New pizzeria and bar planned on North Avenue in Wauwatosa

Would take over former Irie Zulu space

Irie Zulu was located at 7237 W. North Ave.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:21 pm

Plans are in the works for a new pizza restaurant and bar at the former Irie Zulu site in Wauwatosa.

The African restaurant, located at 7237 W. North Ave., permanently closed in late April. Its owner, Yollande Deacon, sold the building to brothers Mario and Pietro Balistreri, who want to open their new concept there this summer.

Pietro Balistreri is a second-generation operator and chef at Balistreri Brothers Pizza, located at 3815 S. 108th St. in Greenfield. Mario and Pietro’s father, Domenico Balistreri, started that business in 1974 as an Italian bakery and pizza restaurant on Milwaukee’s south side.

The brothers’ new Wauwatosa concept would serve the style of pizza their family’s restaurant is known for, but its menu will also include seafood and small plates, said Mario Balistreri.

It would also have a liquor license to operate a bar and serve alcohol, which is not the case at their Greenfield location.

The City of Wauwatosa’s Plan Commission will consider the plans during a June 10 meeting and public hearing.

“(Wauwatosa) is an up-and-coming area and I think they could use a good pizza place around here,” he said.

If approved, the restaurant would start offering carry-out and delivery and outdoor seating by mid-July, but wouldn’t open its doors until early fall. That would allow time for clean-up and minor renovations at the building, Balistreri said. A pizza oven would also be installed.

The brothers have partnered with Robert Mueller to open the business, which is listed as Cello’s Pizzeria on city documents. Balistreri said that name is temporary until the concept is officially named.

Mario said he and Pietro are not related to the Balistreri family who owns Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn in Milwaukee and Italian/American Ristorante in Wauwatosa. 

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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