Ryan Mleziva

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Where do you work and what makes your role awesome?
Owner of Brew Fitness – I lived the American entrepreneurial dream this year of pouring my heart and life savings into opening a business. It’s been such a crazy ride and every morning when I’m standing in a full gym it’s surreal that an idea and a lot of hard work created such a great space in Milwaukee. I love combining all of my favorite things about Milwaukee into one space. Brew Fitness is a studio fitness center with a true Milwaukee emphasis. We have local artists featured on the gym walls, local freshly roasted coffee, beer from multiple Milwaukee based craft breweries and products from other really cool small business owners and crafters trying to live out their dreams just like me.

How long have you lived in MKE & what brought you here?
I’ve been in Milwaukee for 11 years now. I’m originally from a little farm town in Northeast WI with 2,000 people in the village, but I wasn’t even in the village, I grew up out in the country with the cows. I moved to Milwaukee when I was 18 for school. I received my bachelor’s degree and ran cross country and track at UW-Milwaukee. I wasn’t born in Milwaukee, but Milwaukee is my hometown.

What do you love most about MKE?
Milwaukee has character. It’s not just people and building, but you can see the history and what people and time have done to the buildings over the years. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than exposed cream city brick that is older than you. So many old buildings are being converted to housing and storefronts and I love when the history of the building is showcased in the remodel with original components being saved and re-purposed. There have been some really great historical renovations to some really neat buildings.

What local restaurant is at the top of your list?
Black Sheep MKE – I’ve eaten nearly everything on that menu and have yet to be let down once. Their Bloody Mary is excellent and the owner, Mike Sorge, is such a nice guy. If a place doesn’t have a good Bloody, it’s not worth going to. Plus all the sheep artwork is weird and awesome at the same time.

What neighborhood do you live in and why do you love it?
Third Ward – I love the Third Ward Art Festival and all the meet-ups, food trucks and live music you can find at Catalano Square. I also think that Lakeshore Park is a hidden gem that most people don’t either know about or visit. It’s beautiful and I love taking my dog for a walk or going for a run through there.

What’s your favorite hidden gem or secret fact about the city?
There’s this really great gym called Brew Fitness where the workouts are fantastic, the beer is always cold and the people are great. I may be biased, but I think it’s the best gym in town 🙂 Besides that, I remember the lakefront being the biggest “wow factor” when I first moved here. I mean, going into the water is up for debate, but it is beautiful to look at and the entire parks system is incredible. My first week in Milwaukee, my teammates and I ran over 80 miles as we were training for the start of the season. Most of that was along the lakefront, on the Oak Leaf trail, dirt path river trails and getting dropped off at South Shore Park and running back to the East Side. The roads are somehow always under construction so just get out and walk or take the bike path and see how walkable Milwaukee really is and what hidden treasures you find along the way.