Rachel F is Yelp’s Community Director in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – she launched Yelp in Milwaukee back in early 2011 and since then, both Yelp and the Midwest’s “littlest big city” have grown by leaps and bounds. This rollergirl turned Muay-Thai kickboxer loves the outdoors, cats, space stuff, red wine, and good times. We catch up with her in her party barn behind her home in Bay View, MKE where she resides with her fiancé Luke and her cat, Medina Q.
What did you do before you worked for Yelp?
Before Yelp life, I worked in the service industry and loved it. I spent many years “behind the pine,” as they say before becoming the GM at a quaint little beer/wine/whisk(e)y spot in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood. I thought I might even open my own place one day!
I think working in the service industry really helped me to understand the everyday issues that small business owners face, particularly bar or restaurant owners. In my current role, I’m able to be empathetic to any concerns they may have and help them understand how to use a tool like Yelp, and how it can really impact their bottom line in a positive way.
What’s your favorite thing about representing Milwaukee Yelp?
I was born and raised in SE Wisconsin and I love Milwaukee and the Midwest in general. Milwaukee is extra special in that both its history and current forward direction are really exciting. We’re innovating and trying to get things done, together… and that means inspiration and opportunity; I love being able to help shape our civic identity through community. I love that you can affect change here. Down-to-earth, honest, fun-loving – That’s my Milwaukee. Incredible beer + cheese = amazing too, of course.
What’s your most recent local business discovery?
My fiancé recently gifted me a gift certificate to Float Milwaukee, a new float tank joint that just opened in town. I immediately Yelp it to get a beat on what’s up with it all, of course, and OHMYGAH. Simply amazing. (If you love me, you can send me buckets of Float Milwaukee gift certificates, FYI.)
How would you spend a perfect Saturday in Milwaukee?
I love Milwaukee by boat. Milwaukee is a city founded on and sustained by fresh water – there are three rivers that meet in MKE before converging and emptying into our great Lake Michigan. I think I’d have to say the perfect Milwaukee Saturday would be a warm, summer day spent on my future in-laws’ boat. They dock at Skipper Bud’s so we’d start at Barnacle Bud’s, a rather unique and completely magical “Key West meets Industrial Milwaukee”-type spot. Then we’d cruise up and down the river, stopping at various spots, including Lakefront Brewery for cheese curds and my favorite local beer.
Alternate best ways to spend a Saturday include visiting any of the following places: the Milwaukee Public Market, Allium, Foundation Tiki Bar, The Palm Tavern, Morel, on the lakefront at Veteran’s Park for a picnic, or wandering around Doctor’s Park.
What local celebrity would you take to lunch and where would you go?
I’d love to take Milwaukee’s Mayor, Tom Barrett out to lunch – I’d love to pick his brain about the Milwaukee renaissance and the direction the city is moving in in general… I’d also love to share with him my thoughts and ideas on how to make Milwaukee a better place to live, too.
We’d hit up the Mazo’s diner counter for burgers and shakes, because that’s old-school, South Side Milwaukee cool to the max.
Need more Rachel F in your life? Check out all of her reviews on Yelp! If you still want more, follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as she continues to explore Milwaukee.