By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Mar 17, 2004 at 6:12 AM

{image1}"It's a done deal," says Restaurateur John Vassallo, or "Johnny V" as everyone calls him, about his recent acquisition of Grenadier's Restaurant, 747 N. Broadway Ave.

Vassallo says the restaurant had been on and off the market for a couple of years, but he only recently decided to pursue the elegant eatery that had been in business for 29 years.

"That's an amazing run for any business," say Vassallo, who says the restaurant had been owned by Bay View dentist, Douglas Pursich, who decided to move on and "do some other things."

Vassallo plans to open a restaurant called Moceans in the next two to four months. He says he will make some cosmetic changes, including the addition of fish tanks, and that the menu will focus on seafood.

{image2}"It's a beautiful space and everything there is impeccable," says Vassallo. "We plan to take our time and do it right."

The 38-year-old entrepreneur says Moceans will be similar to one of his other ventures, Mo's A Place for Steaks, in service, style and energy.

"We plan to stay in line with the reputation of Grenadier's. It was and always will be a phenomenal place to dine."

Vassallo grew up on Milwaukee's South Side in a family with six children. He started washing dishes in a restaurant at age 12 and was later kicked out of both Marquette High School and Greendale High School.

"Without a high school diploma, you don't have a lot of options," says Vassallo, who now owns Mo's A Place For Steaks (with Milwaukee and Indianapolis locations), Mo's Market and Mo's Irish Pub, all named for his mother, Maureen, whose nickname is "Mo." He also owns multiple properties.

"I've had tremendous mentors," he says. "And now I'm living a dream."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.