By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 20, 2015 at 10:45 AM

The Third Ward awoke to some sad news this morning.

According to an email sent out by Nancy O'Keefe, executive director of the Historic Third Ward Association, Bella Caffe co-owner Tim Talsky passed away Thursday night.

"Tim opened Bella in 2001 and was a great friend and neighbor," O'Keefe wrote. "This loss is a shock to all of us who knew him. We will keep you updated about information regarding any services for Tim. Please keep Tim and the Bella family in your thoughts prayers."

Talsky was also co-owner of The Soup Market, which has multiple locations in the area.

No further details are known at this time.

Talsky, who opened Bella Caffe, 189 N. Milwaukee St., with Jim Nowlen, was something of a Third Ward pioneer as Bella was the first and only coffee shop in the neighborhood in January 2001.

I always picture Tim behind the counter smiling. We send our deepest condolences to Tim's family and friends.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.