An affiliate of Milwaukee-based Mo's Restaurants has purchased the former Buca di Beppo site near downtown Milwaukee in the city's Yankee Hill neighborhood.
The one-story building at 1237 N. Van Buren St. was sold for $2.1 million to Kosmos Metro LLC, which is registered to Debra Stephenson, chief operating officer at Mo’s Restaurants, according to state records.
John Vassallo, better known as Johnny V, the founder and owner of Mo's Restaurants, is listed on the state real estate transaction record as the agent for the buyer.
The seller, Van Buren Land Partnership LLC, is registered to Richard Yuspeh of Brookfield.
Neither Stephenson nor Vassallo could not immediately be reached for comment.
Buca di Beppo's downtown Milwaukee location closed in 2017, and the building has since sat empty. The national chain also closed its location at Southridge Mall one year later.
Vassallo's restaurant group owns Mo’s, A Place For Steaks and Mo's Irish Pub, located kitty corner from each other on North Plankinton and West Wisconsin Avenues in downtown Milwaukee. Mo's Irish Pub also has locations in Wauwatosa on West Bluemound Road, and in Houston, College Station, Cypress and Katy, Texas.
Mo's Irish Pub in downtown Milwaukee remains closed indefinitely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Vassallo hasn't opened any new restaurants in the area for several years, but from 2016 to 2018 Mo's Restaurants acquired three properties on the southwest corner of Mayfair and Bluemound roads in Wauwatosa, across the street from its Mo’s Irish Pub. The first site purchased was the former Edwardo’s Pizza building at 10845 W. Bluemound Road in July 2016. Vassallo purchased the 2-acre site with former Milwaukee Bucks player and current Fox Sports Wisconsin broadcaster Steve Novak and former Milwaukee Waver owner Jim Lindenberg for $2 million. This past August, Vassallo proposed plans to develop a $50 million, 350-unit luxury apartment tower on the site.