By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 19, 2011 at 7:59 AM Photography: Whitney Teska

Chef Justin Johnson wrote last night to say that he's no longer at Hotel Metro, where he ran Cafe Metro and the hotel's food operations for just about a year.

"This was a business decision made to benefit both myself and the hotel," he wrote.

The decision appears to be a mutually amicable one.

"They are excited and hopeful for what the new year will bring and I'm thrilled to start a new chapter in my culinary journey," said Johnson.

"Hotel Metro gave me a tremendous opportunity and I am endlessly appreciative of the chance to have done the things and met the people I did through the hotel."

Johnson – who we first profiled when he ran the kitchen and brought big changes to Tosa's Harwood Place residential community – said he has a few irons in the fire.

"I am currently weighing several opportunities and will keep you posted on where I end up," he wrote.

Stay tuned for updates on where Johnson pops up next.


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.