By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 11, 2023 at 10:30 AM

As President Biden’s administration officially declares the end of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, Milwaukee Food & City Tours and Visit Milwaukee will celebrate by offering free frozen custard at Gilles', 7515 W. Bluemound Rd. from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., while supplies last.

“Everyone in hospitality was scrambling and worried when the pandemic first began. I kept saying when this is done, we’ll have to get together for some custard and celebrate that we made it,” said Theresa Nemetz, owner and president of Milwaukee Food & City Tours, which also celebrates its 16th anniversary today.

“I didn’t realize at the time that it would be more than three years before I could make good on my promise.”

Gilles' Frozen Custard was founded in 1938 by Paul Gilles, who got his start in the business a few blocks east, working at Clark's Frozen Custard for Joe Clark, one of the pioneers of frozen custard in Milwaukee. (Clark was the brother of Clark Oil founder Emory Clark.)

Gilles' night manager was a certain Leon Schneider, who in 1942, would open his own Leon's Frozen Custard and became a pioneer in his own right.

At the Thursday event, Milwaukee Food & City Tours will show off its new 14- and 28-passenger black buses.

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 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.