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Business 2012: What Was Popular in Waukesha This Year?

From new restaurants to downtown drama, business was an important part of Waukesha's 2012.

Editor’s Note: As we start to look back at 2012, here are some of the most popular business stories on Waukesha Patch.

January: Family Opens Rox Bar & Grille in Waukesha

When Rox Bar & Grille owners and brothers Peter and Dennis Hronis and bar manager Dino Giacomantonio were trying to describe the new business, they found it difficult classify the new business perfectly.

I’m hard pressed to define it as anything specific,” Giacomantonio said. “We have 22 TVs but we are not willing to call it a sports bar. We have over 50 different whiskeys, and I would love to call it a casual whiskey bar.

“… Sometimes women don’t feel comfortable talking about going to sports bar. It’s dressed up for everything. For the women, we are a whisky lounge. For the guys, we are a sports bar.”

The bar has a full food and drink menu, including martinis.

It might not seem like much, but Waukesha resident Dan Weber is still out about $50.

About a year ago, Weber purchased discount coupons online for Dirt Stripper Touchless Car Wash. He used about half of the coupons and decided to use them again during a recent warm day to rinse the salt off his car.

“I went in there,” Weber said. “It was just empty.”

March: Smolder Scare Reported at People’s Park

People’s Park had a close call Sunday night after something began smoldering in the basement – about 13-1/2 months after a fire shut down the popular bar and restaurant for nearly a year.

The Milwaukee office of Opus Development Corporation (Opus) announced Friday (April 20) that T.J Maxx, Ulta Salon and Cosmetics, Rue 21, and Charming Charlie’s will be the first tenants in the second phase of their Shoppes at Fox River retail development in Waukesha.

May: Waukesha Farmers’ Market Expands in a Big Way

The Waukesha Farmers’ Market is reaching new levels this year as it’s nearly doubled from approximately 60 vendors in 2011 to 103 vendors in 2012.

“We could have actually accommodated about 140 vendors if we had the space,” said Business Improvement District Executive Director Meghan Sprager. “We had that much interest.”

June: Cupcake Café is Sweeter than Corporate World

Bobbie Peters' love for baking came with the love of her family.

Working in the corporate world, Peters’ expertise wasn’t necessarily in the kitchen. But as her work schedule demanded more and more travel, taking away from her husband and four children, she remembered a 2005 business plan for a coffee shop that she had tucked away.

When Scrima’s Pizza closed down in the mid-1990s, Joe Scrima said his wife, Christine, may have been the most disappointed person in Waukesha.

The couple’s cousins had owned the restaurant, which was considered a legacy in Waukesha. And when it shut down, Scrima decided to begin baking pizzas in his home.

August: Maid-Rite Now Open in Waukesha

Maid-Rite, a loose-meat sandwich restaurant with malts and more, opened quietly over the weekend.

Alderman Vance Skinner opened the business with his partner, Brendan Barrett, because he grew up eating at the Maid-Rite franchise in Iowa.

September: 11 BID Members Resign in Wake of Controversy

Eleven members of the 13-member Waukesha Business Improvement District Board of Directors have stepped down from their leadership roles as accusations of bullying, harassment and ineffective communication styles came from its executive director, who left her position earlier this month.

October: Dunkin’ Donuts Opening in Waukesha

A Dunkin’ Donuts with a drive through is opening in Waukesha on Tuesday.

The restaurant will be located at 2450 N. Grandview Blvd. in the same shopping center as Snap Fitness and Topper’s Pizza.

It might seem a little bit silly, but knowing that it was THE Mike who was my checker, it made my day. In the bustle and hustle of shopping and cranky customers on Black Friday, Mike remained cheerful, upbeat and joked with customers.

Here’s the original post on Facebook from a woman named Kyra Malueg. The post has received nearly 300 comments and over 5,000 likes on Facebook:

I would like to share an experience I had this afternoon at your store on Sunset Drive in Waukesha WI. There is a young Down Syndrome man, Mike, who helped me with my transaction and I have got to say that I was really impressed with him. He made a few mistakes and I was touched as another few cashiers were very quick to help him with his question. Once we were back on track and he was ringing out my transaction he said "I have 33 minutes left until my lunch, I can't wait because all my new friends sit with me, I didn't have very many friends before." He was hands down the best cashier I have encountered at your store, and it's not because he has downs syndrome, it's because he was focused on helping me get what I needed and was asking me questions about how my day was going and really listened, he was very considerate and kind asking me if I wanted certain items together or separately. Little things like that make my shopping experience that much better. Before I left I made it a point to stop a manager walking by and tell him that, because of Mike on lane 8, I was leaving the happiest i've ever left that store!

December: 224-Unit Apartment Building Proposed for Waukesha

A Waukesha County realty company is looking to build a 224-unit apartment complex on the east side of Waukesha.

The Broadway Commons would be located at 1910 E. Broadway, northeast of the Highway 164 and East Broadway intersection.

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