshops.

What led you to start this business?

After taking a food tour in New York City, we came home and created Milwaukee Food & City Tours out of my love of Milwaukee and my husband's love of great food.

Prior to starting the company, Wade's background was in the mortgage industry and mine was in non-profit fundraising. Self taught, we have relied on mentors in the travel industry both in Milwaukee and beyond to help guide us to grow our company to where it is today. We enjoy traveling to other cities to experience tours and tour concepts into our company here in Milwaukee.

What is special about your tours?

Our tours highlight the hidden gems of Milwaukee. For example, on our Craft Breweries & Cocktails tour, we are showcasing small establishments "before they become famous" as I like to say. We are allowing our guests to meet small business owners, learn their passion and tour facilities that do not generally offer tours to the general public.

Our tours also are great opportunities for corporate team outings, and bachelor/bachelorette outings. For example, our new Tacos & Tequila tour has quickly become a favorite afternoon outing for groups interested in exploring Milwaukee and having a fun time together. We truly enjoy showcasing Milwaukee and all that it has to offer to both locals and tourists.

What do you want the people who go on your tours to get from the experience?

Consistently, guests rave about the chance to learn about Milwaukee and see it from an insiders perspective. We love to show off Milwaukee and love to allow others to discover Milwaukee. Many guests, especially the local attendees, remark that they thought that they knew Milwaukee, but were pleasantly surprised to discover new places on their tour with us.

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