It’s been almost exactly a year since news emerged that Gino Fazzari would open a new pizzeria right next door to his Calderone Club, 842 N. Old World 3rd St.
Pizzeria San Giorgio – located in the former Thai Palace, 838 N. Old World 3rd St. – will host a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. with Mayor Tom Barrett and Bucks President Peter Feigin. Fazzari expects to open to the public next week, after his staff is thoroughly trained.
The restaurant is named in honor of Fazzari's cousin, George – who passed away last year and was Gino's cooking mentor (and namesake; George was called Gino, too) – as well as in honor of Saint George, who Fazzari says is his patron saint.
"He's been in control of this whole thing," Fazzari told me this morning.
Unlike Calderone, which serves thin crust Italian-American style pizza (among my Milwaukee favorites!), San Giorgio will focus on classic Neapolitan pizza and is currently undertaking the certification to be classified as a Vera Pizza Napoletana, which means it adheres to the "strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza making."
According to Fazzari, the pizzeria will serve a "unique array of Italian dishes." Just what that means, we’ll find out as our own Lori Fredrich will attend a preview dinner this week and will report back afterward.
Fazzari also noted in a statement this morning that Pizzeria San Giorgio will create 50 new jobs in Downtown Milwaukee.
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.