MILWAUKEE — Congratulations to a neighborhood treasure: Sherman Perk Coffee Shop is celebrating 20 years.
Thursday at the shop was a huge anniversary cake. Sherman Perk sits on the triangle in Sherman Park, on the corner of Keefe, Rosevelt and 49th Street.
"It's a real neighbor-friendly place," says customer Terry Johannes. He's been coming to Sherman Perk for five years.
"The people I run into are just enjoyable," he adds.
When it first opened, owner Bob Olin had a vision of an unpretentious community gathering place.
"Having a friendly, welcoming place is important for all of us. Our neighborhood didn't have something like this until we opened," said Olin.
But turning the Art Deco gas station into a prized destination took a lot of work.
Olin admits that "the building was condemned, contaminated, and it was seven-years tax delinquent."
But customers applaud the labor of love that serves up a delightful atmosphere.
"The big part of it is Bob. Bob is a great guy, and he runs a great business here. He's turned this into a hub in the community," said Johannes.
And there's an allure about sipping a cup of Joe in the 1939 historical site. People witness how restoring the past can drive neighbors together.
"We hope to be serving people for many many years!" said Olin.