Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm
Arte Wine and Painting Studio in Wauwatosa’s Village district has been sold to Kelly Cannizzaro by founder Lisa Allen. The transaction closed Aug. 4 for an undisclosed price, and the business changed hands that day without impacting operations.
Mark Kuether of Sunbelt Business Brokers Midwest in Brookfield, completed the sale. Kuether was connected to Cannizzaro through Metropolitan Milwaukee Networking Group.
“I knew Kelly’s sister through the group and we both thought this was something Kelly would be interested in,” Kuether said. “But it wasn’t a simple transaction. After the first bank had reservations, I was able to recommend another bank to Kelly for financing.”
Allen opened the business, which offers painting classes along with drinks and appetizers, in 2011. She sold the business because she wanted to relocate to be closer to family members, Kuether said.
“She had done a great job growing the business to the point where someone could really step in and take it to the next level,” he said.
Arte has about 12 employees, all of whom will be retained in the transaction. The lease for the space the business occupies has been renegotiated.
Cannizzaro is a Hartland native and former marketing professional who took a class at Arte and loved the concept. She has extensive experience in the bar, restaurant and retail industry, Kuether said.
“I think from the time we signed the confidentiality agreement, within about a week she had taken a tour of the business and started asking some good questions,” he said.
Cannizzaro plans to keep Arte mostly the same, with a few changes to the menu to attract bar customers who don’t care to paint, Kuether said.