The Troop Café on Wisconsin Avenue —
One of Milwaukee’s Best Kept Secrets!
A few years ago I invited a fellow vet to lunch and he said, “Sure. Let’s go to the Troop Café.” I said “The what?” I had never heard of the place. So that is where we had lunch that day, and several more days since.
The Troop Café opened in May 2013 and is located at 3430 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee. The more I learned about this wonderful idea the more I was impressed. It is part of the Center for veterans Program and receives funding from several sources including local charities, grants, and private donors. According to Executive Chef/General Manager Greg Bautista, the cooks are U.S. military vets of all branches enrolled in a training program. Upon completion of the course, they move into private industry in cook and chef positions to put their education to use in their new careers.
What a great idea!
In addition to a broad menu the Troop Café can cater events like weddings, parties and meetings. The Troop Café even has a Community Room that can be leased for these events. During a recent tour of the entire complex with President and CEO Robert Cocroft (Brigadier General, U.S. Army Retired) I observed a facility that was as clean and as polished as any military barracks I have seen. I also met a professional staff dedicated to the vets in training and to the homeless vets housed in the building.
The reason I am writing about the program is that I want to alert our readers to its existence so we can expand its use. I was so impressed with the food in the restaurant that we used the catering service during our LZ War Memorial musical tribute to the Vietnam veterans in August. The food was great as was the service. Just ask the 400+ attendees that night.
My favorite menu item? “The SOS!” (Pictured Right)
If anyone ever doubted that federal programs actually work, they should visit the Troop Café. I encourage all vets and their families to show their support of this worthwhile endeavor. vets supporting vets – just as it should be. This place has been a secret for far too long. Let’s put an end to that.