A Bay View pizza staple is on the hunt for new ownership.
Owners Veronica and Joey Cieslak hung a banner in front of their popular restaurant, Little DeMarinis, 2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., this weekend with the hope of attracting the interest of a buyer.
In a statement sent to OnMilwaukee today via email, co-owner Veronica Cieslak said:
"I was motivated by emotion when we decided to open Little DeMarinis Pizza. Even though I didn't have any experience running the original DeMarinis nor Mama DeMarinis, I quickly realized that I was just not ready to let the tradition that my grandparents created, and my mother and aunt worked so hard for, end so abruptly. It was that overwhelming emotion that drove us to open Little DeMarinis Pizza. It was definitely a learning process for us and I want to first and foremost thank all of our amazing customers for sticking with us!
"We learned many things along the way. Mainly, our family comes first and in retrospect, this was not the time for us. Our daughters are young and nothing is worth losing this precious time with them as they are still are young enough to want to hang out with their parents! When we first opened the restaurant, we were committed to working non-stop (News flash: Opening a business is hard work. Admittedly, I grossly underestimated that!). As the restaurant became more routine, we were extremely fortunate to have amazing managers who stepped up to oversee many of the day to day operations of the restaurant. With that being said, it's not the same as us being 100% hands-on as any business needs and deserves.
"Ultimately, opening this business was our way of keeping to the tradition going. The pride I always felt in my grandparents, mother and aunt was something I really wanted to preserve and share. Unfortunately, I feel we jumped the gun at this time in our life and we are choosing not to renew our lease.
With that being said, the opportunity is available to pass the baton and continue the tradition to someone who shares our love for these amazing recipes."
Veronica's grandparents, Lucille and Vincent DeMarinis, founded DeMarinis pizzeria in the 1950s. The restaurant, located at 2457 S. Wentworth Ave. was operated by the family, including sisters RoseMary Latter and Josephine DeMarinis, until it closed in 2012.
In an effort to preserve the family business, Veronica and her husband Joe revived the restaurant and the recipes, including their famous thin-crust pizza, and opened Little DeMarinis in February of 2014.
The lease for the restaurant at its current location is valid through July 11, 2018. Cieslak says there are no imminent plans to close the restaurant.
Parties interested in purchasing the concept can reach out by email to email@example.com
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.