Little DeMarinis, a popular Bay View pizzeria that replaced longtime neighborhood mainstay Mama DeMarinis in 2014, will close next year.
The restaurant’s co-owner, Veronica Cieslak, said after careful consideration, she decided not to renew the lease at 2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., which expires at the end of June 2018.
Cieslak opened Little DeMarinis two years after Mama DeMarinis closed. Her grandparents founded the restaurant in the 1950s and it was later owned by Cieslak’s mother and aunt.
When Cieslak opened Little DeMarinis, she used the original recipes from Mama Demarinis.
Cieslak said opening the restaurant was a way to keep the tradition going, but she feels she jumped the gun at this time in her life.
“I was motivated by emotion when we decided to open Little DeMarinis Pizza,” Cieslak said in an email. “Even though I didn’t have any experience running the original DeMarinis nor Mama DeMarinis, I quickly realized that I was just not ready to let the tradition that my grandparents created, and my mother and aunt worked so hard for, end so abruptly.”
Cieslak said she has learned many things along the way, but her daughters are young and she doesn’t want to lose any more time with them.
“When we first opened the restaurant, we were committed to working non-stop,” Cieslak said. “As the restaurant became more routine, we were extremely fortunate to have amazing managers who stepped up to oversee many of the day-to-day operations of the restaurant. With that being said, it’s not the same as us being 100 percent hands-on, as any business needs and deserves. It was definitely a learning process for us, and I want to thank all of our amazing customers for sticking with us.”
Cieslak is hoping the restaurant will remain open and is willing to share the recipes with someone who wants to take over the business. She asks anyone interested to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.