By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Nov 02, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Centanni's founders come from one of Milwaukee's most notable Italian restaurants, Giovanni's. Father and son, Giovanni and Giuseppe Safina opened the bar, 218 N. Water St., more than seven years ago with Robert Head, a former bartender at the family restaurant that closed several years ago. 

Today, the bar has been sold and the family wishes "another 100 years of good luck" to new owners, the SURG Restaurant Group, headed by Mike Polaski.

Polaski add Centanni to a local portfolio of bars and restaurants that includes Mi-key's, Carnevor, Umami Moto, Charro Milwaukee, Charro Brookfield and the soon to open distil, 722 N. Milwaukee St.

"It was a perfect fit for me" said Polaski, who has done business with Giovanni Safina -- who also owns Tutto on Old World Third Street -- for more than 25 years.

Giovanni, said he plans to spend more time in Sicily and felt it was time for him to move on, but not time for Centanni to close its doors.

"There's still so much life there, it will be around for 100 years," he said in a news release.

Polaski promised to keep the same feel, style and service that Milwaukeeans have grown to love for the last seven years Centanni.

But, do look for the name to be updated to "Nuovo Centanni."

Nuovo Centanni will be open Wednesday-Saturday, 7 p.m.-close, with live entertainment nightly.

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.