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Falcon Bowl: A Community Story /Make Milwaukee 2012 Week 4

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Tucked away in the Riverwest Neighborhood on 801 East Clarke Street is a building that dates back to 1882. Inside that building, is a community...a community that welcomes anyone and everyone to Falcon Bowl or the Nest 725. Here’s a little history on Nest 725.

**“Nest 725 was founded on December 10, 1916 by a group of Northside residents who felt that they could further the well being of Polish Americans. There were about 25 members in the beginning.

In November of 1918 one of the members also founded a second nest. This Nest was for junior girls and in January became known as Nest 755. In 1927 the two nests were joined and became known as Nest 725.

In April of 1940 the Nest purchased its first quarters, at 2939 North Fratney Street. In 1941 the Nest sent four bowling teams to the National Tournament in Kensington, PA. and won a Trophy Cup for the highest total score. In 1942 the Nest hosted the Polish Falcons National Tournament, with over 1,000 participants.

Due to the fact that the building on N. Fratney Street became too small, the nest set out to find larger quarters in the same area. They found the current building at 801 E. Clarke St. They purchased this building in 1945, and have been there ever since.

The building itself has a very large and interesting history of its own, dating back to 1882. In 1913 the basement was dug up, and three two-lane bowling alleys were installed. Through the course of the years the building has seen many different and colorful interests come and go. Since 1945 when Nest 725 bought the property, it has been used as a tavern, hall and bowling alley.” **

Back in 1982, Lynn Okopinkski with her late husband John Okopinski, bought the Riverwest bar and bowling alley, known as Falcon Bowl. John Okopinski passed away last October, but all his hard work, dedication and love for customers, has left a lasting impression on the Riverwest bar.

I met with Lynn to talk about what happens under Falcon Bowl’s roof, and how the building is more than just a bar, but an actual community.

Listen to the podcast below to learn more.