Milwaukee restaurateur Marc Bianchini announced Sunday that he is working on plans to relocate his legendary Milwaukee Italian Restaurant Osteria Del Mondo that he and his wife Marta have operated since 1994.
The restaurant will remain open at 1028 E. Juneau Ave. (in the Knickerbocker Hotel) during the search for a new space, but plans call for Osteria to close as soon as September, and at the latest, February 2012, giving the landlord ample opportunity to secure an appropriate replacement.
“While the current location has served us extremely well for the past 16 years, dynamics in the restaurant business have changed and the current space doesn’t fully fit my vision for Osteria moving forward,” said Bianchini.
“We will be moving to a smaller, high-profile urban site to continue Osteria’s tradition of excellence.”
Bianchini cited the search for a new location, numerous events scheduled at the restaurant as well as a long-term relationship with the Knickerbocker as reasons for the extended wind-down of operations at Osteria. “We want to assure our customers with events scheduled with us that we’ll be here for them – but we needed to put a timeframe in place to move forward,” said Bianchini.
The landlord for the current Knickerbocker space, Kira Kleynerman said that she will begin seeking a new tenant to replace Osteria immediately.
“This space has been a Milwaukee restaurant cornerstone for 40 years – first with Sally’s steakhouse and then with Osteria. This is a prime and easily identifiable location within an upscale residential area, thirsty for a great neighborhood restaurant.” Kleynerman said that anyone interested in leasing information, can email a request to email@example.com.
“Marc is very innovative, dedicated, hard working and creative,” said Kleynerman. “I wish him nothing but continued success with his new ventures.”
“As my first restaurant, Osteria is near and dear to my heart,” said Bianchini. “It will return as the flagship for the BIANCHINI restaurants once we find the right location. In recognition of all of our loyal customers, over the final months at the current location, we’ll be bringing back a number of Osteria’s ‘greatest tastes’ menu favorites and we will, of course, continue to provide Osteria off-site catering services during the transition.”
In addition to the Osteria move, Bianchini says he’s “been really busy with another exciting concept that we’ll be opening later this year.”
BIANCHINI EXPANDS TO ILLINOIS
The BIANCHINI restaurant group currently features four restaurants: Osteria Del Mondo, Cubanitas, Indulge and COA. That’s about to change, as construction is set to begin on a new BIANCHINI restaurant, the first outside of the city of Milwaukee, in Libertyville, Illinois.
“Construction will begin in the next few weeks and the restaurant will open in late Summer or early Fall,” said Bianchini.
Due to competitive reasons, Bianchini is not willing to disclose the specifics of the restaurant but assures that “the Libertyville restaurant is an exciting new concept, something completely different from any of our existing properties.”
In addition to the new Libertyville restaurant, BIANCHINI will be expanding his restaurant empire by opening another Cubanitas restaurant “south of the border” in Illinois.
“We really think Cubanitas is primed for expansion,” said Bianchini. “It’s very
likely we could see a second Cubanitas within the next 18 months.”
Osteria Del Mondo
1028 E. Juneau Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202