Milwaukee’s iconic tightrope bear statue returns to The Avenue

Professor Stein, also known as “Bear on a Tightrope”, returns to The Avenue after 17 years. Photo credit: Milwaukee Public Market.

the avenue The former Grand Avenue Mall development in downtown Milwaukee is once again home to a piece of the city’s history: a 7-foot bear riding a unicycle on a tightrope.

Professor Stein, also known as ‘Bear on a Tightrope’, is moving to the soon-to-open 3rd Street Market Hall at The Avenue, after having resided at the Milwaukee Public Market since 2013, according to a press release. Wednesday.

“We are proud to provide a temporary home for Professor Stein for the past nine years at the Public Market, where we have kept other relics that inspire a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for our city,” said Paul Schwartz, Executive Director . Milwaukee Public Market and Business Improvement District #2.

The figurine has been around for approximately 40 years, first created as part of the traditional German influences adorning Grand Avenue Mall, which was developed in 1982 by The Rouse Company. Professor Stein has become a tourist attraction and is fondly remembered by those who visited the mall in its heyday. When Northwestern Mutual remodeled Grand Avenue in 2004, the figure was disassembled and put away before being later installed at the Milwaukee Public Market. Professor Stein will now return to his original home after 17 years.

“Professor Stein’s return celebrates an iconic time in Milwaukee history,” said Omar Shaikh, owner and operator of 3rd Street Market Hall. “The intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and 3rd Street will reconnect with its prestigious roots. Professor Stein’s Return Residence at 3rd St Market Hall will remind visitors and Milwaukee residents of its past while cementing its future.

The food hall is expected to open smoothly shortly after much delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent supply chain disruption. Some had a taste last week at a fundraising event for the benefit of United for Waukesha Community Fund.

So far, its range of suppliers includes Dairyland Old Fashioned Burgers and its Mid-Way Bakery subsidiary, Super Nova Coffee & Donuts, Arepa at any time, Middle East side, Brew City Brand, Strega, Amano Pan, Make Waves, Green House and Dawg City. A few of these concepts will occupy miniature vendor spaces, or hawker stalls, run by Dairyland.

The Market Hall will also feature a 50-seat full-service central bar and several entertainment amenities such as Top Golf Swing Suites, shuffleboard courts, snookball, selfie museum, indoor arcade games old and a lawn area with garden games and seats. A grand opening event will take place in March or April when most of its vendors are operational, Shaikh said.


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