“I may be off the sauce but this is one helluva hangover”
– Vic Shell, former owner of Milwaukee Talko
MILWAUKEE, October 23 – How long would it take you to go through 1.2 million dollars? If you’re Vic Shell and you open an ill—fated dream called “Milwaukee Talko,” it takes about two months.
“And that was when I was sober. Had I been drinking like a sink I could have done it in half the time,” the former “Milwaukee Talko” owner admits almost proudly.
The whole episode is a lesson in how not to run a business. Shell bought a large warehouse on Milwaukee’s Water Street district and only used about 25% of the space. Even though he missed the peak season, Shell paid electricians, plumbers, and carpenters double and even triple time to meet his idiotic deadlines. Shell flew recording star Allanah Myles to Milwaukee for the opening night of his events center, provided free dinner and drinks for the event only to have it end badly when his former Milwaukee Talk co-star and Chat Packer Mary Margaret crashed the concert. He even bought a baby grand piano once owned by Steve Allen for his longtime friend Les Tremaine to perform with at his restaurant, even though Les didn’t know how to play.
But this morning liquidators were roaming through Shell’s restaurant, selling his million dollar dream for pennies on the dollar.
“I’ve also maxed out my credit. The bank is going to take possession of the building in the hopes of selling it. This is something I really regret doing but on the advice of my lawyers, accountants, doctors, police and therapists, I have to throw in the towel on this one. I want to apologize to all of my fans. They know I’m usually the first to show and last to go when I throw a party.”
This appears to be the end of the line for Mr. Shell in Milwaukee. Long gone are the days of his chauffeured limousine to and from work every day, and the breakfast cheese fondue bar waiting for him in his 900 square foot dressing room. His signing a contract with WLKE-TV3 promising not to work within the Milwaukee broadcasting community ended that prospect, and now that’s he’s filed for bankruptcy protection his entrepreneurial days seem to be behind him as well.
At Milwaukee Talk’s 11:01 meeting this morning, the mood was downcast. Everyone was feeling terrible about what was happening to Shell and they collectively wondered what he was going to do next and what they could do to help him.
At 11:02 executive producer Tater Beutler walked into the meeting, sat down and smugly asked Mary Maragret if she still wanted to do a remote from Shell’s restaurant. It was an obvious reference to a disagreement the two had last month about broadcasting from Shell’s establishment.
“Mary sat in silence as Tater told everyone she will not tolerate being questioned about her decisions about the show anymore and then exited the room,” according to a source at the meeting.
Meanwhile late this afternoon The American Log caught up with Vic Shell at The Press Club as the house was buying him drinks. “I hope, maybe hoping against hope that somehow I will come back. I just need to hear someone say they need me again.”
If everything had gone according to plan, 2016 was supposed to be a banner year for Vic Shell and his “Milwaukee Talko” enterprise. We now know this was not the case. “Shell’s enthusiasm kept us going for a week or two but once you took a good look around his cavernous restaurant, you knew there weren’t enough patrons,” according to a former “Talko” employee.
“I remember the glee of Shell the day a million 2016 calendar fridge magnets showed up at the restaurant. Shell’s idea was to have each customer get one with their dinner bill. He had this goal that 2016 would be the year he had a million sales. Never happened.”
2016 and the fridge magnets did, however. If you’d like to be part of the history and receive your fridge magnet (no purchase required), email us at email@example.com with your address and we will send you one free of charge. Really.