“REVEL” In Madison’s Creativity Then off to “GRAZE” on the Madison Square

Cover Story By Riley Hunter –

Ladies and gentlemen, corporate or small companies, this story is for everyone interested in having fun and trying something new! Whether it is your birthday, an anniversary, a couples night or day out, your bridal shower, or hanging with the kiddos or a company who wants to treat staff or do some team-building exercises …truthfully even if you don’t have a reason to celebrate, this hidden gem in downtown Madison, WI will make you Revel in excitement! Ha, see what I did there, lol!

Seriously, any guy who would take their girlfriend, kids, or create a party to visit Revel is sure to get brownie points in my book. Ladies, if you are lucky enough to get your man to do this, give him the extra love because that’s a keeper. Imagine, it’s Daddy-daughter-date-night and you’re about to do the same thing you have always done, but your child decides that’s boring. I can already see the rolling eyes and pouty face because they want to switch it up and do something different. No joke, look no further, you must go to Revel! 

As we were driving through downtown, my eye caught this cornered, triangular building structure and I commented, “that’s a cool building.” Low and behold we were pulling over just as I was saying it. I was in awe of the location being so close to the capital and I thought we were just finding parking, but then I noticed the white Revel sign on the window. I’m like a kid in a candy store when I engage in new experiences and everyone is moving so slow. I needed to explore quickly, so I hopped out and started taking in my surroundings. 

As you walk in, you will be greeted by the sun shining through the windows as it brightens the shimmering blue streamers on the wall. There are two smiling sweet faces saying “welcome come on in,” from the owner Sarah and staff member Julie. We elbow bumped, thanked them for having us, and they showed us to our table. 

Our table was already set with each of our craft boxes – they are all put together by hand with care by staff so they are tailored to your request. I will now call these craft boxes portable party packages, and some cute tabletop signage telling us to enjoy and have fun.  Just seeing this I was already screaming in my head that this is going to be a disaster and freaking out to think I am with someone I have never met, and she’s going to think I’m weird if I can’t craft. I couldn’t have been more wrong…

So, I clearly had craft anxiety because I believed my craft wouldn’t turn out. But, if you’re just longing to be present with the people invited… you can enjoy your time there and even take the crafts home and do it later. No judgment period! I asked Julie, a staff member, who is so eager to help with her beautiful bright smile if this was ever frowned upon and she said they are absolutely not offended by this at all and they want people to be comfortable and have fun! 

We ordered drinks and some snacks that arrived quickly, and as we were laying out the supplies, we moved to taste testing mode and delayed crafting to try these delectable treats. I am not a huge chocolate fan, but they had an awesome white chocolate bar with candy sprinkles that melted in my mouth!

I ordered a non-alcoholic beverage, a Rose Elderberry water, that had a tart dry taste but it also had an aftertaste that left your mouth and brain feeling refreshed. My friend Nicky ordered a Revel 75 gin strawberry lemonade which was full of flavor and bubbly with a very unique combination. My other friend Molly tried the Vodka rose spritzer, which she likened to being a summer drink that was light and smooth.

WINE LOVERS … there is wine on tap! YUP, you read that right … it is on tap! My eyes widened. Was this even a possibility without the box!

We opened our portable party packages which were seriously a fiesta in a box and so elegantly laid out. The crimped multi-colored crepe paper lined the bottom, and laid on top were all the supplies, which included, for my Coaster Etching box; gloves, instructions, etching cream, sticks, stencils, and to top it off, a party popper!

While I waited for my craft to dry, I watched as Nicky was tying her fabric and Molly was coloring on her coasters. I asked my friends how they were experiencing it. I figured they were pros at this and we laughed when Nicky realized she had tied it wrong, but it was still just as beautiful. Molly was enjoying her project too and said she was thankful her craft had stencil options. Our laughter and excitement continued through the whole time we were there! 

My suggestion is, doing your projects here are the best options. If needing help, you can ask questions of the employees. This is actually the very first thing I had to do since I was thinking I was clearly going to screw this up. Sarah ensured me that she was available to help with anything. All staff employees are always excited to interact with the customers! 

Reservations can be made online but they do not mind if you call with questions as they want you to be happy with your choices. Even those parents who are out walking with kids in strollers or even if you are wheelchair-bound, they have an elevator just inside the door for you to gain access to this fun atmosphere! 

Revel has been in the heart of Madison for 5 years now. Sarah and her staff will make you feel right at home with the open forum and crafts lining the walls. It’s just the perfect calm laid back setting to enjoy crafting, socializing, food, and yes – alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages!

When we found Revel online we spent 3 hours deciding which craft we should do. Changed it almost every time we found something else and loved that you could customize things. My advice is just pick something because they are all so worth it. You can come back and do more at any time. Online and in-store, there are so many options of crafts to choose from and at a lot of different price points too. Some of their shopping options are buying online, shipping, pick it up to take home, or choose your project in the building (customized projects may need notice to prep). They may even continue to offer virtual classes.

When it was time to pack up, they were gracious to take our group pictures with our crafts and to say our goodbyes.

Sarah said many people say Revel cannot be compared to any other crafting place they have been to. I can only say that it is something you have to try as it truly is something to Revel over! In the end, I was just excited to be out with my friends and sharing in this new experience.

After our amazing time at Revel, we were scheduled to visit Graze Restaurant located on the Madison Square. It was a short walk to Graze, and we had some time, so we decided to journey down State Street, which was lined with music and unique shops of all varieties. We even took a stroll along the lake, which brought us to the UW Madison Campus – Memorial Union.

Graze is located directly across the street from the State Capital, and is unique for its farm-to-table menu. Graze features locally grown food and some special menu dishes that change based on the seasons or availability each week. Don’t worry, they do have their signature dishes to enjoy as well! 

We were greeted by Helene, the front manager, and seated immediately, and brought appetizers recommended by the manager and Chef.

The chef regularly works with local farms & farmers’ markets for fresh vegetables, herbs, and Ingredients. I was instantly more intrigued at how great this food would be. I pictured the Chef walking across the street to the Dane County Farmers Market to get fresh produce for my dinner! 

Once you’re there you will feel like you’re in a high-end restaurant that includes the Wisconsin favorites like the “melt in your mouth cheese curds” and of course a cheese board that arrived a few minutes after our drinks. Just this delectable smell of the cheeses and fresh bread were tantalizing my taste buds and invigorating my mind at the fresh and unique combinations you can put together. It includes the Cheeses: Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands, Red Rock from Roelli, St. Dorian from Capri, served with house-made butter and blueberry red currant jam. The Charcuterie was Prosciutto from La Quercia, Sopressata from Smoking Goose, House-made pork pate with dried cranberries and pistachios served with sauce gribiche, whole-grain mustard, and house-made bread and butter pickles.

Not only do they have great food, but your view from their fully windowed walls, where you can enjoy the sun as it sets with the brilliant colors, creates a beautiful backdrop of an elegant intimate diner. Even if it’s just for a casual pub stop, sitting outside for a drink and appetizers, makes a perfect end to ANY adventure in Madison!