The Old Drews Building - In With the New

Places in the Community

When I am in or near the building at 7505 Harwood Ave., I often wonder "what would Hilbert and June think about this?"

Hilbert and June Drews were the owners of Drews' V&S Variety Store, which used to take up that entire big building in the heart of the Tosa Village. Actually, Hilbert passed earlier this year. They had owned and operated I believe up to 20-some dime stores in the Milwaukee area at certain points, the Tosa Village location being the last to close (although the family still owns a hardware store in Port Washington, Drews' True Value).

This blogger grew up working at Drews through high school and when home from college in the summers. It was such a funny yet beloved little place.

I can picture Hilbert and June seeing the new businesses going in and just shaking their heads in wonderment, perhaps slight disapproval. They were a family of old-fashioned values and ideas - I doubt that an eco-friendly products store, a self-service frozen yogurt spot and now also a self-service wine bar would ever to have occurred to them as tenants-to-be in their old building (mainly because the term "self-service" would never have entered into their vocabularies!).

Yet at the same time, since we no longer have the whole cute/nostalgic dime store to show off, why not just go all out and bring in fresh, completely new, inspired local businesses that can really revitalize the area?

How fantastic is it that there are now three up-and-coming businesses inhabiting what once was just one? They each serve very different audiences, having quite different purposes. Plus, there is still room for more in that building!

While I'm not quite sure what Hilbert and June would think of the type of businesses going in, I'm positive they would not be able to help but share in the excitement of the new energy in the Village.

P.S. Ruby Tap is a ton of fun! Be sure to put on your wine-drinking shoes before stopping in; it is easy to get carried away with so many different options to taste!

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