By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 27, 2002 at 5:42 AM

It's not flashy, it's not (usually) loud, but downtown's Calderone Club has quietly been dishing up some of the city's best pizza for years. A few years back, the bar and restaurant located just a block from the Bradley Center and the Midwest Express Center, got a much-needed makeover and now it's one of Westown's best places to dine.

If you haven't been there in a while, stop in and rediscover some great pizza.

The Calderone Club, 842 N. Old World Third St., has been making pizzas according to a family recipe for more than three decades. A Bradford Avenue location, which has the feel of an old-style neighborhood eatery, remains an East Side treasure.

With a thin, crispy and flaky crust that doesn't get soggy or collapse under the weight of sauce, cheese and other toppings, Calderone's pizzas are satisfying without being too heavy. And, unlike so many old-school pizza places, Calderone's mushrooms don't come from a can.

The casual restaurant -- decorated with beer signs, antique posters advertising pasta and a wall-size mural depicting a small Italian town (we remain baffled by the out-of-place golf art in the men's room, since replaced with a more scenic painting -ed.) -- also serves up a range of traditional southern Italian favorites: meatball sandwiches, deep fried calamari, eggplant parmigiana and spaghetti with tomato sauce. Calderone does it all. But, to be honest, we rarely take advantage of that bounty, because we just adore the pies!


The restaurant is bustling most times, serving as a meeting place for Hyatt Regency employees, pre-game sports fans, neighborhood residents, tourists sent over by area hotels and families. During the lunch rush downtown office workers fill the place. For those downtown who can't get out for lunch, Calderone also delivers from noon until 2 p.m.

Call the Calderone Club at (414) 273-3236. The C Club is open for lunch weekdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and then for dinner at 5 p.m. They close at 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Friday and Saturday at midnight. They're open 5-9 p.m. Sundays. The bar remains open until bar time most nights.

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