Friday, March 25, 2011
Sad Day in History
Pizza Man owners decide not to reopen restaurant
By Joe Taschler of the Journal Sentinel
March 24, 2011 |(98) Comments
The owners of Pizza Man restaurant, which was destroyed by a multi-alarm fire in Milwaukee almost 15 months ago, said Thursday they have decided not to reopen the business.
Family health issues and the workload generated by their growing Stinky Gringo brand of pre-mixed margaritas resulted in the decision not to reopen Pizza Man, said Deanna Amidzich, owner and president of Stinky Gringo Inc. and co-owner of Pizza Man along with her husband, Mike.
The couple had been negotiating to reopen the pizza restaurant at a site on Milwaukee's south side. When the talks broke down, they decided that starting over in the restaurant business was not something they wanted to do.
"We just decided we're not going to reopen Pizza Man," Deanna Amidzich said. "You come to a crossroads, and the way things are right now, (the family's) health is more important than opening a restaurant."
Pizza Man, at E. North and N. Oakland avenues, burned along with several other businesses in January 2010. Pizza Man opened Nov. 15, 1969, and eventually became an east side landmark.
Damage from the blaze was estimated at $3 million. The building had to be demolished. In addition to Pizza Man, the fire also destroyed Cush Lounge, Grecian Delight, Black and White Cafe and several apartments.
The fire was intentionally set and began in the Black and White Cafe, fire investigators have said. Federal and state investigators said in January that they continue to pursue leads in the case.
Meanwhile, distribution of the Stinky Gringo brand continues to grow, with the company having recently added Illinois, California and South Dakota to the list of states where it is sold.
The brand has grown by double-digit percentages every year since it was introduced, the Amidziches have said.
REWARD FOR INFORMATION
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for starting the Pizza Man fire. Anyone with information about the blaze is asked to call Wisconsin's anonymous arson tip line at (800) 362-3005.