Pizano’s opens today in downtown Milwaukee

Plans for restaurant initially announced four years ago

Pizano's Pizza & Pasta, 1154 N. Water St.

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

Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta, 1154 N. Water St.

Chicago-based Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta is ready to open its long-awaited downtown Milwaukee location.

The eatery, best known for its Chicago-style deep dish pizza, will open its doors today at 1154 N. Water St. at 4 p.m., according to an announcement it posted Monday on Facebook.

Pizano’s will occupy an 8,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Grohmann Tower Apartments. It shares the floor with Qdoba Mexican Eats, located on the building’s south side.

The opening comes after four years of setbacks.

Pizano’s owner Rudy Malnati Jr. in November of 2014 initially announced plans to open the restaurant by the following spring. Due to construction delays and complications with obtaining permits, the restaurant’s projected opening date was pushed back to May or June of 2016, but the delays continued.

Earlier this year, Malnati filed a new commercial alteration permit with the City of Milwaukee, and construction on the space commenced. The city’s license committee on Sept. 11 recommended approval of class B tavern, extended hours, food dealer and public entertainment premises licenses for Pizano’s. 

The city’s Common Council on Sept. 25 issued the requested licenses, granting the restaurant the ability to open

Malnati opened the first Pizano’s in 1991 and now owns six Pizano’s locations in Illinois and Rudy’s Bar and Grille in Chicago, where the family name is well known. The Malnati family’s pizza history dates back to 1943 when Malnati’s father, Rudy Malnati, Sr., managed and later became partner of the original Pizzeria Uno, where deep dish pizza began in Chicago.

Boston-based Pizzeria Uno now has 140 locations. Malnati’s brother, Lou Malnati, established Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in the Chicago area in 1971. It now has 39 locations.

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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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