By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Mar 22, 2004 at 5:41 AM

{image1}The Italian Community Center (ICC) Ristorante plans to renovate its current space by the time Summerfest rolls around this year and, with ICC Board approval, will change the name to Café La Scala.

The 14-year-old restaurant, 631 E. Chicago St., which has remained basically the same since it opened, will have a completely new look, as well as the addition of an adjacent meeting room that can accommodate 300 diners. New signage, a mammoth pizza oven and a pizza and panini menu are also in the plans.

"We felt that not only did the restaurant need updating, but its menu needed changing as well," says Dave Spano, treasurer of the ICC and vice-chair to Joe Campagna of the Italian Conference Center. "We decided with the addition of many residents and businesses to the Third Ward that a 'family/casual' dining experience was more appropriate for this real estate."

The physical changes will include updates such as new chairs, tables, paint, light fixtures and some woodwork. The kitchen will be expanded to make room for the pizza oven and panini machine, and a large sign will be erected on Chicago Street in front of the entrance of the restaurant.

Backers hope to rekindle the Friday fish fry some time after Festa Italiana in mid-July. The ICC's fry was wildly popular a few years ago and, according to Campagna, a "mini version of Serb Hall."

Courtyard dining, next to the bocce courts, will still be available this summer with entertainment several nights a week around the fountain.

Patrick Morgan, Phil Purpero, Gina Spang, Bruno Giacomintonio, John Vella and Ron Henck will also oversee the project.

If all goes well, the project will begin April 1, and be completed in late-May to mid-June, Spano says.

"Our goal is to try to keep the restaurant open while making these changes," says Spano.

The ICC is a family-friendly restaurant that offers dine-in and take-out options. For more information, call (414) 223-2800.

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.